Book Review: The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (The Faerie Ring #1)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Format: ARC (courtesy of Banned Book Tours)
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: 9.27.2011
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…

     She recalled the names of the young men who had been in the library with her. Leo...Prince Leopold? And Prince Arthur? And the older woman...Mother...
     Oh, bloody hell. She'd just stolen the queen's ring.
-Tiki, The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (pg. 33-34)
Sweet and satisfying; that is how I would describe The Faerie Ring. Taking place in Victorian London (one of my favorite time periods), we get to see life from the eyes of a thief--or rather, a thief and the group of orphans she has taken under her wing. The setting is wonderful. Instead of focusing on lavish parties and big dresses, the book focuses on these characters who are struggling to keep themselves alive. We read as they pickpocket enough money for food and basic supplies, and still struggle to meet their needs. And then we read along as Tiki makes one huge mistake--stealing the Queen's ring.

I like Tiki; she is resourceful and daring. In order to survive, she learned to pick pockets and quickly became one of the best. Though she has lost her own family, she loves her group of orphans just as much, and struggles through every day to help take care of them. She doesn't always make the best choices, but she tries to make up for her mistakes. The other characters are present throughout the story and are so supportive and helpful, it makes me smile. I love the parts that each of them play, and how the story changes because of their actions. Not being entirely dependent upon the thoughts and actions of the MC made it seem more real.

It's more of a historical fiction than fantasy for most of the book, but that's not a drawback. It's a strong story, and stands on its own before the fantasy elements come in. I like the small twists the author gave to popular faerie lore, and can't wait to see how these changes will be explored in the next books. Although I didn't find it completely accurate in its historical aspects (mainly in the narration), I doubt that most will notice, or even care, since there is nothing that really detracts from the story.

The love story the book contains is nothing but sweet. I love the way the MC and love interest interact...especially at the end. >>>Those last words made me sigh!<<< There is also a good dose of subtle humor that had me laughing quite a few times. Random thought: Rest assured, there is absolutely NO love triangle in this book. I thought there might be (in any other book with the same character setup, there would have been), but the author thankfully chooses to bypass that option.

Overall, The Faerie Ring is a recommended dose of history, romance, and faerie lore. Take twice a day until cured of malady.

Read this if:
...you like the sweet kind of romance, you like brave and daring characters, and you don't mind hanging around the filthier streets of London, 1871.

Content Warning
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Highlight between the brackets to reveal text.
{A few (very few) swear words. Other than that, it's a clean read.}

Reading The Faerie Ring, and finding yourself turned around? The streets of London can be hard to navigate. You might find it useful to look at this handy map I found on Kiki's about me page:
Other Books in the Series:
Book 2: The Torn Wing (2012)  /  Book 3: The Tara Stone (2013)  /  Book 4: The Endgame (2014)

Purchase The Faerie Ring:
Kiki Hamilton:
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  1. Ohhh I'm really looking forward to reading this one! It looks so goood!! I'm getting into fairy books a lot more lately, so this will be a good one to add to my shelf!! Great review!!

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

  2. Anna: If you're starting to like faerie books, this is definitely a good one to read. Hope you enjoy it! :)

  3. Eh I thought this was a book that was basically an introduction to the whole series. The book was slow and long for what little we learned. I'm interested in the second book but it is not high on my wishlist.

    Glad you liked this one though. :)

  4. I love the map. I worked in London as a teenager and wandering the streets at lunch time was my favorite pastime

  5. Great review, Penelope!!! You had me at Victorian London. And faeries. And 'reads like historical fiction.' Putting this on my list right now.


  6. Alexa: Aw, sorry you didn't like it as much! I loved that it was slower paced, but then again, I love slow-paced historicals. Lol.

    Ann: Oh, that sounds so great! I haven't visited London, but I will one day.

    Jehara: Thank you! Hope you get to read it soon! :)


Thanks for commenting! I read each and every one, and reply as soon as I can :)

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