A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction
The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she’s lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack’s help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she’s faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice–and not just her own.
When Jenny returns to the place where she last saw her brother, something epic happens to her. Jenny had seen the trees swallow her brother and for years people have been calling her crazy and she even starts to believe them. She classifies the beast covered in bark as a figment of her imagination and now she has to find closure. But then she hears the familiar sound of her brother’s flute. Jenny was overcome with hope and ran into the forest. the further she ran, the more reality seemed to shrink away. Jenny is now in the territory of the creatures that took her brother. Then she meets Jack who is so cold and distant at first. But we slowly see him fall for Jenny. Jack’s job is to guard the borders and he has to convince Jenny to go back home, but having heard her brother’s flute, Jenny is convinced that he is still alive and refuses to leave without him. Jack, bound by his duties is obliged to help her on a quest filled with magic, accompanied by Puck.
Ruth Long creates a beautiful and vivid world full of magical creatures. Her characters were extremely well developed and the plot was gripping. The novel takes a twist concerning Jack’s past which left me completely shocked. He was a complete mystery throughout the book and it really irritated me but the way the author presented all his secrets was just perfect. Jenny wasn’t a kick ass heroine but she wasn’t weak either. She was incredibly stubborn but when she pulled herself together to save Jack, i just wanted to cheer for her.
Jenny’s constant love for her brother after all these years was extremely touching. I would’ve liked to see some more sibling relationship between the two during the course of the book but i can’t complain about anything else. The ending was also supersweet and concluded the story with no loose ends so it is a STANDALONE NOVEL!