The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Author: Ruth Frances Long
A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction
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.
Published 16 August 2012
This book is spellbinding!
So much that I added an exclamation mark up there ^
And trust me, it really is utterly enchanting.
From the title, we know that in the dangerous realm of forest and fae, there is bound to be beauty and treachery... And Ruth Frances Long handles these two elements masterfully.
Beauty. The first moment when Jenny unwittingly stumbles into the woods of the faerie realm like a Lucy Pevensie, the world that greets her is full of bright perfection. With lush writing, Ruth Frances Long charmingly crafts a world of tiny blue impish Folettis, lazy tree nymphs, darkly dangerous trees and the beautiful yet alien boy-- Jack.
Although unwilling to trust the beauty around her, Jenny is forced to trust Jack as he offers to help her in this mysterious and ever-changing world. So off she goes, on an awfully tumultuous journey to find her brother who has been reinvented as the Piper in Queen Titania's royal court. In her adventures, Jenny encounters beauty at every corner. There is the beauty of the Leczi's voice that kills the snarling dragon, the beauty of the Nix that locks Jenny's soul in a golden cage, the beauty of King Oberon who wants to trap Jenny in his court, and of course, the beauty of the eyes of Jack o' Forest, the boy who is both like a lost boy in Peter Pan as well as a king in his own right.
Yet, behind every beauty, treachery lurks with dark agendas. Ruth Frances Long unveils the shocking treacheries at unexpected corners and stuns us again and again. The treachery that springs out within the pages of this book is what that makes the tale as alluring as it is.
Jenny faces tiny betrayals from the first instance when she steps into this new world. There's the kindly Goodwife who harbours selfish motives, there's the Piper who looks like the brother Jenny has lost yet he stands with the faery Queen and there's Jack, the guardian of the Edge who has sworn oaths to more than one master and longs for something that Jenny tries hard to grasp.
In this stunning and astonishing world of the ugliest beauties and most glorious treacheries, shockingly, we rediscover love as it comes about and hope in these most hopeless times.
For me, it was Jack who made it all possible. He is one of many, yet, so special and different. Who he is and what he is will surprise us again and again. Yet, one thing for sure, whatever he may be, Jack defines this novel and makes this tale beautiful against all odds.
Read this novel because of Ruth Frances Long's fantastic writing. Read this novel because of the gorgeous juxtaposition of beauty and treachery. Most importantly, read this novel because of Jack!
Source: ARC from Dial Books for review purposes as part of the blog tour
A lifelong fan of fantasy, romance, and ancient mysteries, Ruth Frances Long studied English Literature, History of Religions, and Celtic Civilization in college and now works in a specialized library of rare and unusual books. She lives in County Wicklow, Ireland. The Treachery of Beautiful Things is her first novel for teens.
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