Hardcover: 352 pagesPublisher: Tor Teen; First Edition (September 27, 2011)ISBN-10: 0765327228ISBN-13: 978-0765327222
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…
Pick-pocketing the streets of Victorian London, Tiki knows who to go after in order to feed the stomachs of her orphan brothers and sisters. Caring for her family in Charing Cross has become her life since the death of her parents and running away from her perverted uncle. In order to keep her family healthy enough she--and Shamus and Fiona--must risk thieving in the flagrant pubs and teeming shops around their home. As her nose leads her astray in a kitchen where a feast is being concocted, Tiki soon finds her in a library of Buckingham Palace, where she proceeds to steal the most invaluable treasure in all of London; the truce that holds the threads of their home together, the Faerie Ring.
Thrust into the world of cobblestones and horse-drawn carriages it is immediately evident the atmosphere of a thief in 1871 London will be carried through in every word, phrase and description of this book. It's when the characters are introduced and when the faeries are thrown in the mix that things got a little "out of wack." I wanted to sympathize with these orphans that take care of each other while living under terrible circumstances. The only time I felt that really happened was whenever little Clara was being taken care by Tiki wholeheartedly. Usually each of the characters all have a little background shown in the beginning of the book so as the story progresses the reader gets a growing sense of who they are as a person. However, in The Faerie Ring all the characters were immediately introduced without so much as a physical depiction of their appearance, except for Rieker who Tiki feels an unquestionable attraction to. I'm getting tired of all these romances that have no basis to explain the connection and develop the relationship between two prominent characters.
When the faeries come in the picture and the truce is actualized, I couldn't help but just put the book down and inwardly complain about the elusiveness of such creatures. I have NOTHING against faeries as a whole, one of my favorite series ever has faeries as the forefront characters, but the author failed to pronounce the importance of these creatures in the plot line. I got up to page 172 before I finally gave up and said, "I don't care what happens with the ring, the faeries or Tiki and Reiker." Honestly, it just didn't matter to me what was going to happen next. Out of the half of the book that I was able to swallow, I only appreciated the setting and the fleeting chapters where Prince Leo and Prince Arthur were talking. That's it, and that is sad. Obviously it wasn't the author's writing style or originality that lacked something, just the plot and characters weren't enough to carry on this tale of "gritty slums and glittering ballrooms" and the Otherworld that held the creatures seeking the reclamation of their city. The suspense and dangerous tone came through loud and clear, but the romance was white noise at best.
In order for you to make up your own opinion of The Faerie Ring I'm giving away a finished copy to one lucky person. Just fill out this FORM and you'll have to be a US resident and wait till October 30th to find out who the winner is...