Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: The Faerie Ring

Back to the book reviews! I haven't had a chance to read much for awhile, but my TBR list is ever-filling up and my bookshelves are nearly over-flowing once again. And most importantly, I miss reading! I'm a book addict, and reading helps me relax and increase my creativity. So I'm starting up my Thursday Book Reviews in hopes of keeping me reading. (I still have 22 books to read to meet my yearly goal!)

Today's review is about a book I was super excited to discover because it contains two of my favorite topics: Faeries and Victorian-era London!

The Book...

The Faerie Ring (The Faerie Ring, #1)The Faerie Ring
(The Faerie Ring #1)

"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…
" (via goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I adored this book! (The second one needs to come out already!)

As corny as it sounds, I generally judge how good a book is by how teary-eyed it makes me (and not because it's sad). And I was definitely grabbing the tissues for this one. (Though there were some heart-wrenching points among the comical and tender moments.) The Faerie Ring is a beautifully-written mixture of adventure, fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. (Plus it has FAERIES in it! *squee* Dark, terrifying, and crazy faeries at that!)

1) Characters: Tiki is my favorite kind of heroine: feisty, good-hearted, quick-witted, and strong yet still realistically vulnerable in moments of heightened emotion. She is also an independent and mature young woman, surviving on the streets and taking care of her rag-tag little family. But she isn't without her faults of rash decision-making and stubborn pride, which causes problems when dealing with the mysterious Rieker and her thievery of the Queen's ring. Rieker is pretty "swoon" worthy in my opinion (and I don't "swoon" over guys that much...fictional or not!) though sometimes I felt very "stabby" towards him. And I will hint there is a bit of a "love triangle" in the book, but not necessarily with the characters you first suspect.

2) Plot: When Tiki stumbles into Buckingham Palace and steals Queen Victoria's ring, she sets off a chain of events involving ancient wars, supernatural beings, and the secret to her own past. Now she must worry about vengeful Fey, a suspicious prince, and the unwanted attention of a fellow thief...along with caring for her sick Clara and feeding the rest of her "family". She certainly has her hands full! But Tiki isn't the only view point we see the story unfold through. Prince Leo is worried about his own family and kingdom, while Rieker worries about Tiki despite their clashings. (Their building relationship is adorable!) I enjoyed the fast-paced adventure feel of the book where every time a solution seemed to be found, something (or someone) else would pop up and cause more trouble. I did wish the reader learned more about Tiki's past and the mystical world of the Fey, but this is only the first book in a series, so I suspect the author will reveal more in the next book.

3) Setting: As mentioned in the Goodreads summary above, this story takes between the grim streets of Victorian London to Buckingham Palace to the mystical Otherworld (though the reader only gets to see a glimpse of this world). Predominantly all the places mentioned the book are real historic places you could visit today if you travel to London, England. In fact, I have been to many of them (though I wasn't as lucky as Tiki and could only look longingly at Buckingham Palace through the gates instead of going inside). But if you've never been to these places, they are still well described so you feel like you're there with the characters. You can also tell that the author did her research about life in the late-19th century ranging from the poor to the wealthy and even the royals.

4) "Historical" Elements: This book features some real people, real locations, and a real point of our historical past. Despite its fantasy elements, The Faerie Ring holds its own against any historical fiction about the same time period with its facts and authenticity. I also like how the author uses the Gaelic language and lore for the Fey-culture she created. The Fey were "traditional" yet still unique. (Beware of the shadows!)

Definitely recommend this book if you enjoy reading tales of faerie lore, feisty characters, and mysterious adventures.

Meet the Author...

Kiki Hamilton"Kiki Hamilton is the author of THE FAERIE RING fantasy series and a YA contemporary novel entitled THE LAST DANCE which will be released Spring 2013. She believes in magic and the idea of hidden worlds co-existing with our own. Kiki lives near Seattle, though she dreams of living in London one day." (via goodreads)

Find Kiki On:

(Elvish Farewell)

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