Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Treachery of Beautiful Things

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Treachery of Beautiful Things

The Treachery of Beautiful Things
by Ruth Frances Long

To be published by Dial/Penguin
on August 16, 2012

Source: e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.  Read my review policy/disclosure statement here.


My summary: Seven years ago, Jenny's beloved brother Tom vanished as the two of them walked home through the woods. Jenny was found, alone and hysterical, insisting that the woods took Tom. Now Jenny is older and wiser, ready to head off to university. But she ventures into the woods one last time and finds a world that she never knew existed -- a world of magical creatures, embattled fae royalty, treachery and ... true love?

My take: I've read tons of Grimm's fairy tales, but I haven't read much fae-themed YA. When I requested The Treachery of Beautiful Things, I didn't realize that it fell into that category. So be forewarned that this review comes from somewhat of a fae newbie. 


From the first chapter, when Jenny admits that the woods stole her older brother, I was intrigued. Abducted by trees --  a new YA plotline! As I read further, I recognized some familiar characters: Titania, Oberon and Puck, from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I also encountered some familiar Grimm's fairy tale tropes: stolen children, jealous queens, menacing creatures, quests, wishes granted, royalty in disguise. Okay, I might not know a fae from a sidhe, but I began to feel on more familiar ground.

As Jenny travels around, searching for Tom and having all kinds of unfortunate encounters, she meets Jack, who insists that as Guardian of the Edge, his job is to protect her. Jack seems handsome and kind, and Jenny takes him at his word. But even I -- a fae amateur -- know that in the creepy forest, things and people are not always what they seem. 
"Beware a kiss," he told her. "Kisses are powerful things. You expose part of your soul. have you learned nothing?"
Of course she had.
As a main character, Jenny definitely falls into the helpless ingenue mold, but as the book progresses, she begins to show a bit more mettle. The setting of this book was spooky and well-drawn. Ruth Frances Long does a great job of describing the woods and all its inhabitants, giving it all a beautiful yet treacherous feel. This is a major theme of the book: the beauty and menace of nature. 

The fae sub genre will never be my absolute favorite, but I enjoyed the story and was always curious to find out what was going to happen next. The Treachery of Beautiful Things is an atmospheric, suspenseful standalone read.

If you're a fan of the genre, tell me about your favorite fae/fairy books! 


38 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! :) Hmm I don't know how I feel about Jenny being helpless, but I'm glad she toughens up near the end. And I absolutely LOVE faeries so I'm sure I'll just fall head-over-heels for this one!! :)

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    1. Yes -- I know how you love the Iron Fey series!

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  2. Excited to hear that this is a standalone-need more of those for non-realistic YA.

    My favorite fae books are the Wondrous Strange trilogy by Lesley Livingston-they're a couple of years old now but I love them and they have very pretty covers!

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    1. I have not read Wondrous Strange -- thanks for the suggestion!!

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  3. Fae books aren't always my favorites either but I did enjoy The Iron Fey series (I thought The Iron Queen was a masterpiece, but the last book disappointed me) and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series was pretty good. I loved Holly Black's Tithe but the other two books in the series were only so-so.

    But I did read an adult book that could easily crossover to YA, Patricia McKillip's Solstice Wood. It's actually the second book in the Winter Rose series, but I didn't know that when I read it. It's probably my favorite book on Faerie lore:)

    Gosh for someone who claims not to love Fae books, I guess I've actually read a lot, huh? :)

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    1. Oh, and I just got a copy of Wonderous Strange through Paperback Swap, so there is that too!

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  4. Ohh this is a stand alone? I like that. Not that I don't like series, but I am reading so many of them that it's refreshing to read a stand alone. I liked the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike. It was not your typical fairy series. I would say Iron Fey, but I know you are already planning on reading those. Great review!!

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    1. I think so. There is a definitive ending -- no cliffhanger, and no sequel showing up on Goodreads.

      I hope publishers see that we want more standalones! Please!!!!

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  5. I haven't read many fairy tales so I'm curious to see how this will turn out for me. Glad you enjoy it:)

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  6. Love a good standalone and this one sounds pretty good. Have you read Kill Me Softly? I really enjoyed it! The book deals with characters that have been cursed to live out the stories from things like Grimm's Fairy Tales but it's so much more than that too! Sort of hard to explain but there are fairies and such in it.

