The darkest part of the forest by Holly Black book review

Note: All my reviews are spoiler free!


Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

This is a brilliant standalone novel, although, I wouldn’t say no to a sequel. 😉 It’s a dark, contemporary, fantasy that isn’t as eerily dark as I was expecting. But that’s fine though because I was enthralled by this book from almost start to finish. I’d recommend it for readers twelve and up.

And there’s a reason I say almost start because when meeting our main character, Hazel, I didn’t like her. She was not the kind of protagonist I wanted to get behind and give my support. But I think that’s the point and what Holly Black did with the character development was superb.

No, I didn’t like her, but as the book progresses you understand the reasons why she does certain things. She becomes a fully rounded person and by the end, I loved her. Hazel is no weakling, but she is flawed. I’m so surprised by how much I love her.
I would have liked her brother to have had a bigger role in it, but this is an afterthought after finishing it.

I loved how interwoven the plot elements were. It made the book a quick read because I was unable to put it down for more than five minutes before the urge to know what happened next hit me. It didn’t waffle along. It got straight into the meat of the story.

I mean, some of the plot twists I saw coming, but even this wasn’t a negative. It felt enjoyable to know it was going in this direction. It could only go in those directions. I would have been disappointed if the Author had set us up for it, but then done something completely different just in the name of surprise.

After I finished the book and had time to mull over everything, I realized that they were a few plot points that weren’t quite wrapped up or never reached their full potential.

Despite this, they didn’t detract from reading experience at the time because I was invested in Hazel, our main character.

I leave you with this, said by Hazel, which pretty much sums her up, “Oh no,” she said, “If anyone’s going on a quest, it’s going to be me.” (I’ve paraphrased to avoid spoilers.)

The main thing I love is the fact that I’ve discovered a new Author to love. This was the first book I read by Holly back and you can get bet I’ll be buying the rest.

To sum up, Great use of folklore, Strong female character, Fantastic writing, Some loose threads

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Stars: 5/6


The wee free men book review

Howl’s moving castle book review


8 thoughts on “The darkest part of the forest by Holly Black book review

  1. Kirstie Ellen 24/02/2016 / 11:36 am

    I’m so eager to read this!! Great review – I might need to prod myself to buy this sometime soon. I hope I like it as much as I’m expecting too!! And if not, it’s pretty to look at haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bee (Quite The Novel Idea) 24/02/2016 / 12:37 pm

    I’ve only read one book by this author, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and I loved it! Definitely want to read this one. 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoë 25/02/2016 / 1:45 pm

    Seems like quite a good read. Will keep my eyes peeled for it!

    Liked by 1 person

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