Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ARC Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by 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.
This book is a beautiful blending of Celtic mythology, Germanic/Norse mythology Shakespeare and Ms. Longs own ideas about how it would all work.  With heroines, mysterious fae, and truly evil Queen, this interesting fairy tale is sure to make you question and learn more about the mythologies that built this story.  Overall, it was a good book, so lets me share why.

Jenny was an interesting character.  At first, I wasn’t sure I liked her.  Actually, I was pretty annoyed with her most of the book.  She is so blooming innocent, and at 19 it is a little hard for me to take in that anyone could be that innocent after all that she saw as a child when her brother was kidnapped, let alone that she continues to be this innocent after all that happened to her in the Realm.  I mean, come on! 

Jack was a great character, a doomed hero, or so it seems.  His life split in two parts, and you wonder if he is good or bad, or so plain neutral that you can’t peg him.  The only thing that you wonder is if he will get his wish, the only wish he ever wishes.  The history of the Greenman in comparison to Jack was a great play on Celtic tradition.  And as a fan of the Greenman, I truly loved seeing Ms. Long’s ideas play out.

I loved the ending.  It was a little bit predictable, but I absolutely loved it.  It gave a beautiful ending to a good book. 

Now, not everything was perfect.  It was a little hard sometimes to get when she is switching mythologies.  In the Realm, it is all primarily Celtic mythology, with the spattering of Shakespeare, but suddenly in the Realm, she will use a term that is from the Germanic mythology.  And when she switches to a primarily Germanic mythology it catches you off guard.  Her explanation in the book that it was a different place, different magic didn’t give you a heads up about the change, and for a little bit I was thinking “What?”  On top of that, a lot of the split between mythologies become a division of “good” and “bad”, and even that is debatable. 

Overall, this is a good book, and I did enjoy it.  I recommend this for anyone, at any age. 

Happy Reading!


1 comment:

  1. I really like the sound of this one. Very...story book forest like. And the cover's beautiful. Nice review! Thanks for sharing!!


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