This was one of those books that makes you sigh in sadness when it's over, at least for me it was. In Holly Black's The Darkest Part of the Forest, brother and sister, Hazel and Ben, live in a town where the Fae folk and the human world co-exist, if not all together peacefully. And there's one Fae that both Hazel and Ben have long-been telling stories about since they were children—the horned boy who lays asleep in a glass case in the woods. They've told him secrets and wished deeply for him to awake since as long as they can remember. Then one day he does. Subsequently, the darkness of Fae world comes crashing in on their town and the task of saving it lands on Hazel and Ben, both of which have their share of secrets.
Black weaves magic into atmospheric scenes, while creating a wonderful mystery that had me turning page after page. While there was romance in the book, it didn't overtake the story, but it was still delicious. I would have even liked a little more, but I still felt satisfied at the end. Speaking of the end, I think it's probably the writer in me, but I am a huge fan of coming full circle, and Black did just that. It was crafted in such a way that I felt a sense of completeness. While the book stands on its own, I could see her creating another based on the world and characters. I would love it if she did.
I loved Jack, a changeling who has grown up in a human family and is Ben's best friend, and Hazel was a well-written, complex character. The history behind Hazel and Ben's wild days as children roaming Fae-infested woods was well brewed. If you're a fan of YA and stories about fairies, then you should check this book out. Fae lore is threaded throughout the story, lending true mystical darkness to the overall theme.
You can get it on Amazon for $8.99 in Kindle or $8.11 in paperback.
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K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.