Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Ruth Frances Long

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own. Goodreads

I absolutely loved that this was a very traditional faerie story. All but a few pages take place in the Other Realm, and there is so much magic you can feel it jumping off the page. Since it was so traditional, a few of the dangers and Jenny's mistakes are obvious, which did take away from the suspense for me. But at the same time, sticking so close to the roots of faerie lore reminded me why I love the genre so much. Speaking of roots, I did find the greenman aspect very interesting, possibly because I'm doing a little research on that myself.

      I really liked Jenny as a main character. Even though the story is written in third person, we really get a feel of the torment she went through the seven years after Tom was taken. Her fear, her pain, and her growth as a character are beautifully done. 

     Although I thought Jenny's outbursts of anger toward Jack were a bit overdone, I did understand her love/hate feelings toward him. Jack is a strong character in his own right. His impossible loyalties push him passed the breaking point, and he has to re-learn who he thought he was.

    My only compliant, and this is totally a personal preference, is that the descriptions got to be a bit much. There were times that I felt so caught up in the bright, the shiny, the beautiful, that I lost the rhythm of the story. But, given the title, maybe that was the point. This was definitely a traditional faerie tale that I would recommend to all fans of the genre, and to those who are looking for something refreshing to fall in love with.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

YA notes: None

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