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 pointed 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, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
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I just… I can’t… I really want to write this review. Honestly, I do. But I can’t actually formulate words. I read this on March 6th, and usually I write my reviews pretty soon. Especially if it’s good. This wasn’t good – this was AMAZING. It’s my first 5 star book in forever. And I can’t even form words to tell you why I love it. But, for your sakes, I’ll give it a go.
Let’s start with Fairfold. Fairfold is a nice, seemingly perfect little town. Only there are FAERIES. Not nice, pretty ones like you find it books when you’re a little kid. Scary ones. Ones that kidnap children, and force you into dancing for the rest of eternity. They’re evil, and I love that. Fairfold is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. I’m not sure if that’s because they have to be close to protect themselves, or if it’s just one of those towns. It’s so dangerous, but it’s somewhere I’d love to live because of how close they all are. They deny what’s going on with the faeries, even though it’s happening right in front of them. Throughout the book, they get more and more dangerous. It makes the book so stressful, but it’s the town’s reaction that makes you really realise the extremity of what’s happening. They deny it, and ignore it, and let people die and get kidnapped. How can you be that stupid? They just don’t see it as a big deal, because they’re used to danger.
Hazel is a pretty great main character. Usually, I hate main characters (Celaena from Throne of Glass being the exception). Of course, she did stupid things. She’s a main character, she has to! She did things like break the obvious rules to protect yourself from faeries – doesn’t everyone know not to thank them?!? And you never, EVER eat food one of them has given you. Okay, yes, she was tricked into it. But still. Come on, Hazel! Despite her slight stupidity, she was pretty cool. I loved the relationship between her and her brother, Ben. They protected each other, and they got on so well. I liked the development of that secret between them. Obviously, I wanted to know what had happened STRAIGHT AWAY. But Black built up suspense, and slipped in little clues. She didn’t tell us what had happened until the very end.
I can’t do this review without mentioning the horned boy. He had a name, but to me (and to Hazel and Ben) he was the horned boy. He was creepy, and sort of evil, but amazing. Both Hazel and Ben were in love with him, but there wasn’t really a romance there. The horned boy lived in a glass coffin for as long as anyone could remember. For years, they’d thrown parties there, and danced on his coffin, and talked to him. In Ben’s case, he visited him every day and talked to him. So when the horned boy comes out the coffin… Well, let’s just say the conversations between him and Ben were very interesting. The horned boy knew EVERYTHING about Ben, and quite a bit about Hazel. That gave him power, and that power was what made him especially interesting. The only thing I’m not sure about is if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. Even now, when I’ve finished the book. I just can’t tell.
This is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Maybe, possibly, ever. I can’t think of a single flaw. I highly recommend this. Mostly for people who like fantasy. But if you don’t like it, start now!