Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fantastic Fairy-tales - The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Published: January 13th, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

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 pointed 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, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

No-one does faerie stories quite like Holly Black!

Faeries are real in Fairfold and Hazel and her brother Ben are up to their ears in Faerie troubles, even if they don't know it.  Ms Black pulls on several well known fairy tales - Sleeping Beauty being the most obvious - in this modern tale of fae and human interactions.  I could just picture Hazel and Ben as kids, with their pretend costumes and swords, trying to save the sleeping faerie prince.

There are some intriguing twists and false leads in the story, so that the reader is almost at as much of a loss as the characters to know what is going on, and there is enough mystery and adventure to keep most people happy, and just enough romance too, although some of it might surprise you - not quite the usual 'happily ever after'.

This was fun and quick to read and if you like your faerie (fairy - what is the difference?) tales with a modern slant I'm sure you'll enjoy this one.

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