Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

This is an ARC I was lucky enough to get at BEA.  I didn't get to meet the author unfortunately, but still was able to get ahold of the ARC, and I'm glad I did.  I believe this is the first book by this author that I've read. But now I know that I need to read more!  And not just because there was a dachshund in the book. 

The main character is Hazel.  She and her brother live in a town where the forest nearby has a glass casket with a horned boy inside of it.  Now this glass is impossible to break.  People have tried over the years.  And it's not just the boy in the casket, there are fairies and other types of creatures in the forest.  For the most part their tricks are just scary, mostly harmless. Although if you are a tourist and don't know the rules, things might happen to you.  Deadly things.  Hazel and her brother Ben have lived in a house near the forest their whole lives.  They've gone to see the boy in the casket all the time.  Told him their secrets, fallen in love with him, both of them.  Before Ben was born, their mother painted a picture of one of the fairies, and the fairy woman blessed Ben to be musical.  When one of the fairies attack Hazel, he is able to play music in a way that saves her, and then they kill the fairy. They decide from that point on that they will hunt fairies.  At least they do until Ben questions his control of his musical ability.  So Hazel makes a deal so that Ben is able to get scholarships to go to a school where he wants to go to learn to control his music.  They move away from the forest.  Only things don't quite go as planned, and they move back, with Ben not wanting to play music ever again. 

The fairy folk don't just grant wishes like that without taking something in return.  And what Hazel had to promise was 7 years of her life. Which as a child she figured meant she'd die 7 years early, or at least they'd come from the end of her life.  But when the prince is broken out of the glass box, and the fairy begin attacking the town in different ways, she learns that maybe the 7 years will be taken in a much different manner than she could have ever expected.  Together with the freed prince, and a changeling that has been raised as a human, along with his human brother, (a great story!  But read it for yourself), they must figure out what they can do to save their town, Fairfold, from the Alderking and his plans. 

Such a great story.  Hazel is the knight, she will fight for her friends and family and town.  Ben is a great character as well.  Jack, the changeling, love him!  And the prince, Severin, is perfectly written.  A really great story, and I'm so glad it was my introduction to this author's work.