The Darkest Part of the Forest
Little, Brown and Company, 2015
Hazel lives with her non-attentive parents and big brother Ben in a town where fairies and monsters coexist with humans. It is a place where the town residents are usually safe but tourists and outsiders are fair game for all sorts of mean fey. Growing up Hazel fancied herself a knight and together with Ben’s musical talents they fought monsters in the forest. In the middle of the forest lies a glass coffin where a beautiful horned boy has slept for hundreds of years. One night he is awakened and seeks out the brother and sister to fulfill his destiny.
• Hazel, a reckless teenager, wakes up one morning to find herself covered in mud and sticks with glass in her fingers. When she gets to school that morning she finds out the latest gossip: the elf-boy asleep in the forest has either woken up or his body has been stolen because his glass coffin is destroyed.
• Ben, older brother to Hazel and a senior in high school, was touched by a fey woman when he was just a babe and was given the talent of being able to play music that could stop a monster in its tracks. But after a tragedy at school, he broke his own hand in such a way that he could never play music again.
• Sevrin, the horned prince in the glass coffin, both alluring and dangerous, weaves a terrifying story of sorrow, murder and a hope for redemption to Ben, who falls tragically in love with him.
• Jack, a changeling, fey by birth but brought up by human parents, is best friends with Ben and Hazel, leads Hazel to dangerous places where they both must confront their hidden selves – an each other.
• Alderking, the fey king with whom Hazel makes a bargain and must sacrifice 7 years of her life to him. Little does she know that 7 years lasts longer that she expected.
• The Monster at the Heart of the Forest, aka, Sorrow, aka Sorrel, a fey who married a mortal man but when he died she grieved so deeply that she became the embodiment of grief itself.
I enjoyed reading this book; the story moves along quickly and has just a touch of romance (which is about all I am able to tolerate) and the few violent scenes are necessary to the story but not overly graphic. As I was reading it I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. Of the two stories, I do prefer Wicked Lovely as that story-line grabbed my emotions and wrung them dry; whereas this story, while enjoyable, did not engage my feelings at all. Also, I am always disappointed when an author spends two- or three-hundred pages building a story only to have it resolved in the space of a few pages. I felt a little shortchanged because I had invested my time in reading the book and then, “wham-o” it’s all over. For those reasons I must give it a. . .
Rating of 3 out of 5 paws.
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge – Category: Read a Book Your Friend Recommends because our Auntie recommended it.