The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is the first book in the new, young adult, fantasy trilogy. The moment I heard about this book, it became one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. I ordered my first Owlcrate subscription box and received an exclusive cover edition of The Hazel Wood. I was so happy!
Months later, my excitement abated a bit, but I still wanted to read the book. When I found out that Rebecca Soler narrates the audiobook version, I immediately ordered it from Audible.
I started reading this book and fell in love with the writing style immediately. I loved it so much that after reading 20 pages of a library book, I went and purchased my own copy. Because I knew that this book would become one of my favourite reads of this year.
It is a stand alone YA novel based on folklore/fairy tales. Seeing how tightly the world of fairies is tied to the real world, I am almost tempted to call it magical realism and not fantasy.
It is the very first book I have ever read by Holly Black and, oh boy, did she exceed all of my expectations.
There is a boy and a girl, who live in a small town. There is a forest where fairies live. A girl used to slay monsters, a boy used to tame them with his magical music. There is a horned boy sleeping in a glass coffin. There is a some evil threatening to hurt everyone. And there is someone leaving obscure clues to our characters.
I am bad at summaries but the story is a whimsical action packed narration that gave me everything I could have dreamed of: a strong female lead, lost children trope, magic, one or two broken hearts, lots of monsters, and queer themes.
I wish I could write a more coherent review (the one in which I don’t squee and gush and yell at people to read this book).
I am very glad that it is a stand alone novel, as the market right now seems to be oversaturated with book series, but at the same time I wish I could spend more time in the universe.
Can’t really talk about the ending as it would a spoiler. But you have to read it! It is wonderful!