We have reached the penultimate section of this book, and the danger has (quite literally) come home for our would-be heroes. Not to mention, some deep dark secrets have begun coming to light…
Let’s discuss The Darkest Part of the Forest, with questions courtesy of the ever wonderful Mayri at The Bookforager!
Our Knight and her company have encountered the monster from the heart of the woods and learnt her stories. Thoughts? Feelings?
Sorrel has the worst father. But then, don’t all fairytale daughters?
And don’t think I’m excusing Severin’s part in what happened to her, but at least he recognises now that what murdering her husband for being mortal (and also a bit of an ass, but again, men in fairytales…). Somehow I don’t think Dear Old Dad will have as easy a time seeing the error of his ways – and it took Severin being imprisoned in a glass coffin for him to reflect hard enough for that.
Ben’s method of calming her down was really something, though. Oh, Ben.
“You always knew this was real, didn’t you? … How can you stand it?” Let’s talk a bit more about that “double consciousness” hmm?
Yes, let’s. Because apparently I am not done having opinions on the townsfolk here! It’s interesting to get something of an outsider perspective on life in Fairfold, where someone who is seemingly more able to disbelieve has their eyes opened and, naturally, her first question concerns the sanity of those who have lived that way all along. I honestly don’t believe it’s possible to be so constantly aware of the dangers that permeate your world, your existence, and not be mentally affected by it to one degree or another. I mean. *Gestures at the entire real world right now*
The people of Fairfold are doing their damnedest not to be, though, and the real trouble for them quite literally begins during a town meeting where they’re deciding that throwing someone else’s son under the bus is going to somehow miraculously solve all their problems. Because insular, ignorant people will always insulate and ignore. It is painfully, painfully real.
There’s no way for me to talk about this without ranting, apparently. So I’ll leave this one there. But, yeah. I’ve got no sympathy for anyone except Jack’s parents in that scenario.
We need to talk about Jack, like, right now! How do you feel about his position in Fairfold? Care to make any predictions about how his story might wrap up? (Do you think Jack can have a happy ending?)
I could happily read an entire book about Jack. His situation is not a pleasant one at all, and very little of it is of his own making. Perhaps he could have chosen not to go to the revels and shut that part of himself away to be Normal, but I don’t think he should ever have had to. Maybe he doesn’t fully belong among the Fae any more than he fits in in Fairfold, but the struggle to accept conflicting aspects of your life and/or your nature will always be a real one.
As for predictions, nah. I know too much. I shall wait and see what happens when the rest of those bombs drop… *Cackle*
Be careful what you wish for! Hazel IS a knight, just as she always dreamed. And it looks like Ben’s dreams might be coming true too, regards a certain pretty prince. Let’s discuss wish fulfillment and the Folk.
Well, let’s be real. Anyone who knows anything about how fairytales go should know to always be careful what you wish for. Indeed, the irony of Hazel dreaming as a child of growing up to be a knight by going on a quest to slay monsters, and becoming a young adult who is knighted by the monsters she wants to slay, is too dark and delicious and I am eating it up as much now as I did the first time around.
As for Ben and Severin … I have a relatively minor quibble about Ben just assuming that Hazel is “destined for him” and that she’d learn to love him eventually because “that’s how fairytales work” … Ben, maybe listen to yourself there? Your misogyny is showing, son.
But that is a minor quibble, because at the same time Ben is undermining his own worth, as someone who is brave and worthy of being loved. He confesses all his secrets to Severin in his glass coffin because that made it safe for him; the prince was never going to wake up, so he’d never have to really truly confess, right? And besides, clearly the prince is meant to be with Hazel. He gave up the heroic quest, so obviously he’s no hero like she is, right?
It’s as much because of a lack of self-confidence as it is a case of Ben thinking so highly of his sister that he can’t see her clearly – which is what made the moment where he witnesses her breaking down so noteworthy, not to mention heartbreaking. Hazel is not as unbreakable as Ben thinks, and that’s OK. Neither is Ben, and that’s also OK. They both still deserve to have what your heart really desires, and their hearts are in the right place no matter where their messed up heads are at.
Can you tell I love them? Because I love them. My messy darlings.
Whew. That’s it from me for now, but here’s where everyone else is at! (Links to be added as they go live.)
Week 1: A Dance With Books (Annemieke’s posts covers both Readalongs) | Book Nook Reviews | The Bookforager | The Green Tea Librarian | Peat Long | Where Stories Lie | Pages & Procrastination | Dear Geek Place
… And I’ll be back in the hosting seat next week for the finale. Can’t wait!