Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Faerie Ring-Kiki Hamilton

The Faerie Ring

Kiki Hamilton

Tor, Sep 27 2011, $17.99

ISBN: 9780765327222

Following the deaths of her parents and needing to avoid her odious uncle, teenager Tiki lives on the streets of London. She and other street urchin pick pockets while they reside in a dump near Charing Cross Station.

In December 1871, Tiki grabs a ring. However this bauble is not just an ordinary piece of jewelry. The ring belongs to the rulers of England and symbolizes the peace between the humans and the fey. If lost, the fey no longer are bound to idly observe the encroachment of the mortals into their realm. Tiki learns the truth and wants to return the ring to Queen Victoria in order to collect the reward that will enable her and her orphans to leave the streets. However, the faerie stalk her as they want the ring so that the truce ends with her blood as the catalyst in a dark magical assault on mankind. Only Rieker the thief as a sort of guardian angel and her urchin comrades have her back; while Prince Leopold stunned by the “ring” he sees etched around Tiki’s wrist wants to know who she really is.

With an in your face gleeful nod to Oliver Twist (Rieker is even reading the book) and the Prince and the Pauper, but starring a Cinderella heroine, readers will appreciate this engaging historical fantasy. Tiki is a super protagonist who cares deeply for her “children” while Rieker is an enigmatic thief who seems to always have her back. Although the ending feels more like a setup for future tales rather than a climax, young teenage readers will enjoy visiting Kiki Hamilton’s Dickensian fantasy realm.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: