Monday, November 5, 2012

The treachery of beautiful things by Ruth Frances Long

Jenny is used to funny looks and laughter behind her back, ever since her brother Tom vanished she has had to live with the knowledge that everyone else thinks she is crazy.  If she wasn't crazy, how else could she have seen the trees in the forest snatch him into shadows one night, never to be seen again.  She has spent seven years in therapy and hidden away from home at a boarding school, but when she finally finds the courage to say goodbye to Tom in the spot where he was taken, she finds herself in a new world, one from fairytale and legend.  As the sounds of the Piper draw her deeper into this new world, Jenny finds herself surrounded by people who all have their own agenda, and who all want something only she can give them - whether she is willing to or not.

The treachery of beautiful things is one of those books where describing too much about the story can actually ruin the enjoyment of the story because some of the pleasure comes from learning where the story will take you next.  The story draws heavily on myth, folklore, and fairytale, taking characters that are familiar to many fantasy readers and blending them together into an enjoyable read that has real weight to the story without trying to be so clever that it buries the story under the weight of the mythology.  There is an enjoyable subtlety to the story, one that some reviewers have described as a lack of substance, but for me it made the story more accessible and enjoyable because the story was allowed to proceed at its own pace, and while there are echoes of other stories because of the characters - this is definitely its own story and own book.

This is an enjoyable and engaging first novel, one that I was a little surprised to enjoy because it is not normally my thing.  Jenny is a charming character and you get to experience a lot through her eyes - which adds to the story rather than detracting from it.  Hopefully this will not be the only book from this well written author.

If you like this book then try:
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
  • Snow in summer: Fairest of the them all by Jane Yolen
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • Innocent darkness by Suzanne Lazear
  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Reviewed by Brilla

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