Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: 15th January 2015 from Orion.
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.
This is my first novel from Holly Black – although I have heard good things about “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” – and I loved it. A beautifully twisted fairy tale, easily readable and intriguing for the young and old alike (not THAT young, this is not for children!) and the author has a beautiful turn of phrase and descriptive way of writing that draws you in.
I really liked how it was seemingly set in the modern world, although that is not specific, yet feels like you are in some far off land where everything is magical. In a lot of ways Ben and Hazel live a mundane life but there is nothing mundane about the place in which they live, nor, upon closer inspection, are they your standard teenagers. The drawing of a line between typical teenage behaviour (kissing boys, parties, school and friends) and the external pressure that comes with living in Fairfold (the boy in the casket in the woods, the need to be careful what you wish for) is so cleverly written that the whole thing feels as real as you like.
In a lot of ways it is a story about growing up and the responsibilites this brings, set in a world where normal behaviour can have abnormal consequences – it is very well drawn, all the characters are elegantly written, the tale weaves itself out of the various myths and legends that surround us, I really did find it highly enjoyable on every level.
Overall then a terrific book – it has certainly encouraged me to try more from Holly Black and I would recommend it for Young Adults and Adults who have a love of the mythological.
Happy Reading Folks!