The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

“Once, there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but forgot herself.”

This was such a whimsical and beautiful story about a sleepy little down named Fairfold, who has a pact with all the faeries that if the fae leave them alone, all the tourists are free game. But why would tourists want to visit this little town nestled in the forest? Oh, because a handsome horned fae boy is asleep in an unbreakable glass casket. Some visit because they do not believe in magic, some come because they do. Regardless of their beliefs or opinions, the tourists come.

The main character, Hazel, is a brave girl who tries to fight the evil fae with her brother. After a close scare, she makes a deal with the fae king of the forest for her brother to have his wish come true Her brother was blessed by a nice fae when he was young. He has a magical gift for music, but no means to hone that gift at a school far away from Fairfold. Hazel’s deal allows him to go to music school on a full scholarship. She only had to trade seven years of her life that the king decides to take while she is asleep. So every night, Hazel does the king’s bidding and wakes up in the morning, in her own bed, with no recollection on the night’s events. Hazel is none the wiser, until the handsome horned fae boy is finally broken free of this glass casket.

One thing that kept sticking out to me was that there is a lot of “duos” in this book. For starters, it seems like each family has two children (Hazel/Ben, Jack/Carter, Severin/Sorrel). There are two side by side romances going on throughout the book (one f/m, one m/m). Both are wonderful, and leave you wanting more. Then a main story line is all about two powerful swords. Lastly, we are also given night Hazel verses day Hazel. There is lots of coupling and pairs throughout this impactful little story.

“We love until we do not. For us, love doesn’t fade gradually. It snaps like a branch bent too far.”

I can’t say too much more without giving away some amazing twists and turns, but this was such a good read. This is exactly the kind of fantasy book I like to read. This spoke to my heart and soul, and I enjoyed it immensely. Holly Black is such a wonderful writer, and her art of threading words together that will make you feel everything under the sun, is untouchable. I have loved and devoured everything she’s ever written, and The Darkest Part of the Forest was no exception.

“I love like in the storybooks. I love you like in the ballads. I love you like a lightning bolt. I’ve loved you since the third month you came and spoke with me. I loved that you made me want to laugh. I loved the way you were kind and the way you would pause when you spoke, as though you were waiting for me to answer you. I love you and I am mocking no one when I kiss you, no one at all.”

I was also lucky enough to get this signed from B&N when it was first released this year.

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