By: Fayetta Doll, Staff Reporter
“Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill monsters and feel quite proud of themselves.”
Truer words have never been spoken as these that were found on the back of “The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black. This book is phenomenal.
“The Darkest Part of the Forest” blends mild horror with faeries in a way that only Black can do. Black—the faerie queen, as her fans have dubbed her—uses mental health and magic to formulate a villain who isn’t really a villain and heroes who have to learn how to take care of themselves.
Black establishes the villain within the first handful of pages with the lines “Townsfolk knew to fear the monster coiled in the heart of the forest, who lured tourists with a cry that sounded like a woman weeping. Its fingers were sticks, its hair moss. It fed on sorrow and sowed corruption. You could lure it out with a singsong chant, the kind girls dare one another to say at birthday sleepovers.”
That singsong chant is as follows, “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.”
This monster makes victims cry tears of moss, it sews grief and weeps for a lost love that was taken from it. Wonder what that means, huh? It’s truly some lovely imagery shared within these pages.
The best thing about this book are the faeries. Granted, I’m kind of obsessed with faeries (side note: the first book I ever read about faeries was “Tithe” by Holly Black, a book that helped sew my adoration) and my idea of a beautiful description and death-dropping imagery involves, primarily, fae-like descriptions. Black has those in spades.
Another amazing thing about this book are the characters. Hazel, for one, is fantastic. Her brother Ben, is breathtaking. Severin, the faerie prince with horns … needless to say, he’s the best character.
This book is full of romance. Oh lord, the romance. Did someone say they needed a bisexual faerie prince? Oh wait, that was me? You’re right, I did need that. And we got it in Severin.
Now, prepare for briefspoilers as I’m about to quote the final passage of the book. It’s too amazing to not include:
“And elsewhere in the woods, there is another party, one taking place inside a hollow hill, full of night-blooming flowers. There, a pale boy plays a fiddle with newly mended fingers while his sister dances with his best friend. There, a monster whirls about, branches waving in time with the music. There, a prince of the Folk takes up the mantle of king, embracing a changeling like a bother, and, with a human boy at his side, names a girl his champion.”
I just—I can’t. I cried, OK, I cried.
Read this book.
I give it 10 out of 10 flowers.