YA Historical Paranormal
Available now (Sept. 2011)
Review copy provided by publisher
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…
Positive: The historical aspect. Oh, well done, Kiki Hamilton! I loved traveling down twisting alleyways and dancing across glittering ballrooms of Victorian London with Tiki.
Positive: The fabulous characters. Even the secondary characters were sparkling with life. The main character, Tiki is such a brave soul with a kind heart. Sure, she's a pickpocket but a girl's got to make a living and feed her "family". Well-known among the urchins and thieves that populate the coal-choked streets of London, Rieker is a mysterious presence in Tiki's life. Darkly handsome, Rieker looks out for Tiki, though she doesn't want him around (or so she thinks). But he's got some serious dark secrets that he's unwilling to share. Intriguing.
Positive: The menace and mystery of the Fey. Once Tiki snatches the ring, she starts to see shadows following her, and dark creatures lurking in the corners, staring at her. A beautiful, otherworldly blonde seems to follow her everywhere. They're not very nice creatures who want to get their hands on the ring no matter who they have to kill to get it. The ring itself is a very cool concept -- a treaty between England and the Fey held within the depths of a ruby red stone.
Wish: That we learned more about Tiki and Rieker. While the end is satisfying with no cliffhanger, there are several murky elements regarding Tiki and Rieker's relations and connections to...some other characters (yes, I realize that's murky, too, but I don't want to spoil anything). Perhaps there's a follow-up novel in the works? 'Cause I'd really like that. Then maybe some more of those connections would be revealed.
Overall: Fast-paced and fabulous, this debut novel immerses readers in a gritty Victorian London populated by pickpockets, princes, and some rather scary faeries.
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