The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
Summary: Seven years ago, Jenny’s brother was taken by the forest—and she watched it happen. Now, many psychologists later, Jenny has returned to the spot where her brother was kidnapped. She is drawn into the forest and discovers that her brother is still alive. Jenny makes it her mission to bring him home, but she can’t do it without help. Luckily, she befriends Jack, a faery whose job is to protect humans that cross over into the faery realm.
My thoughts: The Treachery of Beautiful Things is as atmospheric as its cover: while reading the novel you can almost feel the greenery rustling around you as little creatures pick at your hair. The setting is one of the book’s strongest points—that, and its unique take on the Fae. Ruth Frances Long introduces readers to a myriad of creatures not mentioned in any faery book I’ve read. I love discovering new mythology, especially when it’s presented in a way that allows the information to sink in (which, thankfully, Long does).
Aside from the beauty of the book, The Treachery of Beautiful Things failed to captivate me. I found myself unable to immerse myself in the story—a simple tale which seems to take far longer than it should. The only moments where my attention was grabbed were those which featured a new type of creature. I think the cause of my disinterest was a lack of character development. Both Jack and Jenny seem like relatively flat characters: they move about like pawns in the story, and their emotions never seem true. Long tries to develop them through their interactions with each other, but even that failed to make me love the two main characters.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things wasn’t quite the book for me, but those who enjoy faery books might have more luck. Ruth Frances Long certainly does a great job with the fantasy aspect of her tale.
For those who like: faeries, quests