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Treasure Box (Novel)

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For other uses of the word Succubus, see Succubus (disambiguation).

Treasure Box (1996) is the second horror novel by Orson Scott Card. It takes place in modern day America. Within this novel a Succubus is a major character.

Treasure Box book cover. Written by Orson Scott Card.


  • Title: Treasure Box
  • Author: Orson Scott Card
  • Publisher: HarperTorch
  • Length: 384 Pages
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-10: 006109398X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061093982
  • Publishing Date: January 25, 2005

Plot Summary

When naive computer-nerd and millionaire Quentin Fears meets the woman of his dreams at a posh Washington, D.C., party and then marries her, he thinks his life is complete.

But in this low-key horror novel, appearances can't be trusted and people aren't always in control of their actions. Although Madeleine seems quite sophisticated, there are deficits in her memory and her background is vague. She claims a large, well-to-do family but invites no relatives to the wedding.

When Quentin finally meets his in-laws at their palatial Upstate New York mansion, they strike him as eccentric, almost as cartoons of real people. The domineering grandmother, whom Madeleine hates, sits in a trance, eyes closed, refusing to speak. There are hints of past child abuse?and of the possibility that a young boy may have been murdered. Why do so many of Madeleine's relatives have names identical to those buried in the family cemetery? And why doesn't Madeleine leave any footprints in the snow?

The plot details a middle-aged man, Quentin Fears (pronounced "fierce"), who marries a woman who turns out to be a succubus. The story unfolds as Quentin tries to stop her and the witch who controls her from unleashing a great evil upon the world.

Critical Reviews

The following review is taken from the page in the External Links below:

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing compared to his more intellectual works
  • Reviewed On: June 15, 2000
  • Reviewed By: Ellen Denham

Since I love Orson Scott Card's other work I probably am more critical of this than I would be from another writer. I found this book a mild disappointment, though it is still an engaging and fun read.

If you like his Alvin series, Ender, and so forth, this reads a bit more like, well, Stephen King. The characters are believable but the supernatural elements pushed the plausibility meter a little, and this from someone who loves his fantasy and science fiction oriented work and never had any trouble with his explanations in these books. I can't say much more about that without giving away the one big plot twist, but I found what happened with the character Madeline a little too convenient and not set up very well -- like a bad mystery where once you find out 'whodunit', you do recall a few previous clues, but still just don't buy it.

That may sound overly critical, but Card is one of my favorite writers so I hold him to a high standard. He can do (and does) much better. If you haven't read this one yet and are a fan of his other books, I would recommend one of his newer books, Enchantment, which is an amazing read.

External Links