Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Book: The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Series: The Faerie Ring #1
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult
Buy A Copy: Amazon | Book Depository
Available Formats: Print / Ebook
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
First Sentence: "You wouldn't be here pickin' pockets, would you?"
How Did I Get This Book: From Publisher, For Review
Description: 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… 

The Faerie Ring features a dynamic, likable cast of characters.  The heroine, Tiki is strong-willed, independent, courageous, loyal and caring. Basically, she’s my kind of girl.  Honestly, I loved all of the characters – so much in fact that I wish I could have seen more of them. I understand that the book is centered around Tiki, but I would have loved to learn more about her self-proclaimed “family” – especially Fiona and Shamus.  They both appear to be incredibly interesting characters. In my opinion, Hamilton has struck gold with this ragtag group of petty criminals and I would love to see her expand on them.

The romance between Tiki and Rieker was paced extremely well and I found myself wholeheartedly believing their relationship and interactions.  There wasn’t an all consuming pull between them – they BOTH could keep their heads on straight. Granted, TIki irritated me at times, but I am infinitely grateful that Hamilton wrote her with a independent streak a mile long. Rieker for his part certainly wasn’t perfect either. But he tries to do right by Tiki and that’s all we can really ask for.

However, I felt like a lot of the drama between Tiki and Reiker was unjustified and unnecessary. I am not saying that Tiki should have trusted him right off, but I felt like their relationship traveled in circles. She made some choices that I found rather na├»ve and she was constantly jumping to conclusions.  

Let’s talk about the setting for a minute. I will be upfront with you – Victorian London is one of my absolute favorite settings.  I will read practically anything that takes place there, so I was instantly on board for The Faerie Ring from the word go. That being said, I obviously adored that aspect of the book Hamilton did an incredible job with both the setting and crafting the characters to fit into the setting.  

I did have a few issues with The Faerie Ring, but all things considered, Hamilton has created one heck of a story. It’s got excitement, mystery, danger, romance and a healthy dose of magic. I cannot wait to see what comes next for Tiki!

Favorite Quotes
Just like a kitten pretending to be a lion.
Oh bloody hell. She'd just stolen the queen's ring.
Tiki was uncomfortably aware of how close Rieker was standing to her, yet at the same time she felt pulled toward him, as though in the grip of a magnet.
Tiki ran hard, ignoring the startled looks of strangers. It felt good to run, to run away from her sadness and fear.
Expecting his usual aloof expression, she saw instead that his smoky eyes were locked on her face and the walls that he usually hid behind were gone. There was something that looked almost like longing in his expression. 
Rieker's hand slid from her wrist to her hand, and his fingers entwined around hers. Before she could move, he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and pulled her close. Instead of being afraid, Tiki felt an odd sense of safety.
"My God, girl, you can bugger up any well-thought-out scheme."
A few strands of his long, dark hair had been caught by the wind and blown against his face. Without thinking, she reached up and smoothed the strands away from his skin, wishing she could smooth away the pain etched there.
"One minute sweet and nice, like a lovable little kitten, the next she'd give you a pop in the jaw if you say the wrong thing."
A cry of despair escaped her lips. When had she fallen in love with him?
"We're bound by more than love, it would seem. Destiny seems to have plans for us as well."

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