Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black (Audiobook)

Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass of coffin. It rested right on the ground and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.

The fair folk live in and around the town of Fairfold, where their existence is part of every day life. They can bring curses or blessings to the human inhabitants; a simple touch can change one’s life.

Sixteen year old Hazel and her older brother Ben have always loved the fairy boy in the coffin, who has been there for generations… until one day, he is not. Drawing on their talents developed as adventuring children — Hazel a sword-wielding knight, Ben with the gift of music — they set out to find him, unaware of the scope of dangers they face.

This book, though fantastical, is grounded in a modern reality: the teens have cell phones, cars, and a daily coffee requirement. But this juxtaposition only served to make this tale more truthful, as if the magic found in Fairfold could be found anywhere.

Though some of the content squarely places this book as teen fiction, some of it also reads a little young, making it straddle a weird, liminal place. This book is about fairies, after all.

This book is part of the Witchy Fiction Challenge.

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