Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: September 27, 2011
Summary: Tiki lives on the street, picking pockets daily to try and stay alive. When she accidentally steals an important ring from the Queen of England, she finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict involving faeries—mythical creatures who are as beautiful as they are deadly.
My thoughts: The Faerie Ring reads very much like a fairy tale itself. Kiki Hamilton, as a professional essay writer, easily sweeps the reader away into the slums of London circa 1871, a vivid setting that manages to seem slightly romantic once we’re introduced to the street children. From there, Hamilton steers her story straight into non-stop adventure. It’s nearly impossible to put The Faerie Ring down; the world is so richly built that upon reading, you feel as if you’re actually a part of it. Because Hamilton’s version of the late 1800’s is so fascinating (and exciting), it’s difficult to stop thinking about it for hours after you’ve stopped reading.
Tiki is an incredibly solid heroine; there isn’t one part of her to dislike. She’s lost everything, but she still makes it her mission to take care of a group of street children (all of which are adorable and fun, by the way). Tiki’s generosity makes her admirable, but her fierce determination and loyalty make her lovable. Plus, Tiki’s thief mentality makes her incredibly amusing—she gets herself into trouble quite easily, but the ways she gets herself out are quite clever.
The Faerie Ring features Tiki as its central protagonist, but there are actually two other main characters, both of which are just as strong as Tiki. The first is Leopold, who serves to provide another perspective on the central conflict in the story, and the second is Rieker, a mysterious figure who completely turns the bad-boy stereotype on its head. Both of these men are fabulous characters, but Rieker especially stands out for his complexity and humorous attitude.
With its lush writing, highly detailed setting and instantly lovable characters, The Faerie Ring will enchant everyone who reads it. The story has such an adventurous quality to it that you’ll be sucked in immediately, and the suspense of not knowing what happens next will keep you hooked. Kiki Hamilton’s fabulous debut is perfect for fans of historical fantasy. Highly recommended it to you!