Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Little known fact:  my baccalaureate degree (or at least one of them) was in history -- with a sub-specialty in British history.  The year I spent living in London offered the usual delights of a University student living abroad, plus the unbelievable thrill of wandering my new city and recognizing places right there in front of me that I'd read about in books or heard of in lectures back in musty classrooms in upstate New York.  It was kind of like that with this book.  Inside a wonderful tale, Author Kiki Hamilton tucked references to places I knew from history, or have seen in real life.  Even yesterday morning, on the radio, I heard Serpentine Lake mentioned in a story about a Greek Olympic hopeful, and there it was later in the day in  The Faerie Ring.  Things like that make me know I'm reading the right book at the right time.

This story has it all: adventure, history, fantasy, romance -- and the promise of more of the magic to come.  I loved the alternate world that Kiki Hamilton created, Victorian England with Faeries. And the family of orphans living on the streets seemed part Oliver Twist, part The Invention of Hugo Cabret (aren't they in an old watchmaker's too?  Maybe the same one?!) Loved the mixed meanings of faerie rings. Plus there's the mystery of what the birthmark on Tiki's wrist means.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my dip into Tiki's world, and look forward to another Victorian romp as soon as I can get my hands on the second book in the series.

I'd like to thank Tor for sending this copy of the book, and for providing a sound alternative for me to give my granddaughters, to show them that there is good reading to be found that doesn't involve sparkly vampires.

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