I’ve been a fan of fantasy books since I was a kid. While I admit a certain fondness for high fantasy stories featuring princesses, castles, and unicorns, I have a special place in my heart for the stories where fantasy and reality blur. Because (of course) those kinds of stories were more likely to really happen to me!
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is an awesome fantasy story set in modern day featuring some characters that feel like they just stepped out of a fairy tale and others who feel like your childhood friends or the kid you used to be. And because I always like books that cross genres because then I can use different hooks to appeal to different readers, I should also mention that this story blends fantasy with adventure and suspense AND it also features numerous romantic angles!
The town of Fairfold seems like a modern place that fits into the 21st century. But the town has very old roots, and those roots are filled with magic. Most of the magic is invisible, but there’s one magical thing in the town that you CAN see.
That magical thing is a boy — a very unusual boy. And tourists will come from miles around just to see him. This boy has horns on his head and pointed ears, but other than that he looks human. The boy is lying in a glass coffin in the woods. It’s a very special coffin, because it can’t be opened and it can’t be broken. The boy appears to be asleep … at least, no one’s ever seen him open his eyes. And there’s one more unusual thing about the magical boy. Even though he’s been there for as long as anyone can remember, he never gets any older.
Hazel and her brother Ben grew up in the town of Fairfold, so they both spent a lot of time hanging out in the woods and visiting the magical boy. Like generations of kids before them, they’ve spent time talking to him and wishing he would wake up. Hazel and Ben have seen pictures of the magical boy from years ago. And in every picture he looked EXACTLY the same.
Hazel and Ben don’t know it yet, but the town of Fairfold is about to go through some major changes. And one of those changes is that the magical boy is going to wake up.