on August 17, 2012
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.
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! A bit of Norse mythology thrown cleverly in the mix.
The writing of the book is excellent. It has a wide variety of vocabulary (don't worry it's not the SATs) and great descriptions (but they don't overwhelm you so much that you skip them *guilty.*)
Some parts of the book had me a tad confused. Just more explaining would help. The 3rd person POV really helped tell the history of the Fae without going into too much detail, although this also made it confusing at parts because it wasn't explained all the way.
Although the book could have ended the way it was, I'm still hoping for a sequel. According to Long (I ran to twitter the instant I finished) a second book is still up in the air. So, we should beg Dial to turn Treachery into a series so we can have more Jack and Jenny!
FTC Advisory: Dial/Penguin provided me with a copy of The Treachery of Beautiful Things. No goody bags, sponsorships, "material connections," or bribes were exchanged for my review.
on December 16, 2012
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.
on August 16, 2012
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.
on August 16, 2012
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.
on August 19, 2012
When I look for a good book, I look for something that transports me from my world into the story. I want to get lost and whether the story is pretty or not, I want to feel like I'm a way from my world and in another. While reading The Treachery of Beautiful Things not only did I get fully immersed in another world, but I was reminded of the fairy tales I read as a child that weren't always so pretty, that had bad things happen in them to teach lessons and punish and sometimes just because. As I read, I remembered those old stories and was enchanted by fairy tales once again. These were the fairies I grew up with, not the ones that have been created by some of my favorite authors. These are the ones to be frightened of at night and when you walk in the woods alone.
Jenny and Tom, sister and brother are walking home from his flute lesson when Tom is literally snatched by the trees in Branley Copse when he was just fourteen and she was ten. It haunts her for years through countless psychiatrists and pills they try to convince her she didn't see what she saw. And her mother and father silently blame her, she thinks, wishing it were her instead of him. But, after she graduates from boarding school, she faces her fears and thinking she hears Tom playing his flute, she ventures into the woods. At once, she finds herself not in Branley Copse, but in a different world, the fairy world though she doesn't know it yet, and she learns the lesson of the treachery of beautiful things.
Such a befitting title. It conveys so many meanings. Jenny is caught up in a war between Titania and Oberon between Mab and Titania between the Oak King and Oberon between the Wild and the Tame, between the Fae and Human. It's a timeless war fought for centuries and the winners never seem to change. Jenny meets Puck who goes by many names and Jack, who also goes by many names, one very surprising to me. Jack guards the edge between the two worlds and it is his job to escort Jenny back to the edge to her world. But she wants to stay to find Tom. And Jack can't escort her at night. He has other duties at night. So misadventures begin and Jenny learns that she can't trust anyone. Jack does give her a few rules like don't eat anything except fruit or water so she won't become Fae. She remembers these rules and a few others as the story goes on to keep herself safe.
I found it a little hard to get into the rhythm of the writing but after a few chapters I began to fall right into the story. Jenny is smart and after an encounter with "beautiful things" that leaves her hurt, she is mistrusting of anyone and anything. She does find herself in need of rescuing a few times, but she's also the rescuer of more than one thing in the forest. She is the antithesis of all that is wrong in this Fairyland. Jack is described as mercurial and I'll agree to that, though there are reasons for it and I was just waiting for the full truth to be revealed.
Puck is Puck. He's a trickster, not to be trusted, sometimes to be trusted. a friend, a betrayer. He's just Puck, but how can you not like Puck? He was there when it counted the most and that's what mattered. Jenny knew not to trust him yet she did anyway because who else could she trust?
The Sidhe, the Queen's court, is as cold and unfeeling as Titania. The first we see of her is when she is trying to track the Piper, who we believe might be Tom, who has run away from her. He's to be the blood tithe in a few days time and they need to find him. When the tracker is unable to locate him, she gives him a head start then sends her hounds after him. The Sidhe courtiers, with Titania behind them, follow with glee as the hounds tear him to shreds.
This is a long story, almost four hundred pages, but any shorter and it would feel rushed. It has beautiful, lush imagery and dark adventure. The woods are alive and something is always watching them be it day or night as Jenny, Jack and Puck travel to find Tom. It's a great story and again, you'll get lost in the telling of it. There are creatures from all over the fairy lore, Kobolds, Nixies, Sprites, Goblins, Elves, Foletti, and Leczis. There's even a dragon.
It made for a beautiful fairy tale and one I won't soon forget. It isn't typical, it isn't a retelling as far as I know, but it was sure worth the reading. It was a savory read, not one I rushed through. I took three days to read it instead of one and I enjoyed each and every word. Definitely going on the special shelf.
