Monday, November 7, 2011

Review - The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Received copy from publisher for review

The Victorian era is one of my favorite settings for books. Mix in a strong heroine; a twisty plot that keeps you on your toes, and a slow simmering romance and the book is sure to be one that I will want to reread over and over. Kiki Hamilton’s The Faerie Ring is one of those books.

Tiki and her “family” have been living in a small abandoned shop by Charing Cross Station picking pockets on the streets of London, stealing just enough money for food and coal. One cold day, Tiki finds herself in the Queen’s palace where she steals a ring. Her plan is to return the ring for reward money. But, when it’s revealed that the ring is more important than Tiki thought- it’s part of a treaty between the Queen and the fey- she realizes that it must be returned to the palace, but how? Soon after, Tiki notices that Rieker, a fellow thief, is following her. He claims to know about the fey and the ring, but can Tiki trust him enough to let him help her with the ring?

Kiki Hamilton transports the reader to 1871 London with her writing. It was easy to slip into Tiki’s world and it felt like I was right there with Tiki throughout all of her adventures. The shop by Charing Cross Station, the bookshop at the train station, the streets of London, and the palace ballroom were all equally vivid and easy to picture as I was reading. The story drew me in and I couldn’t put the book down until I got to the end.

Off all the characters, Rieker was my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I found Tiki to be quite likeable; she was strong, independent and caring. Right from the first scene, I cared about what happened to her. Her main concern was her family – Clare, Toots, Shamus and Fiona and getting enough money for them to be fed and warm. Even after she stole the ring and became a target of the fey, they were still her first priority. How can you not like someone who cares more for others than herself?

But, Rieker, he was a mystery and that made him interesting. Tiki knew he was a thief, but there was something more to him than that. I liked how his story was revealed as the book went on, how little details here and there made me wonder about his past and who he really was. And the scenes where he tells Tiki about his past, even though they were quite sad, were some of my favorites in the book.

 Another thing that I really enjoyed about The Faerie Ring was the romance. It was like a slow burn. Even though Tiki and Rieker have known each other for some time, it took awhile for the romance between them to start.
The plot had enough twists to keep me on my toes. The action moved along at a good pace and I found myself wanting to keep reading even though there were other things I probably should have been doing. The fey element was quite interesting; Ms. Hamilton’s fey are definitely not your garden variety faeries. They were vindictive, very focused on their ultimate goals, and a bit evil. I found myself wanting more of the fey in the book!
Overall, I really enjoyed The Faerie Ring. Like I said at the start, this is a book that I will definitely reread. I can safely say that this will end up in my top ten of 2011. Plus, I learned that is the first book in a series. I can’t wait to find out more about Tiki, her family and her past in the upcoming books.
A mix of historical, paranormal, romance and adventure, The Faerie Ring has a little something for every reader.

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