When I first heard of this book I was overcome by two strong but conflicting emotions: NEED for the book because the cover was gorgeous and the title spoke to my soul(!), and worry because the main character’s name sounded a lot like the author’s name and I didn’t really want to read a self-insert book. Those are never good.
But my worry was unfounded! This book was awesome!
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
When I went to buy the book, the first thing I noticed was…well, the FIRST thing I noticed was that the cover was even more beautiful in real life. The SECOND thing I noticed was that O. R. Melling had blurbed it!!! O. R. Melling!!!! The Hunter’s Moon was the first real novel I ever read. And I have since read a lot of her other books and I just love her so much.
So, I started The Faerie Ring with some high expectations. There was going to be faeries and adventure and high spirited young women and romance and danger. And it totally lived up to my expectations. It even read similarly to the faerie books I read when I was growing up. Reading this book felt like re-discovering an old friend that I had somehow forgotten about.
Tiki was a great character. She does some bad things, makes some bad choices, and is very mistrusting of people but her motivations are always for the protection of her family. You can just feel how much she cares about this band of orphans that have come together to try to make something resembling a home. She would do anything for them, including stealing and lying and bargaining with dangerous faeries. But all the bad things she does are done to get food and shelter for her new family and I never even thought about blaming her or anything like that.
And then there’s Reiker. I found his mysterious storyline a mite predictable, but I wanted it all the same. You know? He was great and dependable that way. From a reading perspective and from a character perspective. And I loved the ending he had with Tiki. It really showed how much he understood what was important to her. If there are any more books in this series, which there had better be because somethings were not answered at all, I really hope they don’t mess with Tiki and Reiker. Or the ending they had.
I should mention, after saying that some questions never got answers, that it wasn’t a horrible cliffhanger ending. Everything about this plot was wrapped up wonderfully. There were just a couple things along the way that were left open, which is what makes me assume it will be a series. Which excites me! I want more!
My ONE problem with the book is difficult to convey without spoiling things. But lets just say that I really don’t think a certain prominent building would be quite that easy to break in to, or go wondering around in. Multiple times. I found that to be a little unrealistic. But it didn’t interrupt my enjoyment of the story too much. And I guess I don’t really know anything about how security worked in 1871.
If you’re looking for a fun, fast, adventurous read with a classic feel to it, I encourage you to pick up The Faerie Ring.