Customer Reviews for

The Treachery of Beautiful Things

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

On the B&N site, it categorizes it for ages 9-12, but it's s

On the B&N site, it categorizes it for ages 9-12, but it's shelved - and rightly so - in the Teen section. It's a disturbingly beautiful look at the world of Faerie and kids today wno know nothing of fairy tales but the Disney versions might have their minds blown....
On the B&N site, it categorizes it for ages 9-12, but it's shelved - and rightly so - in the Teen section. It's a disturbingly beautiful look at the world of Faerie and kids today wno know nothing of fairy tales but the Disney versions might have their minds blown. Look at Tinkerbell...she pops up in cartoons and toys as this sweet sprite, but in the J.M. Barrie original, she and Tiger Lily are mean as snakes because of jealousy. But that is the Faerie kingdom in a nutshell - beauty on the surface, but mischief and deadly spite underneath.

Long introduces us to Jenny and Tom in the prologue where the 10 and 14 year old siblings walk home through the forest. Tom is playing his flute, his prodigious talent marking him as someone special to his parents and teachers. No one asks him if this is what he chooses for himself. Jenny is a voracious reader and loves Tom's gift for the music itself, not for where his talent will take him. But Jenny is nervous of the woods, sensing ...something. So when the trees and the earth itself come alive and swallow her brother whole in front of her, Jenny is left with a feeling of survivor's guilt and the stamp of "crazy" when she keeps trying to tell people what really happened to her brother.

Seven years pass and Jenny has come home from boarding school on a short stay before she heads off to university in Scotland. She visits Branley Copse on a pilgrimage to say goodbye to her brother, hoping for some closure. What she finds instead is the sound of his distinctive flute, his curses when he flubs a note, and so she plunges deep into the woods that devoured her brother...and finds a whole new world.

Ms. Long does a divine job of evoking the gloriously verdant beauty of the woods, the evanescent fluttering of elven wings, and the treacherous two-faced world of the fey. Nothing is as it seems, and no one is to be trusted. All Jenny wants is to find her brother and bring him home, not realizing that 7 years under the thrall of Queen Titania has changed him into someone she hardly recognizes. Her only help comes from Jack of the Forest, a guardian of the woods whose ties to both Titania and King Oberon mean that his loyalty to her quest might be, well, questionable. Throw in Puck, half man, half goat, and wholly loyal only to himself. As champions, they appear to be lacking. But Jenny's innocence and desire to help other denizens of the woods even as she looks for Tom endear her to the creatures of the forest. Yet in the world of Faerie, that kind of innocence is only valuable as a sacrifice; and as Jenny gets closer to finding her brother and begins to examine her feelings for Jack, she'll have to decide just how much she's willing to give up to save the ones she loves.

posted by romancemistress on September 1, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things was a beautifully written, tho

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 r...
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.

posted by Andreat78 on September 4, 2012

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  • Posted September 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    On the B&N site, it categorizes it for ages 9-12, but it's s

    On the B&N site, it categorizes it for ages 9-12, but it's shelved - and rightly so - in the Teen section. It's a disturbingly beautiful look at the world of Faerie and kids today wno know nothing of fairy tales but the Disney versions might have their minds blown. Look at Tinkerbell...she pops up in cartoons and toys as this sweet sprite, but in the J.M. Barrie original, she and Tiger Lily are mean as snakes because of jealousy. But that is the Faerie kingdom in a nutshell - beauty on the surface, but mischief and deadly spite underneath.

    Long introduces us to Jenny and Tom in the prologue where the 10 and 14 year old siblings walk home through the forest. Tom is playing his flute, his prodigious talent marking him as someone special to his parents and teachers. No one asks him if this is what he chooses for himself. Jenny is a voracious reader and loves Tom's gift for the music itself, not for where his talent will take him. But Jenny is nervous of the woods, sensing ...something. So when the trees and the earth itself come alive and swallow her brother whole in front of her, Jenny is left with a feeling of survivor's guilt and the stamp of "crazy" when she keeps trying to tell people what really happened to her brother.

    Seven years pass and Jenny has come home from boarding school on a short stay before she heads off to university in Scotland. She visits Branley Copse on a pilgrimage to say goodbye to her brother, hoping for some closure. What she finds instead is the sound of his distinctive flute, his curses when he flubs a note, and so she plunges deep into the woods that devoured her brother...and finds a whole new world.

    Ms. Long does a divine job of evoking the gloriously verdant beauty of the woods, the evanescent fluttering of elven wings, and the treacherous two-faced world of the fey. Nothing is as it seems, and no one is to be trusted. All Jenny wants is to find her brother and bring him home, not realizing that 7 years under the thrall of Queen Titania has changed him into someone she hardly recognizes. Her only help comes from Jack of the Forest, a guardian of the woods whose ties to both Titania and King Oberon mean that his loyalty to her quest might be, well, questionable. Throw in Puck, half man, half goat, and wholly loyal only to himself. As champions, they appear to be lacking. But Jenny's innocence and desire to help other denizens of the woods even as she looks for Tom endear her to the creatures of the forest. Yet in the world of Faerie, that kind of innocence is only valuable as a sacrifice; and as Jenny gets closer to finding her brother and begins to examine her feelings for Jack, she'll have to decide just how much she's willing to give up to save the ones she loves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Amazing

    This book has to be one of the best ones I've read it is beautifully written and deeply cherished in my heart. The writing style is so different and usually I would turn down a book that goes by third person but this book is definitely worth a read. Oh my I love this book so!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    ONE OF THE BEST

    Only people with vivid imagination, like myself, will see the picture the author has described so beautifully. This book was so perfect, not even the rrgular faerietales can compete with it. Buy this book!

    I promise you, you wont regret it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Great novel

    It enchanted me from the first page. I am in live with this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Fncgc c fxxfchbnnhsgcfnny

    Really good story!!!

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    This was a great read!

    I really enjoyed this book. I actually stayed up until 2 am to finish it. I felt that Jack's character and Jenny's were very well developed, and there were many twists and turns to get to the happy ending. I liked how the author brought in the Titania/Oberon characters, hinting that they were the same types in every culture.

    It took a bit to figure out where the present day action was, but overall, this was an incredible satisfying book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 21, 2012

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    Posted February 1, 2013

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    Posted September 5, 2013

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    Posted July 16, 2013

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