I remember reading Holly Black’s novels as a child and loving them. They had so much adventure and mystique about them that it’d be hard as a twelve year old to put them down. It was quite the same with this novel as well. This novel had something new mixed into the fairy tales we were told as kids. This one is kind of like a twisted combination of Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel. It’s twisted in a way that I found highly enjoyable, even more so because it’s a fairy tale novel. Perhaps that’s why I’m particularly fond of this novel.
In this novel the two main characters are Hazel and Ben. When Ben was younger he was cursed/blessed by the fae with the gift of Music. He can play songs that would make a grown man weep and the saddest person cry out in joy. They’re so beautiful that to him their hauntingly beautiful. Ben used to play songs that stop evil in their tracks, so that Hazel would have time to slay them. Ben and Hazel were a team when they were younger. They used to hunt down the fae that would kill people, so that they felt like they were saving the town. However, Ben messed up at one point and it almost cost Hazel her life. From then on Ben swore that he’d be a better musician before they hunted again. Although for Hazel the hunting had never stopped. After making up stories about protecting their Prince all Hazel wanted to do was to be a knight. So when the hunting had to stop she made a bargain with the fae. She would give them seven years of her life if they make her brother a better musician. They held up to their end of the deal and so did Hazel. By day she’s Hazel Evans and by night she’s known to the fae as Sir Hazel. She’s living a double life that even she’s not aware of. That is, until the day that the sleeping boy in the glass coffin wakes up. The sleeping boy has caused something to happen. Something that’s making the town and the fae go crazy. They are starting to go after the citizens, which hasn’t happened in years. This forces Hazel and Ben to action and it could very well be the end of them because of it.
If you think about it a bit this novel is almost a few different fairy tales all in one novel. Making this an interesting young adult novel. It has a few different ideas and aspects in it making it even more interesting as well. However, there are a few sections where it gets really confusing because of it. That’s because it’s more information than your brain can deal with all at once. It has to be taken apart in pieces and reread again. Which most readers don’t like to do, but they may make an exception for this novel. This really is quite an interesting novel about the fae and I recommend that it at least be given a try. Because this novel could go either way with readers, they’ll either love it or hate it, but it’s still a good one to me.
*Read on March 5th, 2016