"Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. Read more...
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Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers$10.99The Darkest Part of the Forest (Library Binding)
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"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 pointy 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 and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
- ISBN-13: 9780316213073
- ISBN-10: 0316213071
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: January 2015
- Page Count: 336
- Reading Level: Ages 13-17
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Fairfold is a contemporary American town long beset by fairies. This isn’t a secret—rather it’s a tourist attraction that provides the citizens with a healthy source of income (although the visitors do occasionally get eaten by the more dangerous fairies). Hazel, a local high school student, is in love with the town’s biggest tourist attraction, a fairy prince who has slept for generations in a glass coffin in the forest. In this, she has a friendly rivalry going with her gay brother, Ben, who also loves the sleeping prince. Things have been unbalanced in Fairfold ever since a mortal woman refused to return a changeling—who grew up to be Hazel and Ben’s friend Jack—to the fairies. Now even Fairfold natives are being attacked, and after someone frees the sleeping prince, Hazel rediscovers her secret debt to the fairies. Close in tone to some of Charles de Lint’s work, it’s an enjoyable read with well-developed characters and genuine chills, though perhaps not as original as Black’s earlier supernatural excursions. Ages 12–up Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Jan.)
A sinister, enchanting forest
“Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin . . . and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.” So begins Holly Black’s exquisite story about siblings Hazel and Ben and the sleeping faerie prince they swore to protect. When Hazel and Ben were children, they would disappear into the forest, whisper their secrets to the horned boy and protect unsuspecting humans from the evil faeries. Ben subdued them with his haunting music, while Hazel wielded a sword against the sinister fae who lured tourists to their deaths. As they grew older, Hazel put away her sword and Ben gave up his music. But then one day the horned boy woke up. Hazel, now 16, once made a bargain with the fae, and they’ve come to collect.
Black’s stories are like the faerie world she creates—deeply dark, yet achingly beautiful. She turns stereotypes on their heads and engages her readers in a discussion about social constructs and finding oneself, whether in a faerie land or the real world. This is a true storytelling achievement and perhaps Black’s finest work yet.