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Literature / The Treachery of Beautiful Things

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The Treachery of Beautiful Things is a YA Fantasy novel by Ruth Frances Long. Seven years ago, Jenny and her brother Tom were walking home through the woods when the woods swallowed him up. No one believed her. When she went back to try to resolve her feelings, she discovers she can go within herself, into the lands where the Fair Folk dwell, after him.

Tropes included

  • A Friend in Need: Puck gets Jenny out of the cottage as the forest swallows it.
  • Green Thumb: The piper, with his music, can move roses.
  • Meaningful Name: Jack. Tom. Jenny Wren. All of which feature in English folklore.
  • Meaningful Rename: Jack calls her Jenny Wren.
  • No Name Given: The Woodsman, and the Goodwife, are only ever referred to by those titles.
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  • Not So Different: The piper tells Jenny that Jack has nothing in common with them — Jenny rejects the implicit assumption the two are them are alike.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Even the Foletti, glowing, with wings, are still the Fair Folk.
  • Our Kobolds Are Different: Kobolds are tree spirits, made by carving the wood of their trees. Oberon has enslaved them all.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Jenny, caught by the nix, thinks there are parallels.
  • Our Souls Are Different: You turn into Sleeping Beauty without one.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Jenny's first thought of the Foletti is that they are beautiful as butterflies.
  • The Promise: Jack is oath-bound to help those on quests.
  • The Quest: Jenny tells Jack that she's looking for her brother, thus invoking the promise.
  • The Reveal: Jack is the green man.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Jenny rejects the piper's attack on Jack.
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  • They Have the Scent!: the dogs chasing the tracker who failed.


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