Great for any lover of fairy tales, just not the sweet lovable fairies. This was a clean read though the protagonist is older, just graduated I think any YA lover of fantasy would enjoy it.
on March 30, 2016
Wow! I was definitely curious and hesitant to read this book. I'm an adult and after seeing the grade 7 suggested reading, I was expecting something more elementary. Wrong! Don't hesitate on this one. She doesn't dumb down vocabulary; great words for young adults to add to their own vocabulary. It's still a YA book. I'm actually excited to read it again because there were so many hints about destiny and symbolism along the way.
When I first started reading I was suprised to see a modern small town society. The mood shifts to fairytale when she enters the realm of the farie. Think mysterious and dangerous creatures, a seemingly hopeless romance, and an evil king & queen, bundled with a dangerous quest and oaths that must be fullfilled. Once there, she is surrounded in beauty and terror.
I wasn't sure how I felt about the book to begin; I finished Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge- which is darker than this book- and needed another fix. With The Tretchery of Beautiful Things, I seemed to have another hook that pulled me in deeper or another question I needed answered with each chapter. Although some moments had predetiable outcomes and an ending I suspected, I was suprised by the journey. How everything would come together was well done. It's tradgic, romantic, heroic, happy. I was pleasantly suprised!
This is NO disney fantasy. The creatures here are mischievous, selfish, and dangerous; loyalty is given but betrayed just as easily. Jenny must decide who she can trust on the quest to save her brother. Will Jack, the Forest Guardian, help her or use her to gain his own freedom? Can she trust a brother she hasn't seen in 7 years whose under the Queens spell? As the forest senses her mortality, will it seek to kill her?
Our heroine, Jenny, is full of love and kindness, and great compassion- something the forest doesn't understand. Our hero, Jack, is at odds with the reality of what he believes he is, his honor bound duty, and his impending fate...not to mention Jenny's destiny.
Think the darkness of some of the Brothers Grimm stories. It is not a bleak story or terribly scary. The creatures there do desire her blood or her soul. She is held captive by a someone who allows awful creatures to suck her blood at night. No curse words if memory serves me correctly. The romance is well done; only kisses and expressions of desires to keep each other safe. She doesn't get along very well with her mom, but not a whole lot is mentioned about parents.
on August 22, 2012
The Treachery of Beautiful Things is a fascinating fairy tale novel by author Ruth Frances Long. I was drawn to this book by its gorgeous cover, but the novel itself is what completely blew me away!
Seventeen year old Jenny visits the woods where her brother, Tom, disappeared 7 years before, in hopes of finally coming to terms with his disappearance. While in the woods, Jenny is lured into the trees by the sound if familiar music. She quickly discovers that the world in the trees is completely different than her own. With the help of Jack o' the Forest, she must find a way to save herself, and her long lost brother as well.
The characters in the book were all interesting. Jenny, the main character, was head-strong and brave. I love that she never gave up on finding her brother. Even through all the weirdness, she never gave up. I really enjoyed her character. Jack, who is a guardian in the forest, has to be my favorite character of the book. He was so mysterious and was so torn between what he should do for himself, and what he has to do for Jenny. I really enjoyed the relationship between these two characters. Especially the ending, it was so very sweet.
The storyline for this book was really interesting. It reminded me a lot of the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, but only because it had similar characters; Robin Goodfellow, Oberon, Mab, etc. But that is where the similarities end for me. The story was unique enough that it kept me guessing throughout the whole book. Things I should have caught on to pretty quickly completely passed me by because I was so engrossed in the book. It was that good! This is also a stand-alone novel, and the end of the book left me with the perfect amount of closure. I loved it!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! With its unique storyline and awesome characters, it makes for a really engrossing read! I am really looking forward to reading more books in the future by this wonderful new author.
on August 19, 2012
Okay, this must be a joke, right? This is my second book in just as many weeks that I've loved so much that I need to check myself. That I need to reign myself in and feebly attempt to keep myself from blathering on like a ridiculous, incoherent fangirl. Is someone screwing with me? Because I can barely handle the awesome right now. Barely.
The thing with THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS is that not only is it a wonderfully honest story but it's filled with glorious WORDS! Words here, there and everywhere! Some of the most amazingly wrought words I've found in YA to date and it has revived my hope that YA still strives for quality, that YA readers have a taste for finely written words that read like listening to the most intricately woven concerto you've ever heard. In reality Long is Irish and let's face it, the people on that side of the pond have a tendency of weaving words of a higher quality as the Brits and Irish have a higher breadth of understanding of the English language than us Americans do. Don't believe me? I consider myself above average in the intelligence department. But nothing made me feel like a dumb effing American like sitting in an English (and I mean in London, English) classroom as the lone Yank and listening to them wax poetic about Derrida and Glas as if they'd been studying it since they were two. So yes, when it comes to the written word I believe those guys are just inherently more loquacious than us. I mean, c'mon. Have you MET Sya?
