Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Review: The 13 Treasures

After attending the author talk at Uxbridge library, I felt compelled to read this book, and I’m glad I did. “The 13 Treasures” is written by Michelle Harrison and is the first book I think I’ve read about fairies. Here is the blurb:

While visiting her grandmother's house, Tanya discovers an unsolved mystery. Fifty years ago, a girl vanished in the woods nearby - a girl Tanya's grandmother will not speak of. Fabian, the caretaker's son, is tormented by the girl's disappearance. His grandfather was the last person to see her alive, and has lived under suspicion ever since. Together, Tanya and Fabian decide to find the truth. But Tanya has her own secret: the ability to see fairies. Can it help them to unravel the mystery? Soon they are facing terrible danger - could the manor's sinister history be about to repeat itself?

I am not entirely sure if I like this blurb. I don't think it really does the book justice but I do love the last line of it, "Could the manor's sinister history be about to repeat itself?" That line is the hooker, the one that means you have to read this book. I had originally owned this book for a while and had picked it up because of the award it received from Waterstone's. I regret not reading it before now.

I love the way that fairies are introduced in to the book. First impressions are always important and boy do these fairies make an impression. They are introduced as evil, mischievous creatures. I loved learning about the fairies as the book progressed, especially how the Seelie and Unseelie court came to be and what exactly the 13 treasures were. I'm not telling you, you'll have to read it to find out. Tanya, the main character, was a likeable character and I felt for her, especially through her confusion of what was happening and her dislike of the fairies. Fabian is going through a lot. He is the misunderstood character who you can learn to understand when certain things are revealed in the book. This is how Tanya and Fabian eventually become friends. And one character I love: the strange lady in the forest. If that isn't a cool character, I don't know what is. I also liked Tanya's dog, Oberon, but that's because I like dogs.

This book centres around Tanya's ability to see Fairies and the mysterious disappearance of the girl in the woods. Who was she? Why won't her grandmother speak of her? All of this makes for an interesting plot. This book keeps your interest with subplots until you get to the main event. The ending was amazing. I really enjoyed the fast pace at the end and thought the rest of the book was nicely paced.

Hookability? I read this book in a day - although I was already quite determined. A character is introduced later in the book called Red. I really cared for Red and wanted to know what would happen to her. The mystery of the disappearing girl and my interest in knowing more about the strange lady in the forest kept me reading. However, I can see other people being able to put this book down for a while.

Overall, "The 13 Treasures" was an enjoyable read. It is about fairies and mystery and I recommend you read it if you like a bit of fantasy. I really enjoyed this book. It is the first book I've read about fairies.

Plot - 9/10

Characters - 10/10

Hookability (ability to keep you reading) - 7/10

Total - 26/30


  1. This sounds like a really interesting book, I've seen it around, I might pick it up and read it soon.

  2. Hello Kate, good to meet you. Another Brit, I see.

    I am pretty new to many of these book bloggers I am coming across, but isn't it great to meet like-minded readers!

    This book sounds interesting, I shall have to look out for it - good review, thanks for sharing.

    Today is WHAT'S ON YOUR DESK WEDNESDAY? on my blog. And you've been tagged. I hope you can join in with the fun, but please don’t feel any pressure to do so. If you don’t have time to do it today, there is always next Wednesday!

    I will also upload any photos to my WHAT’S ON YOUR DESK WEDNESDAY? Flickr set, so if you’d rather not have your photo’s included, just shout!


    Take care, and have fun!

    Sassy Brit ☺

  3. Great review, Kate - thanks a lot for that! I haven't heard a lot about this book, surprisingly since it won the Waterstone's prize, and I keep meaning to get hold of a copy!

  4. I loved it too. I also agree about the blurb; it was to cover that hooked me though!

  5. I never would have guessed that this is about fairies from the cover...What does 13 stand for?
    You've convinced me though-I'll have to put this on my wishlist which is currently about 10 pages long :-D

  6. Kate,
    You write the best reviews =)
    Keep them coming,
    Chilli xx

  7. The cover is interesting, Kate! I am going to check this out b/c of you. Thanks for the awesom review & love the Hookability rating :].

  8. Thanks everyone. You should read this if you're get a chance. I liked the cover. You have to read the book to find out the significance of 13 =)

  9. That book does sound amazing, sounds my sort of book that I would read. I will most certainly have to check it out XD :)
    Great review.
    BTW, my site is having a give away just thought I let you know.

  10. I hope you enjoy it if you get to read it! I shall be over to your site in a minute :)

  11. Everyone seems to have enjoyed this more than me - I thought it was only good not great. Maybe I'll try re-reading it to find the magic I seem to have missed :)

  12. This looks cool and a lot of fun. And fairies are awesome!

  13. This sounds good!

    Love your blog!

  14. The blurb actually got me interested but not as much as your review. And I'm totally digging the cover. I'll have to add this to my TBR list. Thanks Kate!

  15. H - I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy it as much as you wanted to.

    Sadako - I hope you get a chance to read it.

    Sheila DeChantal - Thank you =D

    Mishel - I hope you are able to read it.