C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
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's review
Sep 13, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, best-of-2015, magical-fantasy, read-2015, young-adult, paranormal

This book.

OH, SWEET FAIRY BREAD, THIS BOOK WAS BEYOND FANTASTICALLY AMAZING. I expected to like it after reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and White Cat (which have quickly risen to my "favourite books" category. But adore it this much?! It was so beautiful, so powerful, so intriguing and fantastical and dark and bloody that...I just loved it.


It's a magical story about Hazel and her brother, Ben, and their love for a horned boy cursed to sleep in a glass coffin. My words (silly useless words I'm trying to string together, here, pfft) do not convey how awesome this is. They live in Fairfold, which is absolutely embroiled in fairies. It's a tourist attraction but the locals know the fairies are real. There's mischief. There's unexplainable phenomenon (like the horned boy). People die. Just your average day in Fairfold.

I absolutely adored Hazel. She's brave and unbeatable and really has no concept of defeat. She seemed almost Peter Panish to me...she was in the process of growing up, but was still entirely in love with her magical childhood. (She slayed monsters with her brother who has a magical curse/gift for music. Normal stuff, you know?) Ben was equally wonderful and even got a few chapters in his POV. He's older, but more quiet, more easily trodden on. He and Hazel used to be thick as thieves but...THINGS GO DOWN. Of which I will not say. Mwah ha ha. An interestin gthing about Hazel's name, though is (view spoiler).

Equally important are Jack and Carter...and Jack is a changeling. Because every family, when their child gets kidnapped by fairies, will demand their real child back AND keep the changeling. They play a hugely important part.

Of course...the horned boy was just wrapped in delicious magical mystery. I have to admit, though, I loved him a lot more when he was sleeping. I expected something HUGE from him and I felt his personality reveal was a bit of a let down.

GAH. I honestly am struggling with this review SO MUCH. I just want to afkdslaf all over the place. But you need reasons, right? Yus. You need convincing. AND I SHALL CONVINCE YOU.

If the characters aren't gorgeous enough...the writing is beautiful. At 30% in on my kindle ARC I suddenly stopped and realised I loved this book so much it hurt. (If I could write half as beautifully as this, I would die fabulous.) I was absolutely caught up in the magic and creamy spot-on description and murderous turn of events. Sure it's a magical story. But it's dark. It's called The DARKEST Part of the Forest for a reason, my wee changelings.

It has a bit of a bittersweet ending and I'm half sorry it's a standalone. Don't get me wrong, I love standalones...but...I could read an entire series of this town of Fairfold and Hazel, Ben, and Jack with ease. They all broke my heart a little.

Which means it's a good book and YOU definitely need your heart a stabbed a little with fairy swords so GO! GO! TRY THIS MAGNIFICENT CREATION!


Come now, my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest? (Kenneth Patchen)


"So, just another dull night in Fairfold, where everyone's a lunatic or an elf."


There's a monster in our wood
She'll get you if you're not good
Drag you under leaves and sticks
Punish you for all your tricks
A nest of hair and gnawed bone
You are never, ever coming...home.


He was every bit as monstrously beautiful as he'd been. You could drown in beauty like that.


It was disorientating to stumble along, aware that he might be taking her somewhere to kill her and at the same time, confusingly, embarrassed that he was going to kill her while she was wearing pajamas and wellies. If she'd known she was going to die at his hand, she would have dressed up.


"I am no hob or hearth spirit, to be obligated by gifts."
"We weren't trying to obligate you," she said. "We were trying to be nice."
The horned boy bowed his head slightly, a thin smile on his face that she thought might be self-disgust. "You may call me Severin," he said. "Now we are both nice."


Once normal had been a heavy, smothering blanket she feared being trapped beneath. But now normal felt fragile, as though she could unravel it just by teasing a single string.


Hazel being to list what she knew. She liked lists. They were comfortingly straightforward, even when they were full of crazy stuff, like:
AINSEL --> name of faerie enchanting me?
The weird story about the farmer tricking the boggart.


Lords and ladies who walk unseen, lords and ladies all in green, three times I stamp upon the earth, let me in, green hill that gave me birth.


"Jack? Is that what she calls him? Jack of what? Jack of Hearts? Jack of Diamonds? Jack of Weeping? Jack of Woe?"
"I don't bother with all that fancy stuff -- I just go by Jack, these days," he said.


"How do we start?" Hazel said.
He looked down at her, lashes dusting his cheek when he blinked. "Anyway you like. We could hang out after school. We could write each other long letters. You could send me on some kind of quest to win your favour."
"Oh no," she said, smiling at last, because he was her friend Jack, who had ridiculous cheekbones and ridiculous ideas. "If anyone is going on a quest, it's going to be me."
Jack grinned. "Well fine, then. I could send you out to win my favour. Possibly on a quest involving bringing a large mug of coffee and a doughnut. Or the wholesale slaughter of all my enemies. I haven't decided which."
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Reading Progress

September 13, 2014 – Shelved
September 13, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 8, 2015 – Started Reading
January 8, 2015 –
67.0% "I'm quite in love with this book. IT ACTUALLY PAINS ME THAT IT IS SO GOOD."
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: 5-star
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: best-of-2015
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
January 9, 2015 – Shelved as: paranormal
January 9, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic) I WANT TO READ THIS SO BAD.


message 3: by Miriam (new) - added it

Miriam Joy I need to get hold of this. It's not out yet here -- comes out at the beginning of February I think. I'm going to buy it when it does though :)


message 5: by Zoe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoe So I take it I should read this? ;) Haha...who am I kidding. I requested it from the library the moment you gave it five stars. Hopefully our bookish twinness strikes with this one! *crosses fingers* ;)

C.G. Drews @Miriam: I'm like 10000% sure you will like this.

@Emily: I DO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LIKE FAIRY TALES. Although I actually would classify it more of a faerie book, you know? Unless the horned boy is reminiscent of sleeping beauty?!

@Zoe: UM, YES!!! *flails* hehe....I'm not sure if our bookish twinness will strike for this one. *gasps and hides* Just because I feel like Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are a package deal. XD BUT YOU NEVER KNOW, RIGHT?!

message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy Lou So wait. This horned boy??? They're both in love with him??? Vaaaaaaat??? I vill not vead this.
Who am I kidding. WHERE IS MY COPY!!!

Olivia You guys are so right! I literally couldn't put I down and now that I'm done I'm overloaded with feels and I CANT HANDLE IT! THIS BOOK WAS SO FREAKING AMAZING!!!!!!!


booksneedcaffeinetoo I'm really glad that I listened to the audiobook because every time I read the words "horned boy" in your review my brain autocorrected (if that makes sense?) it to "horny boy". lol. I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face reading the book!!!

Amanda McMahan Nice, review :).

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