The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Challenge #3 ~ A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominee)


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I never really planned to pick this book for this challenge, but I’m so glad I did. Through a series of careful planning for next year, extremely long waiting lists at libraries and sheer bad luck, I had to discard four other titles from this challenge, ending up with The Darkest Part of the Forest. I then devoured it in just under two days, and was very glad that luck had it that way. The Darkest Part of the Forest was really just what I needed, as a classic but totally different fantasy book, which was a nice change from the mystery, non-fiction and what-do-you-call-The-Raven-Cycle? reads that I’ve been working my way through recently.

Obviously as a Goodreads Choice Award nominee, The Darkest Part of the Forest was going to be phenomenal, but I’ve had so many cases where shortlisted books don’t meet the grade that I was a little hesitant. I’m happy to say it more than met the grade. From the early chapters I really felt Black’s portrayal of the sibling dynamics, and as a reader my emotions were fully aligned with those of the characters. I may not be that much in the know on fey or faerie tales, but I found that the novel was wholly accessible to me, hooking me in for further fey stories (especially if they employ a writing style as great as Black’s!)

Regarding the novel as a whole, it’s almost as if Black took my favourite segments from a whole host of books and blended them together into one work. It gave a terrific final piece, with relatable characters, a greatly managed atmosphere, some killer suspense and those twists and turns that add vibrancy to the storyline. I’ll admit at times that I did get a little confused between Carter and Jack (and which one was fey), but that’s probably more down to how fast I read it more than anything else. A book I truly loved, that has enamoured me both towards Holly Black and fey fantasy novels.


Recommended for fans of:

  • The Iron King by Julia Kagawa
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • The Ragwitch by Garth Nix

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