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…
When I hear either the word “faeries” or the word “Victorian London,” my ears perk up. Upon seeing all three of these words in the same summary, I pretty much went “OMGWTFBBQ!” Suffice it to say, I jumped on the chance to help promote Hamilton’s debut. While there were parts of The Faerie Ring that were a bit cheesy, it was filled with original ideas and has left me hoping for more.
For those of you who may are who are trying to imagine how the summary of this book plays out, imagine Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens but with faeries and slightly different orphans. Since I read Oliver Twist for a class my senior year of college and watched several adaptations of it, including Oliver!, I really appreciated the major nod towards Dickens. Hamilton did an exceptional job of incorporating the fey without compromising her historical setting. I loved the actual plot of this story.
Tiki is a pretty awesome main character. She has the bravery to keep pick pocketing in the harsh streets of London but the compassion to care for her family. My only problem with Tiki is that from time to time she seemed earnest in a way that bordered on cheesy. However, I loved reading about Tiki’s family dynamic in this story. There’s also a bit of romance in this story, and although it was sweet, it moved more quickly than what I typically care for.
Hamilton’s debut novel is unlike anything else I’ve read this year. She left a few loose ends, and which I hope means that readers will get to see more books in this world. I think The Faerie Ring is perfect for any YA reader who likes their historical fiction with a a little something extra.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book through Teen Book Scene.