So reading THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL things has me floored to the point of drooling on myself. I can haz language? Here, have some words -
07/25 page 27 7.0% ""She stared at another dart in her hand. She could see it clearly. Too clearly. The end finished in feathers, tiny strands of thread tying them to the shaft in intricate knotwork. She reached out with her other hand - huge and fumbling - and tugged it out. It was topped with a tiny, perfectly formed flint arrowhead. Her own blood glistened on it, and on her skin a red pearl formed around the wound.""
07/26 page 116 30.0% ""It started like a warm summer breeze moving through the trees in late afternoon, a whispering voice in the forest itself. Jack lifted his face to greet it, closed his eyes and inhaled. Sweet summer flowers, all thing in the fullness of life ... and beneath it, decay, the moment where everything began to eat itself away.""
07/31 page 203 53.0% "People, just people, he tried to tell himself. It looked like a sketch done by a child, and yet at the same time, profoundly powerful, as if a great hand had reached down from the sky - or up from the earth - to scour its mark into the land, long brush strokes that glowed with light when the moon spilled over it."
08/02 page 367 96.0% "A sound came from her, something between a scream and a clogged drain."
08/01 page 270 70.0% "Every story, all those tales she loved as a child, all her escapes ... were they all twisted and changed to something dreadful here? And yet, wasn't that where they came from, all the oldest tales, from blood and pain and misery?"
07/31 page 218 57.0% "Dreams, some might call them. Lies with a kinder name."
WORDS! GLORIOUS, GLORIOUS WORDS! These words painted such a stunning visual setting throughout the story that my life lost sound when I was reading. I was sucked directly into this fairy world and when I put the book down I often had to blink myself back into reality, rub the world out of my eyes and reorient myself with my surroundings.
With that being said the story isn't without it's faults. Jenny is naive to the point of aggravation, making deliriously stupid decisions for the sake of being nice. Seeing as how I literally just read Kat Kennedy's review of this title, being on Goodreads to collect the WORDS samples and her review was right on top so of course I HAD to read it and now I can't get it out of my head, dammit, she is very right in saying this is in line with old timey fairy tales that center around a virginal MC with the fairy world standing for hedonism that the maiden must fight against with every ounce of her being. This is very true of THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS. Jenny is reminiscent of a Disney princess with virtue flowing out of her ears, throwing self preservation to the wind and ultimately defeating evil with her wiles of love and caring. It is a sickly sweet story and the pretty chick on the cover in the white tulle dress is actually relevant and it's literally playing out a scene in the story.
With that being said the events that Jenny went through are exceedingly brutal. There is absolutely no shortage of character screwing going on here. Jenny does not go in one side of this story and come out the other without some dirt under her fingernails. Look at the first quote I have above and what page it's on. Literally from the beginning Jenny is being abused and I love it so. While she is unabashedly representative of a pure, light-filled queen she gets the high holy crap kicked out of her in the process. She does suffer from Damsel in Distress Syndrome (DDS) and her requirement of being rescued runs some other characters rather ragged but I was so thrilled with the WORDS and the brutality of the situations that I could easily overlook the fact that I wanted to slap Jenny around for some of the things she did.
The fairy world is true to form in terms of its contradicting beauty and horror. Couple that with the WORDS and you can only imagine what kind of scene Long is setting. I was a little less thrilled with the Jack/Jenny relationship simply because it's a deviation from an otherwise seemingly accurate depiction of Fae, especially since Jack didn't have a heart. Literally. I found his fascination with Jenny odd. If it had remained purely business that would have been one thing but I was a little uncomfortable with it's development.
On the adverse side and to completely throw a wrench into my own opinion of the relationship I like where it went. I like the role reversal Jack and Jenny went through by the end of the book. While it didn't completely cancel out Jenny's DDS and her unyielding naivety it softened the blow to something more palatable and I was ultimately rooting for them by the end.
If you're looking for a more true-to-form fairy tale that isn't shy about it's own brutality but at the same time really sticks to its own morality path throughout you'll find it in THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS. But above and beyond that it's so incredibly beautifully written and Long has such an amazing way with words that you'll be mesmerized by the lyrical prose the second you start reading. Jenny isn't really your kick ass heroine. She makes some incredibly dumb decisions for the sake of being nice and she needs to be rescued more often than not but when the situation calls for it Jenny stands on her own. She has more strength than what the story allows her to have and while she's wrapped in this virginal shroud of old fairy tales there's a modern fierceness about her that I think will appeal to someone looking for a story about a girl persevering, setting her mind on something and not backing down until she gets what she wants. It's a story of ups and downs and you ultimately need to decide how you're going to process it.
