Book Review: ‘The Darkest Part of the Forest’ earns 4.5 stars


Photo taken by Olivia Deslandes

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is a young adult, urban fantasy novel. The protagonist, Hazel, lives in Fairfold, a magical town where fairies come out to play.  Hazel and her brother have been enchanted with a horned prince who sleeps in a glass coffin deep in the forest since they were little. They tell stories about him, talk to him, go on quests in his honor as the courageous knight and magical musician, all in hopes to wake him. Years later, Hazel must become a knight once again when the horned prince wakes from his coffin.                                                                                                        

I would rate this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars, on account of the fascinating and powerful characters, whimsical writing and, thrilling twists. The story feels relatable, and even realistic with the magic and fantasy aspects. The setting of Fairfold, and the magical world, is very vivid and detailed. Yet, I think the characters, every single one of them being complex, three-dimensional, and believable, were my absolute favorite part. Hazel, for example, is not only selfless, but secretive and courageous.Within the first couple lines of each character’s introduction I was hooked. It is beautifully written and, for the most part, a good read.                       

    Although it was overall pleasant, the first 100 pages are slow, but afterwards, it becomes a never ending roller coaster. However, my major problem is toward the end of the book is that important things are skimmed or entirely skipped over. I know a lot of this was apart of the story but all of these sections were action scenes. It seemed the author was afraid to write action scenes and in all of the book’s 336 pages, with a knight for a protagonist, there was only one fighting scene.
   Overall, it was a great book that I would recommend to anyone to read. I don’t particularly like fairies or fantasy novels, but what sets The Darkest Part of the Forest apart from other fantasy novel is its setting in present day. This book is also a good introduction to fantasy without the commitment of a long book series. Again, The Darkest Part of the Forest is a great novel with fantastic characters and an imaginative plot that anyone, and everyone, should read.

Olivia Deslandes–Staff Writer

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