Hazel and her brother Ben live a small town that edges up against the land of the fairies. As children they were the best of friends, often going off on dangerous adventures in the woods together taking down monsters in a badass brother/sister duo where the brother is the musician who stuns the wild creatures and Hazel, who is the knight who slays the beasts. But even as children, Ben realizes the danger the two of them are in and wants to quit before they get hurt. Hazel does not and this decision will have lasting effects as well as an underlying strain on their once very close relationship.
In Fairfold, people are used to strange things happening. It’s not odd to ward off evil using talismans, leaving tributes of milk outside their doors and raising their children to respect the power of the fae. Deep within the forest sleeps a fairy prince with long curling horns in a glass casket. No one is quite sure how he got there, nor do they know how to get him out. The teenagers of Fairfold often pay tribute to this prince by throwing wild parties and attempting to entice him out of his slumber with secrets, drunken dances and just about anything…but nothing works–until the day that Hazel wakes up with muddy feet and glass splinters in her hand and no knowledge of what happened while she slept.
The raising of the prince, the sorrow of the prince’s sister, the attraction between Jack (the young changeling who was raised by humans) and Hazel, Hazel’s secret and the push of the Alderking for absolute power all coalesce creating complicated problems that are seemingly inextricable. If there’s any hope, it lies within Hazel. Can she save everyone, while recognizing why she doesn’t care if she doesn’t save herself?
I liked the idea of this book, far more than I actually liked the book. I still like the idea of the book but I feel like I was missing something and I guess I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a quick read, but the plot felt rushed at times and prolonged at others. Things that were supposed to be major plot points were downplayed, and some points had more page time than I personally thought they deserved. I will read more Holly Black (this is my first from her) because it was still an enjoyable read, just not a good as I wanted it to be.