The Faerie Ring Review

Friday, September 23, 2011

Title: The Faerie Ring
Author: Kiki Hamilton
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Genre: YA, Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher

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…
Tiki lives in a world of extremes. While Victorian London is alive with colour, hustle and bustle for those with plenty, those without are forced to live in the slums and do whatever they can to scrape by. An orphan and alone, Tiki is the latter, as is her "family" in Charing Cross - a whole group of orphans working to pick pockets and make enough to live day to day. But even so, money is scare, times are hard and Tiki never knows when her little bit of luck will run out. Then she happens upon the ring; a mysterious and beautiful ring belonging to the Queen, and she is presented with two choices. She can keep the ring and return it for the reward money, or she can venture further into a world of shaky alliances between humans and vengeful fey. Either way, Tiki's life is about to change forever, and she might not be who she thought she was.

Faerie stories are hit or miss for me. I'm not the type who loves glittering faeries born to be tedious little tricksters. Rather, I like my fey to be a bit heinous, a bit mad and whole lot dark and nasty. The Faerie Ring more than easily obliges all my criteria. Author Kiki Hamilton may have very well accomplished the impossible with The Faerie Ring, merging a young adult historical story with the paranormal. Two difficult genres to blend, The Faerie Ring brings the two together in a potent and intoxicating story of truth, dignity and the right to survive at all costs. Battle lines are easily drawn in The Faerie Ring, but peace is the more difficult path, and the tension, compassion and mystery overflow throughout the story.

Tiki is one of the most lovable and engaging heroines that I've read in a while. Right from the start, though she's strong and resilient, you can feel her anger at her situation. Though it simmers lightly below the surface, part of the beauty of The Faerie Ring was that you can sense that she will eventually reach her boiling point, and you're simply waiting to find out when. Despite her circumstances though, Tiki's love for her fellow orphans in Charing Cross was abundant, and the feeling left me feeling comforted by the sense that there was a rock for her charcter no matter where the action took us. In regards to the action, The Faerie Ring was a complete rollercoaster. Fast and furious, the plot is a whirlwind, sweeping us through Victorian London, all the while letting us taste the gritty air, view the extravagance of the wealthy and feel the acrid hatred between the humans and the fey. The transition between historical fiction and paranormal elements was flawless. The two were intertwined in a way that one would be incomplete without the other, which is a feat in and of itself. Furthermore, the full cast of characters in The Faerie Ring were wholly enmeshed in the ever-moving plot, driving it in the right direction from start to finish. I do have to say that Reiker was the one character that, though awesome, confused the heck out of me. I never knew what I was going to get from him, and I'll be honest and say I still had some questions at the end.

The Faerie Ring is a meticulous blend of all the elements of a great story - characters, plot and writing. Entertaining and engrossing from start to finish, it will have you guessing throughout. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, historical fiction and paranormal.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Oooh...this sounds awesome! I've been hearing great things. The main character sounds well developed.
    I'm curious. I know you normally hate vampires. Why do you not always hate faeries?

  2. I'm not usually too keen on books about the fae either, and I've never really worked out why! This is the first review of The Faerie Ring I have read and your scoring definelty makes me more inclined to buy it now.

  3. Another good book from you :)
    I rememberr seeing this one on goodreads and it looked nice, and I do like fairies

  4. New like via blog hop hoping you will follow us back at thks in advance xx

  5. One of my favorite blends is historical fiction with fantasy. Can't wait to read this! Thanks for the great review. :)

  6. I'm in love with the cover of this book. Glad to see the Fey were to your liking. This one is on my wishlist.

  7. Funny how the fey were traditionally nasty but then "sweetened" up as time progressed. I'm glad authors are going back to the dark stories and fey. This one sounds like my type of book. Can't wait to read it!

  8. So, I just finished this book and I wrote kind of a ridiculous review. I was in major "do not want to review" mode when I read it and I just couldn't get excited about anything. Your review makes me think I need to pick it up again at a later time when I'm not in a funk:)

  9. I've been waiting for a review on this one! I think this sounds good (particularly because of the time period) and now I REALLY want it!

  10. My thoughts exactly! I loved how the faeries were darker characters in The Faerie Ring, and I also liked that they didn't take center stage. I loved this book; glad to hear you did, too! :)

  11. Oooh, a historical paranormal? Sounds amazing! Thanks so much for recommending it!

  12. oh awesome review ! It sounds so great, I'm very curious to read it now !

  13. Loved this book as well! Anna's story made my heart break! Loved your review !

  14. Oh I've been curious about how you would feel about this one! Oh I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love a good fae story!

  15. Faerie stories are not my thing, but I can't wait to read this book! Great review!

  16. I have been wanting this one for a while because I really love a good fae story. I am so happy this one delivers, and am equally pleased that the author mixed fantasy with historical setting. Great review!

  17. I'm with you -- I prefer my faeries dark and just a bit twisted. Can't wait to read this one.

  18. Great review! I just got this today and can't wait to start it.
    Truly Bookish

  19. New comment, since I messed up on the first one....well yes I love this book! I like that the heroine is not your average girl and can pick pocket like no other!

  20. Wonderful review, Melissa!

    A rollercoaster of action? This one is definitely coming up next in my TBR pile then, especially since I love the sound of the setting :)

  21. I was in the search of some fairies books and came across your review of Faerie King. Wow what's a thoughtful review. I think I've found my perfect fairies book. Now it's time to buy the book and hope I enjoy it like you did =)


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