The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Young adult: modern fairytale, romance
August 2014; Hachette Australia
Add to Goodreads / Booktopia / Bookworld / find your local indie

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?

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a lush, impeccably imagined modern fairy tale. Holly Black’s prose are radiant in this creatively reimagined gender-swapped adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, and her faerie lore deftly fashioned. Hazel is an eternally endearing heroine, yearning for the golden days of her childhood adventures with her brother. The sexual tension between Hazel and Jack is delicious, and each of the primary characters is imbued with an enticing sense of longing that drew me to each of them.

My single complaint is that Darkest Part is a standalone, and I wasn’t ready to leave the forest. But there’s a Holly Black has a new faerie trilogy on the horizon, and in the meantime, I’ll be coming for her early Modern Faerie Tales series.

Enchanting and moreish, this is a novel I finished and immediately reread. I wanted to live in this world forever.

If my gushing hasn't convince you to pick up a copy of The Darkest Part of the Forest as soon as possibly, I'll let its delightfully creepy book trailer do it for you:

posted on


  1. This is on my TO READ list! I want to get it read before the Holly Black event in Brisbane on the weekend! So glad to hear you loved it! New follower :D

    1. Glad to hear it Brittany! I literally cannot recommend this book enough - I hope you enjoy! Enjoy the Holly event! She's so charming!

  2. Nice article, thank you for the sharing