Enter to win a Signed/Personalized copy of Fever by Lauren DeStefano here

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

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…

I'm normally a huge fan of historical fiction. It's been this crazy passion of mine since I started reading the Dear America series back in the sixth grade. Something about warping history and making it into a fantastical new world is so captivating. That was the main reason I enjoyed The Faerie Ring. Hamilton delves deep into the slums of Victorian England and creates this realistic depiction of what life would be like as an orphan pickpocket during that time period. The streets, the gardens, the palace, everything is just perfectly described so it feels like you've boared a time capsule and shot straight back in time. And what's even cooler, is that these places Hamilton describes, like the cottage in St. James Park, are real. Its just an added flare that gives this story its spark of history.

However, I was a little bit iffy on the story itself. I really loved the concept, of a Faerie Ring binding a truce between humans and fey, and that said ring being accidentally stolen by an orphan named Tiki. As a result, both the fey and humans are scrambling to find the ring and protect or destroy the truce, trapping Tiki in the middle. I just felt that the potential was there, but the story fell a little flat. To me, it just seemed like there was a lot of fillers between these great scenes and not enough flow, almost as if the story was a little too choppy. There would be a huge scene and then a lull until something else happened. And I understand that stories can't always be action packed 100% of the time, but for me, The Faerie Ring had a little too much down time and not enough happenings. I just wanted a little more.

What I did love about the story was the characters. Every single character in this book leaps off the page and has their own voice. I love that kind of development. Tiki of course was my favorite, being this spirited, take charge, and very loving orphan who cares for her rag-tag family. She's selfless and isn't whiny about her situation, but works herself to the bone to keep the other orphans alive. What I loved more was that she was a risk taker. She didn't fawn over Reiker and do whatever he said, and instead, made her own choices based on what was best for her family. It was really invigorating having such a strong female voice.

Overall this book was a fast read with a cutesy happy ending. I never really got any heart pumping or blood racing feelings from the book, but it was enjoyable none the less. I give it 3 out of 5 stars, for originality and spirited characters. I would have liked more action between the humans and fey, but was satisfied with the combination of history and fantasy. There were some unanswered questions at the end, so a sequel seems plausible, and hopefully the plot will pick up!


  1. I was a fan of the Dear America series when I was a kid, too! (But my love for historical fiction was really started by the American Girl books. Molly was totally my favorite.)

    I bought The Faerie Ring recently and am very glad to hear that characterization was good because I will take a character-driven novel over a plot-driven novel any day! Great review!

  2. @ Sarah- I never had an American Girl Doll myself, but I did read one of Kirsten's books when I was younger. If I remember correctly, she was one of the girls from the colonial time period(?) and that's my favorite part of history.

    The Faerie Ring is definitely character-driven (for me personally) so I'm hoping you will enjoy it! It's not a bad story at all, just wasn't a favorite of mine.

  3. Great review! I love books witch great characters that you can connect with. I find that if I can't like them, I usually get bored with the story very fast. I've seen a lot of good reviews on this one though so I'll have to check it out :)

    Xpresso Reads