The Library Mouse's Reviews > The Treachery of Beautiful Things

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
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Aug 31, 2012

it was amazing

I loved the cover straightaway but little did I know what I was in store for when I went past it. I spent the grand total of less than 1 chapter in our nice, normal and safe reality. Reading this book I stumbled into a world of green, brown and danger. The more beautiful something is the more treacherous and lethal it is.

Poor Jenny was initially beyond naive and it took a fair amount of trial and error for her to realise exactly, to what lengths the woodland realm she had stumbled in, was willing to go to use her. Nevertheless she braved it all and learnt from her mistakes. What I really liked about her was how despite everything she experienced she maintained a certain level on naivety through which she continued to have a big and caring heart. For her tale, this was both her greatest weakness and strength.

Jack on the other hand was anything but naive. He was a leafy tangle of honour, vows, strength and ancient knowledge. The mystery of his true identity, wrapped up in a foliage of curses, pain and lost hearts. The more I read the more I was able to see past all the barriers, secrets and pain. Both myself and Jenny chiselled away at his story, and after some obstacles we were finally rewarded with the true roots of his tale.

As their tales entwined, like vines round a tree, I was gripped following it through even the darkest corners of the forestland of the Realm.

Ruth Frances Long had every blade of grass, tree and creature echoing evil, danger, mystery and magic through her style of writing. I felt surrounded by danger and was wary of everything I encountered, and yet it was all so enticing, as only something lethal can be.

She made me feel like I had truly stepped into her magical Realm not only by her style of writing, but also via the used language. The way the characters spoke in riddles never quite intending what they said, the meaning just beyond my grasp and understanding; was beautifully mysterious and I confess I attempted several times to decipher the true messages. This kept me going even more and was thoroughly intriguing.
It felt like a mixture of disney classics and old fairy tales, painted with a rather dark paintbrush. This tale reminded me of stories my grandmother used to tell me as a child, stories that had been told to her by her own grandmother. Thereby which adding a classic traditional feel to it I had not been expecting. I truly enjoyed how it wasn't all airy fairy, but how this magical world was actually absolutely deadly. It was absolutely refreshing.
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