13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

What if you spent your entire life able to see something that others can’t? What if that something is very real, and tormenting you in every imaginable way? This is what Tanya must deal with. She can see fairies and they are not nearly as nice as fairytales make them out to be.

Her mother, tired of what she thinks is acting out, decides that Tanya should spend a couple of weeks at her grandmother’s. Tanya doesn’t want to go there because her grandmother seems to hate and makes it abundantly clear that she is unwanted. While there, Tanya discovers that things–fairies and magic and people like her–are more complicated than she ever expected.

Harrison doesn’t waste any time. From the opening scene, she gets right into it. We see fairies for the cruel, torturous creatures that they can be. You can’t help but feel for Tanya as she tries to convince her mother not to send her away and grasps for any way to explain what has happened.

Harrison has managed to include a great deal of information and though she does break a few “show don’t tell” rules too many, it overall manages to do it in a way that feels both realistic and not like information dumping. It would have been nice to experience more of the information rather than hear it all from Red, but there is also a setup for a second book so we may get to see a lot of what we were informed about in this book.

The one thing I would like to have seen more of, was the grandmother’s supposed dislike of Tanya. We are told more about it than we actually see, so it doesn’t strike as particularly believable.

Harrison managed to surprise me and make the plot far more complicated than it seemed to be in the beginning. My guess is book two (assuming there will be a book two) will take us into the fairy realm itself and I am particularly interested in seeing where that goes.

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