07 December, 2012

The Treachery of Beautiful Things - Review

Publication date: 16 August 2012 by Dial
ISBN 10/13: 0803735804 | 9780803735804

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Keywords: Family, Fae, Missing Siblings, Fairy Queen
Format: Hardcover, ebook
Source: Borrowed ARC

Kimberly's synopsis and review:

The trees swallowed her brother whole. Now Jenny, seven years later, goes back to the place where it happened. To the place she lost her brother, to where she lost her family, to say goodbye. But instead, she hears a mysterious song, reminding her of her brother Tom, and before she knows it, she's in a dangerous world. And she swears she won't leave without her brother.

I'll be honest--this book caught my eye because of the cover. Did you see it? Pretty. And I like a good fairy tale as much as the next girl so I was really looking forward to reading this book.

This is more of a traditional fairy tale. A missing sibling, a family torn apart, and the sister who is the only one who can find him. Jenny wanders through the forest, with a guide named Jack who has his own intentions. Evading the evil queen, ignorant of the rules of this land, Jenny finds herself in scary and dangerous situations. I love the danger that looms on every page. I enjoy the betrayals and dark nature of the characters. There is some beautifully descriptive writing and a couple of fun twists.

Unfortunately, I am not a fan of Jenny. She's supposed to be seventeen, but she seems younger. I'm told she has a pure, good heart, but she falls into the group of uninteresting, bland main characters. She's too good, there's little fire. Oh sure, her guide Jack sees the fire, the stubbornness, the flame. But as a reader, I really didn't see it. I was told. She seemed a rather tame teenager, honestly.

Jack is the most interesting character by far. Conflicted, with multiple allegiances, Jack's motivations are clouded and he has more depth than any of the other characters by far. By the time we meet Tom, Jenny's brother, who has been in the fairy world for seven years, even he is still too vanilla. You'd think being brainwashed, held captive, and possibly going to be a ritual sacrifice would make Tom into a more layered young man, but alas, no. And the other characters don't do fair well either. The motivations behind the kind and queen are thin, but if you look past it, you'll find a fun story and a fast moving plot.

Overall, I liked the story for the plot, for the creepiness and the world. But I couldn't identify with any of the characters. If you like more traditional fairy tales, you'll like this book!

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Find out more about the author at rflong.com and follow her on Twitter @RFLong.

You can find more of Kimberly's reviews at The Windy Pages.


  1. i would totally pick up this book based on the cover, too. and a tree swallowing your brother? that reminds me of poltergeist. i used to have nightmares about that. sad you didn't love jenny but this books sounds interesting nevertheless.

  2. I tried reading this book but just the first chapter raised my hackles. It seemed to be going much in the traditional way of guy protecting girl and I don't know the writing style did not suit me. Thank you for the review. It confirmed my initial feelings about the novel.

    1. Thanks Book Wurrm! Yeah, wasn't really my cup of tea, but I think others might enjoy it!

  3. I still totally want to read this. 12 Dancing Princesses is one of my favorite fairytales ever.

  4. I've read the book but i would like to keep it as my own. Its a really amazing book and i wish i could get it again