Book Review: The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison

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?
To be honest, I was extremely skeptical about this book. I can do vampires and werewolves but fairies seemed a step too far! How wrong I was, I think Michelle Harrison's book will be enjoyed by children and adults for many years to come. Although it is set in the present day, it has an almost timeless feel to it; the reader is completely focused on the events and mysteries that Tanya becomes entangled in a Elvesden Manor.
I particularly liked the character of Tanya; you really feel for her due to her ability to see fairies which causes her no end of troubles. Regardless of what others think, she is an extremely brave and loyal person who is simply trying to do the right thing by those around her.
Tanya's grandmother's house, Elvesden Manor is almost a character itself. It is the house that reveals the unsolved mystery to Tanya and she becomes very aware of it withholding many more secrets. I loved the chapters where Tanya and Fabian explore some of the house's hidden rooms and passages as you have no idea of what they may find.
I really enjoy young adult fiction that isn't afraid to be a little dark. Michelle Harrison includes some very sinister characters in this book and their descriptions are wonderful. I'm so glad that I read The Thirteen Treasures, I will definitely be picking up the other two in the series.

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy to review.


Vivienne said...

I loved Elvesdon Manor. It really is a character in itself. You beat me to the review. I hope to get mine up next week. Half way through The Thirteen Curses and loving it. Red features very heavily in it. What I really like is that it is set in England, and it seems so perfectly normal. Why shouldn't we have fairies too!

lovely treez said...

I've loved this whole series and yes, it does get darker with each book. The Thirteen Secrets is a fabulous finale to the trilogy. It's so good to see something to counteract the Rainbow Fairies/Tinkerbelle brigade! I agree that it has a timeless quality, could well be a classic in the making and the language won't be obtuse for future generations in the way which Narnia has been for my children.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! I am sceptical about fairies too, but you convinced by saying the house is a character, which is something I adore in fiction, and that it's a bit dark. Sounds like a great, gripping read!

Vicki said...

I've just read this and really liked it too! I have a thing for Fairies atm, they're my favourite creature right now. You should try The Iron King, I loved that one too!

Dot said...

Vivienne- Oooh look forward to readaing your reviews of the others,shall have to get them!

lolvely treez- I think it will be a classic, I would have loved them as a child.

Irena- It's really good, looking forward to the other two now!

Vicki- Will do, saw a really positive review for that the other day!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Vivienne really liked this one too and put it on my radar, and now you. I haven't yet read anything with fairies, but I will keep this one in mind.

Dot said...

Nicole- I would definitely give them a go, I wasn't sure if I would like it but I want to read the others now!

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