Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: August 16, 2012
Source: Recieved from publisher for review.
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.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things was a beautifully written, though complex, story of the fae of the old, dark fairly tales. In a few ways, I adored it. But in many respects, I was left agitated and lost.
Let me begin with what I liked about Treachery. I enjoyed the romantic, charming tone of Long's writing. The narrative was vividly detailed. I could picture the Realm, it's forest, creatures, and magic. I also enjoyed the character of Jack, who surprisingly dominated the story. I expected Treachery to be Jenny's story, but I felt a stronger connection and empathy for Jack. He was by turns sexy in "I'm complicated and dark" way, solemn and mysterious. He is torn between his oaths, his duty, his hopes. He is ruled by two opposing personalities. Without Jack, Treachery would have lost most of it's appeal.
So I'm sure you're dying to know how I felt about the main character, Jenny. My feelings for Jenny can be described best as "meh". I didn't hate her; I didn't love her. There were times when she was really brave, really smart. She didn't back down from her quest, regardless the personal cost. But then, she was so blind sometimes. I get it, characters make mistakes. I happen to love flawed characters. But I have a pet peeve when it comes to relationships, real or fictional: If a guy/girl tells you they are bad news, that they will get you hurt, maimed or your heart eaten, LISTEN TO THEM. Just do it. And I know, this is a fantasy, but when the heroine gets her panties in a twist after realizing that the guy who told her he was dangerous, actually meant what he was saying, well, that just grinds my gears. So most of the time, I just wanted the story to turn it's focus back to Jack. Deep, calming breath...
The actual story was interesting. I have read several stories about the fae and have enjoyed them. But in reading Treachery, I mostly felt lost. I knew who Oberon, Titania, Mab and Puck were (b/c I've read the Iron Fey series. Holla!). And I sort of understood who was working with/against whom. I didn't understand a lot of the long-standing dynamics of the Realm. It seemed that an extensive knowledge of the old faerie tales was needed to fully understand what was happening. There were underlying issues that seemed like they were common knowledge about the fae, that I didn't understand. Maybe not, though. Maybe it's just me and I've sniffed too much rubber cement in my time and it's coming back to haunt me. I would love to hear from someone who has read this to verify that yes, it is a bit confusing, or no, I just didn't read it right.
Overall, I can say The Treachery of Beautiful Things is a story that I both liked and disliked. I never felt as if I couldn't finish it, but I had to work hard to keep the details straight. I believe that I'm likely in the minority in my opinion of the book. With it's lush writing and dark charm, The Treachery of Beautiful Things will appeal to fans of dark faery tales.
" 'No. Jack only has one wish. But he wishes it a thousand times a day.' Puck turned aside, gazing off through the trees where the song of the river came from. 'He dreams of it, dreams of a future. Few creatures in the Realm are so cursed as to live in hipe. Poor Jack o' the Forest, Jack in Green. He only longs to be free.' " (pg. 99)
"Oak and thorn. Mortal and fae. And the king and queen. Everything stood between them. Everything." (pg. 206)
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