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The Treachery of Beautiful Things Hardcover – August 16, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-As a child Jenny saw her older brother Tom swallowed up by trees that came to life. At 17, she has struggled for years with what she saw. No one believed her story, her parents have withdrawn into sorrow for their missing son, and she is ostracized by her peers. When preparing to leave for university, Jenny decides to visit the spot of Tom's snatching, and while there she hears music, the kind only her prodigy of a brother could make, and she runs into the wood searching for him-despite her terror. The small stand of suburban trees becomes a gigantic forest as she runs, and Jenny finds herself trapped in Faerie. Full of gorgeous beauty, the realm also holds danger, treachery, and intrigue. Estranged King Oberon and Queen Titania both want Jenny for their own ends, and the creatures she meets on her quest to rescue Tom are not what they seem, especially the Guardian of the Edge, Jack, to whom Jenny is irresistibly drawn. He, too, finds her irresistible and wants to protect her, but he is already torn between two powerful feuding Courts. Also, Jenny unknowingly brings her own kind of power into Faerie-enough perhaps to change the balance of power and free not only her much-changed brother, but even to break the enchantments binding Jack. Vivid imagery brings the lush, dangerous world alive, and the story moves at a brisk pace. The immediate connection forged between Jenny and Jack will melt the hearts of romantic readers and have them rooting for the pair to overcome the impossible odds they face.-Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When Jenny was 10, her older brother, Tom, disappeared before her eyes into the forest near their English home. Seven years later, Jenny goes to the forest to say good-bye, and stumbles into the fairy realm, where she learns that Tom is being held captive in the Sidhe court. Jenny’s quest to reclaim her brother becomes a fight not only for her life, heart, and soul but also for Jack o’ the Forest, with whom Jenny is falling in love. Jenny attracts the attention of both the Summer Queen and the Winter King, and she becomes a pivot point in their courtly machinations. Led by her heart and purity of purpose, she discovers that there just might be a way to save not only Tom but herself and Jack as well. In her debut novel, Long has created a delicious and wonderfully romantic meld of several legends and fairy tales, including elements of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the ballad of Tam Lin, with plenty of action mixed in. Lyrical prose, along with highly imaginative and descriptive phrasing, makes the forest setting—and its creatures and people—immediately present and sparked with magic. Grades 7-12. --Charli Osborne

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books; No Edition Stated edition (August 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803735804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803735804
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Frances Long writes young adult fantasy such as The Treachery of Beautiful Things (Dial, 2012) and A Crack in Everything (O'Brien Press, September 2014), the first in a trilogy set in the world of demons, angels and fairies that exists alongside our own in modern day Dublin. The second book in the series is A Hollow in the Hills.

As R. F. Long she writes fantasy & paranormal romance such as The Scroll Thief (Samhain, 2009) and The Mirror of her Power (Taliesin, 2014). She lives in Ireland and works in a library of rare, unusual & occasionally crazy books.

She is represented by Sallyanne Sweeney of Mulcahy Associates.

Twitter: @RFLong
Tumblr: RFLong

A Crack in Everything (
"...a smart, modern and entertaining read which will appeal to Fantasy fans young and old." (

The Treachery of Beautiful Things
"Entrapment in a faerie forest has never been so delectable...A worthy, memorable read (with movie potential)."
(Kirkus Reviews )

"A dazzle of strange creatures, unknowable motives, and threat....Each scene is vividly, often horrifically imagined."
(Publishers Weekly )

"A heady atmosphere of folk tales, suspenseful terror, and passionate romance."

Starred Review - "Lyrical prose, along with highly imaginative and descriptive phrasing, makes the forest setting--and its creatures and people--immediately present and sparked with magic. " (Booklist 15th September issue)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dark Faerie Tales on August 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A girl gets thrown into a fantasy world of faeries and has to fight for love and freedom.

Opening Sentence: The streetlights flickered on outside the window and Jenny looked up from her book.