    To be honest, and I tried, I didn't like the Iron Fey series and I don't mind Fey based stories.

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    1. I've heard of Kill Me Softly -- will have to check that one out. Sounds original!

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  7. Even though fae books aren't my favorite genre, I did really like the Iron Fey series (each book got progressively better for me) and the Wicked Lovely series was good too.

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  8. I love that you're a fae newbie! :D I love stories about faeries and their magical world. I really enjoyed Kagawa's The Iron Fey series, but if you're looking for a steamier, more adult fae series, try Mead's Dark Swan series. Very fun! ;0) Great review...and I'm so glad this was a stand-alone, too. Definitely need more of those! And coming from a fae-lover, this was definitely one of the better ones. Such a magical, frightening world, and I loved it, especially seeing some old favorites in there, too. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the recommendations! I'll check those out.

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  9. I love this title and cover and am more intrigued now that I know it's about fae. I love Holly Black's Modern Tales of Faerie. They are dark and twisted and right up my alley. Fae stories HAVE to be dark, I think. There was one that tried to be light and it just... felt off. Because there were horrible things happening, but they were so glossed over and just... hmm... anyways... that one was my least favorite fae book, because it could have been so much more.

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    1. Oooh, I'll try the Holly Black stories. Those sound great.
      And you know I enjoy dark books!

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  10. I don't believe I have read a fae story but I have been waiting practically forever for this book. I love watching Grimm and this sounds just like the awesome episodes I have seen. I already wanted to read The Treachery of Beautiful Things but now this book sounds way more awesome than I originally thought.

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    1. A lot of people have told me they love Grimm. There's just so much great stuff out there and so little time. Maybe I'll try to get the DVDs and do a marathon!

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  11. I don't usually enjoy Fae stories. There are always so many tricks and lies but I keep on searching for one that will work for me.
    You never know!

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    1. Ha -- I feel that way about mermaids, but I'm reading Lies Beneath and really enjoying it so far!

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  12. It is so nice to have a stand-alone. Sometimes I just want to read a book that gets resolved and has a happy ending and not have to read for days through a series to get there. I think we need more stand-alone books, but I'm sure that for many authors and publishers it might mean less money or guarantees of being published.

    I have read quite a few fey books now that I have thought about it. I liked the Iron Fey series, although I actually liked the Wondrous Strange series better. I'm listening to Glimmerglass, but I'm not too impressed with it so far although I think it would be better read. I didn't really care for Wicked Lovely, it was so-so. I have read some of Patrcia McKillip's books and really liked them, specifically The Bell at Sealey Head. I also really liked several of Juliet Marillier's books, such as Heart's Blood and the Sevenwaters series.

    Thanks for your review. I'll be picking this up.

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    1. Yes -- hooray for standalones.

      Thanks for all the recommendations -- I'm making a list!

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  13. I've thought long and hard and I think the only books with fae in it that I've read is the Sookie Stackhouse books which is in no way comparable to this. It sounds intriguing but probably not something I would go out and buy.

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    1. I'd forgotten that there were fae/fey in the Sookie books!

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  14. I remember seeing the cover for this one a long time ago and falling in love with it ... it sounds really good!

    Great review! :)

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    1. The cover is pretty -- and it does fit the story!

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  15. As many others have said, The Iron Fey..lol <33 Ash <33 ..lol

    This one does sound somewhat promising though! The cover is pretty too! Thanks for the review!

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  16. Yeah I wanted to say about The Iron Fey, but some people are faster than me xD (darn time zones). This book sounds like my type (I'm off to netgalley and let's pray they will approve my request). I love all type of fairy tales and I love when people write YA book based on that.
    Great review! :)

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  17. I love the cover.
    Great review! I will TBR this one.

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    1. Fantastic -- glad I could help you find something that you're interested in!

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  18. I haven't read a lot of fae genre, but the mixed supernatural books are usually my favorites: Mortal Instruments.

    This seems like a great soft-fae read though. Great review!

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  19. I actual love fairy-tale retellings but this sounds more like a mash of them in a new tale..i am very curious and love the cover..awesome review

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  20. I really enjoy the fae sub-genre, but I've only read a few so far. I've really been looking forward to this book, although it sounds a LOT like the Iron Fey series. I liked that series, but maybe this one sounds a bit too much like it? I know I'll still read it, though!

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