Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 27, 2011
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger. The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood. Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist. Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…"
In Victorian London it's especially tough if you are an orphan living on the streets and that's the situation for Tiki who lives with friends in an abandoned building in Charing Cross Station. She never knows what her next meal is going to be and in turn, picks pockets to survive. One night Tiki steals a ring, and not just any ring, but Queen Victoria's ring. This ring also holds special powers as it holds a truce between the human world and the faerie world. Since the ring is missing, there's a group of dangerous faeries on the prowl for Tiki, whom they know has something to do with its disappearance as well as her friend and fellow thief, Rieker. There's more than meets the eye in The Faerie Ring by debut author Kiki Hamilton and this story will take readers on a captivating adventure through Victorian London. The Faerie Ring is the perfect combination of historical fiction, fantasy, and a blossoming romance.
I love this time period. Dickens' London is a brilliant setting for The Faerie Ring with it's crime-filled streets, struggling orphans, and the huge separation of the rich and the poor. It reminded me of Dickens' Oliver Twist; in fact, Rieker was reading it in the book in the story. So, needless to say, the setting itself was fascinating.
Tiki is a strong heroine that I immediately warmed up to. I really liked her and felt she was caring, courageous, clever and down right likable. With her rags to riches story, how could you not root for her? Rieker, at first, didn't catch my eye. at. all. But as I read more about him and learned more about his background, I was then completely enchanted. Hamilton slowly reveals his past and like Tiki, I was desperate to find out more. The romance between the two was a slow burn, but it was definitely worth the wait.
The Faerie Ring is a great mystery that's filled with fantasy and adventure. I found the interactions between the faeries and Tiki to be suspenseful and Hamilton's whole take on faerie lore to be compelling. I forgot how much I love faerie lore, especially Hamilton's mentions of the Irish Faerie Court.
I can't wait to share The Faerie Ring with my students, especially since it's going down as one of my favorite young adult books of 2011. Thankfully, The Faerie Ring is a part of a series. I can't wait to find out what happens next to Tiki and Rieker and I especially want to learn more about Tiki's past. Maybe the next book will take place in Ireland? *fingers crossed!*
*Buy The Faerie Ring
*Read an excerpt
*Watch the book trailer