This book is based in a quaint town called Fairfold which is like your regular town except that deep in the forest the Fairies who are controlled by the Alder King live. The people that live in the town are protected from the fairies by paying tributes or completing special rituals to protect themselves. It is usually tourists that fall prey to the Fair folk as they don't know how to protect themselves from the Fairies. The Tourists come to the town to see the horned boy who sleeps in a glass coffin in a clearing in the forest. Nothing has been able to wake the Horned boy.
Hazel and her brother are fascinated boy and he features in many of their childhood games. When the Horned boy wakes up things go from strange to scary for the people of Fairfold and Hazel and her friends are on hand to try and sort things out.
I liked a good half of the characters in this book. There was a character for everyone to connect with and I think that the relationships that are formed are not only adorable but also quite surprising. The relationship that is formed between Hazel and Jack is may favourite because they support each others weirdness and make each other stronger. I like that Holly Black has not relied on a mushy romance in this book and has instead made each character an individual who may or may not be in love rather than the other way round. I was also impressed with the way the story expressed the relationship between Ben and Hazel, as kids they had been through a lot and it was clearly tough so they were a tough pair and they loved each other but there was also a bit of jealousy and rivalry mixed in with the nicer emotions which for me made this relationship much more realistic and believable.
Well they were not your Tinkerbell kind of fairy I will tell you that. The Folk in this book were gruesome and pretty ugly. They are not just mischievous but down right wicked. I think Holly Black was very creative with her descriptions and her characters.
I liked this book quite a bit but it isn't my favourite fairy book. I think that the plot is new and interesting, there are many aspects of this book that I have not come across in YA books before so I would recommend this to anyone who has quite a good imagination.
You can find the first 7 chapters of this book on goodreads at the moment.
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