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The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest

By Holly Black

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Responsibility

Grades: 7-12


Listen to interview with author Watch Booklist Myth Masters webinar Educator Guide


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 pointy 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 and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?



★ “Terrific…  Black is in fine form here.” –VOYA, starred review


★ “Black returns here to the dark faery realm that spurred her initial success, and if anything, she’s only gotten better, writing with an elegant, economical precision and wringing searing emotional resonance from the simplest of sentences…  [C]aptivating…” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review


“Expertly weaving fairy-tale magic into a contemporary setting, Black slowly reveals Hazel’s mysterious involvement with the fairy court and her heroic role in setting the prince free…  Black’s stark, eerie tone; propulsive pacing; and fulsome world building will certainly delight her legion of fans.” –Booklist


“Black blends magic with the ordinary world deftly and believably…  Her empathetic protagonists are familiar in their vulnerability but compelling in their bravery. Rich descriptions of beautiful but terrible creatures and the thorny briar circling a fairy mound draw readers in to the vividly conjured world.” – The Horn Book