The Darkest Part of the Forest

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9780316213073: The Darkest Part of the Forest

A girl makes a secret sacrifice to the faerie king in this lush New York Times bestselling fantasy by author Holly Black

In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives....
Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does....
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.
The Darkest Part of the Forest, is the bestselling author Holly Black's triumphant return to the opulent, enchanting faerie tales that launched her YA career.

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About the Author:

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children, including Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale and the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick series. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and the Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award. Holly lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library. Her website is www.blackholly.com.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 8 Up—Fairfold is no ordinary town. Its citizens live in uneasy détente with the surrounding forest's magical Folk. Like most residents, siblings Hazel and Ben fear and desire the magic that hovers just out of reach. The Fae gifted Ben with a supernatural musical ability that he cannot control. Hazel's own bargain with the Folk causes her many sleepless nights. Fairfold's fragile equilibrium tips when Hazel frees imprisoned Prince Severin, setting in motion a war with Severin's father, the Faerie king. Hazel and Ben will have to confront long-buried secrets if they want their town to survive. Once again, Black examines the intersection between self-reliance and guilt. Neither Hazel nor Ben nor Hazel's love interest, Jack, can combat the Faerie attack until they reveal their secret desires, often transformed and augmented by Folk magic. Black deeply embeds these conflicts in her story, but anecdotes and flashbacks pull readers away from present action, curiously slowing the pacing into a dreamlike holding pattern. Action scenes pepper the story, but the author's detailed world-building continually restrains the pace. Lush settings juxtapose the wild, alien nature of Faerie against the normalcy of mortal existence. Familiar tropes like Hazel's romance with changeling Jack and her conflict with the Faerie king will not surprise readers much, although Ben's crush on Prince Severin provides interest. While not Black's best, it is still better than most teen fantasy. Pair with the faster-paced "Modern Faerie Tales" (S. & S.), or, for a satisfying slow build and dense setting, try Robin McKinley's novels.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT

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Black, Holly
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