That's another great thing about THE TREACHERY OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS. It's a story with so many avenues of thought that you don't have to settle on just one. I absolutely agree with Kat's assessment of it but I personally believe it's so much more and that Jenny is just so much more than merely a bastion for virginity. She proved herself within the story. She could have said 'screw you guys, I'm going home' numerous times throughout and Jack would have gladly escorted her back to the Edge but she didn't. Bringing her brother home was her number one objective and not even Jack could come between her and her brother. She made some really crappy decisions and her DDS showed A LOT but she made some really good decisions too and I applaud her for them.
on August 18, 2012
"The treachery of beautiful things", by Ruth Frances Long is published by Dial Books and is set to be released August 16, 2012.
I was doing some browsing on Goodreads when I came across this book. The cover art is beautiful and when I read the description I was very interested in reading it.
"The treachery of beautiful things" starts off with a young brother and sister (Jenny and Tom) walking home from music lessons (Tom is gifted with the flute). They decide to take a shortcut by some woods and Tom is taken by something in the forest. Jenny, scarred by the abduction and unable to reasonably explain what happened to Tom to her parents, is sent away to attend school and get counsiling.
Seven years pass and the story really begins. Jenny returns to the woods determined to find Tom and bring him home. She enters the forest only to find that she has crossed the border from the human world into the fae realm. She soon encounters Jack o' the forest, a border guardian, and puck the hobgoblin (aka Robin Goodfellow). Jenny struggles with the reality of what is happening or rather the fantasy of it, but she is not deterred. Jack and Puck very reluctantly agree to help her after trying numerous times to get her back over the border. Let's not forget the evil Queen Mab, King Oberon, the queen's piper, blood drinking redcaps, maneating trees, and evil water fae.
It didn't take me any time at all to get fully invested in this story. I liked Jenny, which is saying something because I usually find myself disliking the main female character in teen books. She didn't do a lot of senseless whining and fit throwing, and she stuck to her guns. Don't get me wrong, she did make some stupid choices and I had a few moments where I wanted to smack her, but overall she was a good lead character.
Jack was my favorite character in this book. He was well written and very complex. He struggles to follow his heart while battling Queen Mab and King Oberon, who are both out to get Jenny under their control. Jack finds himself wanting to be close to Jenny but knows that he needs to get her home and out of danger. He is written in a way that shows you he isn't human, but he still wants to be free and to be the master of his own heart.
In "The treachery of beautiful things", Puck is mischevious and not entirely trustworthy, but he is a great supporing character. This book is filled with some pretty creepy fae that will make you glad you aren't alone in a forest with them. The romance between Jack and Jenny is subtle and in no way the main plot in this book.
Filled with beautiful descriptions and a not so fluffy take on fairies, "The treachery of beautiful things" is a lovely book that is a must read for anyone who likes teen fantasy books. This book seems to be a stand alone title, but I would love to see another title set in this world. Ruth Frances Long is an author to watch, and her books have a place on my favorite's shelf.
on August 16, 2012
What first really drew me into this novel, was the cover. It just looks so enchanting and rich with beautiful and simple colors; it invited me into the story. All in all, I feel this was a very nice tale. It kept you guessing, and was not that predictable to me. I have not read a fantasy story with Faeries in a while so this was pretty refreshing. I thought it was creative to have this other world, this forbidden realm for the main setting.
We start out with siblings, Jenny and Tom, whom were 10 and 14 at the time, and while they were walking together in the outdoors, Tom basically got sucked and dragged by enchanted trees, and that is the last time Jenny sees her brother. Now, we fast forward to seven years, Jenny is 17, is planning to go to University, but for some reason she is brought back the place where Tom was hastily taken away. But...now she thinks she hears Tom, his music that she remembers so well; his mad skills with the flute. She thinks she's hearing stuff, but it just calls to her, and she goes farther into the forest, and is sucked in the forbidden realm. Since she is in this new world, she is convinced that Tom might still be alive, and she has to get him, from wherever he is. So on her journey, there are definitely some obstacles, but she receives some help from some sort of Guardian, Jack, but there's some stuff he's not telling her hmmm....Anyways, there are unexpected turns that start to happen, and will Jenny ever see her older brother again? How does she get away from a King and Queen that are convinced she is some sort of Queen, as what one has planned is not so nice. And then there's Jack, whom Jenny might be falling for, but what about him, what's in his...heart? Does he feel the same for her? These are all things to perhaps consider while reading, and I must say, it was just a wonderful read. There was a nice flow; writing style/language was pretty good; the characters were really well written, especially Jack (he's one to read!). By the end of this story, I found myself on the edge of my seat, and you will see why. I thought it was a beautiful ending, finishing on a happy note :)