“THE FAERIE RING,” by Kiki Hamilton, Tor Teen, Sept. 27, 2011, $17.99 (young adult)
There are some books that are best read when curled up with a blanket and a warm drink. “The Faerie Ring,” by debut novelist Kiki Hamilton, is one such book.
The time and place is Victorian London, and a young woman is doing her best to make a home for herself and her family of adopted orphans. Picking pockets is their only means of survival, but they seem to be getting by.
Then one night, the young woman, Tiki, hitches a ride and finds herself behind the walls of the palace and inside Queen Victoria’s kitchens. Hoping only to snag some bread and cheese, Tiki makes a run for it, but in the process, ends up further inside the extensive abode.
Hiding beneath a desk, Tiki suddenly finds herself in possession of a beautiful ring. Temptation overwhelms her judgment and she slips it inside her jacket. It’s only a ring she thinks; surely no one will miss it.
But the ring is no ordinary ring. It has helped serve as a truce between the Fey and humans for years. Without the ring in its rightful place, the world will become unbalanced. Tiki took the ring to save her family, but now it looks like she’s the one who needs saving.
From the dark slums to glittering ballrooms, Kiki transports readers to a place both familiar and surprising. She’s weaved together an enticing tale of romance, suspense and danger, with a little bit of supernatural thrown in for good measure.
“The Faerie Ring” is a fast and driving novel with an unexpected amount of heart. The romantic elements are in part not surprising but are satisfying nonetheless. Tiki’s relationships with her fellow orphans feel sincere and add depth to the plot and main characters.
Perhaps because the story is set in the winter, now seems a perfect time to read it. One can appreciate the orphans’ plight now that the weather has grown colder. “The Faerie Ring” is a worthwhile read. Here’s looking forward to whatever else author Kiki Hamilton has in store.
*Learn more about Kiki and a number of other debut authors at the Class of 2k11 website.