The Review:

FAERIES!!!! My favorite subject in the world of Young Adult Fiction. But not the Tinker Bell type fairies, but evil, beautiful, scheming faeries from ancient folklore. So this makes me a tad biased in how the book was. But even if it didn't have faeries, for creativeness alone, this book is soooo amazing.

After 7 years of psychiatrists and reproachful looks, Jenny has finally decided to move on with her life and say good-bye to her kidnapped brother. So after 7 years of being told that what she saw that night wasn't real, she is stunned to find out that there's still hope for finding her brother and putting things right again. But it's not as easy as she thinks. She has to get past Jack, the guardian of the Edge (where the real world and the Realm collide). He has so many allegiances to the rulers that his loyalty to her is swayed almost constantly. But Jack knows something Jenny doesn't know...she's the May Queen and the next possible leader of the Realm. With Titania/Mab hunting her down and Oberon trying to make her his queen, Jenny Wren has little hope for a future with Jack...but hope is the one thing that's impossible to let go.

So, as I said before, this is a book about Faeries. But it's also a rendition of Snow White (that's becoming popular nowadays). Although the Snow White plot is small, it's still cute and original. Every time a characteristic of Snow White's story unfolded, I was all "aww's" and "oo's" (as you can see, I am also a sucker for retold fairy tales). AND!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By SarahS. on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Seven years has passed since Jenny's brother, Tom, was swallowed whole by the trees. Gone but not forgotten, Jenny returns to the forest for a final closure. The forest calls out to her, with the sound of a flute, his music, and the sound pulls her deep into the forest and she soon finds herself in a place where all is not what it seems. The World of the Faerie Realm.

She meets Jack, the Guardian of the Edge, a mysterious and handsome boy who promises to help her find Tom. Along with Puck, Robin Goodfellow, they must embark on a dangerous journey to save her brother without losing themselves in the process.

The story is magical, enchanting and beautiful written. The cover is beautiful. The Treachery of Beautiful Things shows you just how treacherous beautiful things can be!

For those who liked:
The Iron Witch series
The Iron Fey series

A special thanks to Penguin Young Readers Group and NetGalley for providing a review copy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christina (Ensconced in Lit) on December 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I saw this book mentioned on several people's TBR lists, so I added it to mine. I award this book 3.5 stars.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things (which by the way, I think the title is one of the strongest points of the book-- love it!) by Ruth Frances Long is about Jenny, a girl who has lost her older brother, Tom, a long seven years ago, when the woods ate him. No one believes her, and after many psychiatrists, she has just stopped talking about it. Then one day, she hears Tom play his flute and follows it into the woods, where she has dreaded to set foot in for so long. She meets Jack, a mysterious Guardian, and Puck, his small friend, and she undertakes a very dangerous journey to save her long lost brother.

There are some really wonderful things about this book. The writing is very beautiful and I can imagine this Faery like land. Jenny is a likeable heroine, and Jack is fun love interest. I really loved the ending, which caused me to round this up to 4 stars.

That said, I had some major issues with this book as well. The middle drags a lot as we are waiting for things to happen. There are a lack of plot twists, and a large amount of time is spent on watching Jenny bumble around the forest. While beautifully described, I had to sometimes push forward to get to the end.

That said, I think that Long has promise as a writer, and I think she can only improve from here on out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book was not what I was expecting, but it was still very interesting. Parts of the book were violent or creepy, and I did not enjoy that. For the most part though, this was a very enchanting book. The world they were in was magical (even if it was dangerous) and I can imagine how gorgeous it was.

I plot was great, and always kept me on my toes. I would think I had it figured out, and then something else would happen that through me off. I really enjoyed that about this book. There was not as much about her brother as I thought there would be though. He was brought up multiple times throughout the book, but he was only actually in the story for the last part of the book. I wished he could have played a slightly bigger role, instead of just always knowing he is there. The love between Jenny and Jack was definitely my favorite part of the story. Together, they overcame so much. It really was magical.

I received this book for free in return for an honest review.
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