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The Darkest Part of the Forest - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Discover Catalogue - The Darkest Part of the ForestIf you asked me what my current favourite novel is (and believe me, it keeps changing!), I would say it is The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. This book has everything: a handsome fairy prince in need of a rescuer, exciting sword fighting, a magic bargain with the fae, not to mention a giant monster made of twigs, sticks and stones.

Hazel Evans and her brother Ben live in Fairfold, a village where people are used to interactions with the fae. In their woods, there lies a horned boy in a casket. He has been there, asleep, for as long as anyone can remember. Hazel and Ben’s mother has stories to tell about how she and her friends were obsessed with the boy when they were younger, but Hazel and Ben have some stories of their own. Ever since they were really young, Ben has been telling tales of the horned boy, their elf prince, and how they are meant to save him. But, when their prince finally awakens, he is not quite what they imagine. Hazel and her brother must find a way to help the horned boy who is being pursued by a monster of legend, a monster that the siblings heard stories about growing up but that no one had ever seen. The monster in the darkest part of the forest, the monster made of sticks, twigs and stones. The monster that brings sorrow wherever it goes. But is there a force behind the monster? Is someone controlling it? And if so, who?

I loved Hazel’s character. At the beginning of the story she had lots of insecurities and fears, tucked away inside of her. She feels that to let them out would be to burden another with her sorrows, and Hazel has always been the strong one. She thinks that everyone already has enough to worry about. Over the course of the novel, however, they all come spilling out. And, as is often the case in real life, Hazel finds her fears were needless. She would have been better off not holding back from the start. In the end, she learns to confide in those around her more and more.

Holly Black knows how to keep her readers hooked. She dropped hints throughout the entire book, so that you were ahead of Hazel in unraveling the plot. But she never revealed too much, so I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time, awaiting more. In fact, I stayed up (really) late to finish The Darkest Part of the Forest. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced fantasy adventure.

If you want to try The Darkest Part of the Forest for yourself, you’re in luck! The library owns the book and the audio book. They are both really enjoyable. I also recommend Holly Black’s YA series The Curse Workers. You can view Holly Black’s author website here: http://blackholly.com/books/darkest-part-forest/


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