The realm of young adult fantasy is one that has seen an absolute boom over the past decade.
Such novels have become incredibly popular with readers across the world, and even adults find themselves enjoying them on a regular basis.
One of the most popular young adult fantasy novels is The Darkest Part Of The Forest by Holly Black, a story that centers on Hazel and Ben, two siblings living in a world populated by both humans and fairies.
The two are both drawn to a mysterious glass coffin found deep within the woods, in which rests a boy with horns who the two fall deeply in love with. Years later, when the boy awakens, it shakes up their lives forever.
This novel depicts these exciting events.
However, you are here now because you want to find a story that will satisfy you in the same way, right? You’re in the right place!
If you loved The Darkest Part Of The Forest, and you want a story that will satisfy you to the same degree, then you should look no further than books such as Wicked Lovely, and Tithe, as well as other books we are going to explore in detail!
Themes In The Darkest Part Of The Forest
The Darkest Part Of The Forest has become incredibly beloved thanks to its willingness to touch on themes and ideas that many young adult fantasy novels (If you liked this, also check out Books Like In Other Lands and other similar titles) have shied away from.
One of the most inviting themes that The Darkest Part Of The Forest has explored is LGBT romance.
One of the central romantic subplots touches on LGBT themes, which has helped to make this one of the most progressive and forward-thinking modern fantasy novels, a position that has won the book a massive audience.
The story is also deeply entrenched in romance and touches on all kinds of themes and ideas around it.
It is remarkably nuanced and willing to explore the concept of love in a way that is true to life, despite being depicted in a realm that is richly fantastical.
The story also has elements of paranormal fantasy, with spirits, ghosts, and all kinds of paranormal magic. This means that fans of high fantasy will easily be pleased by the book and the many characters depicted within (If you like high fantasy, check out books like Eragon and other books like it here)!
Finally, we also have to mention the themes of identity that the book explores.
As the story moves on, we learn more and more about the central characters, as well as how they view themselves, and how they are perceived by others that populate its world.
If you found that one of the things that most drew you towards The Darkest Part Of The Forest was Holly Black’s immense writing and wonderful prose, then you will be very well served by Tithe, which takes place in a contemporary world that is populated by faeries of various kinds.
The story is focused on the central character of Kaye, a nomadic girl of sixteen years who journeys across the country with her Mom’s rock band.
When she and her mother are unwillingly forced to return home after an attack, Kaye soon finds herself encountering an injured faerie knight deep in the woods.
When Kaye chooses to help the faerie, part of a race that only Kaye and a few other humans can even see, she soon re-ignites an age-old conflict between two warring faerie clans. What ensues is chapter after chapter of gripping work.
- If you are a fan of Holly Black’s writing, then you will love one of her most popular novels.
- Easy to read.
- The story is a little too similar to ‘The Darkest Part’.
Themes: Morality, Love, Magic, War, Tradition.
This book is truly a revelation and depicts a number of themes and ideas that many fantasy stories have somehow neglected. The story describes Isobel, a prodigious artist renowned for her work.
Isobel’s clients are most commonly the Fair Folk, a race of people physically incapable of creating art without crumbling to dust.
When she is asked to depict the Fair Folk prince in her art, she soon finds herself in trouble, as the Fair Folk takes Umbrage with her depiction of him.
Rook, the Prince in question, kidnaps Isobel and brings her to his kingdom to repent for her artistic crimes.
However, as the politics of the Fair Folk nation grow more complex, Isobel and Rook soon find themselves fighting side-by-side to protect themselves, and slowly develop a blossoming romance.
This incredibly unique tale explores the value of art, and what it can tell us about the human (faerie) condition!
- Incredibly unique.
- Easy to read at only 320 pages.
- It takes some time for the story to kick into action.
Themes: Art, Love, Identity, Facade, Morality, War, Emotion.
This book is very commonly recommended to fans of Holly Black’s work, thanks to the author, Melissa Marr’s ability to create rich and lived-in fantasy worlds populated by intriguing characters.
The blurb of this book describes three very important rules about interacting with the world of faeries, each of which describes the many dangers of interacting with or drawing the attention of the faerie world.
However, in exciting fashion, these rules are very quickly broken, as our protagonist Keenan breaks them himself, and sees the consequences directly.
As Keenan breaks the rules, his love Aislinn finds her world changing completely as she fights back against the advances of Keenan.
What ensues, as a result of their intense relationship, is a story of romance, intrigue, and survival. We found ourselves having trouble putting the book down between sessions of reading, as it is simply that engaging.
Make sure to try out this book for yourself, and dedicate some time to exploring its rich and deep fantasy world!
- Features a richly detailed fantasy world.
- Involves the reader directly in the action.
- Some readers have noted disappointment with the ending.
Themes: Isolation, Romance, Love, Identity.
If you crave a little bit of romance from your contemporary fantasy fiction, then you will definitely want to give this incredible novel a read.
The story follows Liesl, a young girl of eighteen who has long been inspired by stories of the Goblin King, and the realm he rules over. These stories inspire her artistic ability to create amazing musical compositions.
But when her sister is kidnapped by the Goblin King, Liesl must come face to face with this world that she has only ever heard about in stories.
What Liesl discovers on her quest into the realm of the Goblin King changes her life for good, and she will not return from her journey as the same person.
Liesl must make countless tough choices in order to save her sister and change her own fate.
This story is incredibly gripping thanks to the character development that Liesl goes through, and how fully fleshed out she becomes. We couldn’t get enough of it.
- Features one of the best protagonists on this list.
- Great for readers aged 16 to 18,
- One of the more lengthy entries on this list at 464 pages.
Themes: Love, Fate, Sisterhood, Morality, Aging, Art.
To Wrap Up
There you have it! Though we were only able to explore a small number of books, we have no difficulty in stating that these are absolute must-reads for anyone that has ever enjoyed The Darkest Part Of The Forest.
If you loved Holly Black’s ability to create fantastical worlds filled with magical creatures, then you will love some of her other published works, as well as some of the other books by other authors that populate this list.
Make sure to give each of these books a try, as though they make for a great replacement for The Darkest Part Of The Forest they each have their own unique identities and stand apart from the crowd as fully-fledged masterpieces of contemporary fantasy fiction!
If you are a lover of fantasy worlds, amazing characters, and storylines that will take your breath away, then why not dive right into one of these books now? We promise you won’t regret it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Darkest Part Of The Forest A Romance?
Though The Darkest Part Of The Forest may not be specifically a romance story and is more likely to be described as fantasy, it does have many elements that make it a romantic story.
How Old Is Hazel In The Darkest Part Of The Forest?
The protagonist of The Darkest Part Of The Forest, Hazel, is around 16 years old in the main events of the story.
Is There A Second Book To The Darkest Part Of The Forest?
No. As of yet, there is not currently a sequel to The Darkest Part Of The Forest, and the original novel is largely a standalone novel.
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