Book Two in the Faerie Ring series picks up where the previous book ended and continues the tale.
Newcomers to the series will have no trouble catching up with the goings-on of Tiki, Rieker and their gang of ex-pickpockets in Hamilton’s latest (The Faerie Ring, 2011). The issue of the queen’s stolen ring has been mostly resolved; now it’s time for the protagonist to understand who she is and the meaning of the birthmark on her wrist. The biggest obstacle to Tiki’s self-discovery is also her best source for information: the inexplicable Larkin, a faery whose agenda is completely and often frustratingly hidden. Larkin pops in and out of the human world at will, refusing to disclose information that would enrich Tiki’s journey. There’s also the possibility that Tiki holds the key to end the tension building between the two faery factions: the Seelies and the UnSeelies. The plot revolves around her quest to find out if Larkin’s being truthful about Tiki’s heritage. This is a fun read, all but impossible to put down, and Tiki’s burgeoning relationship with Rieker is sweet and just right. Other high points include Tiki’s bravery when facing the UnSeelie king, her interactions with the royal family and her struggles with the changes in her life. She’s a lucky woman, and in the end, we find out why: As always when dealing with the fae, all is not what it seems at first glance, and that includes Tiki, herself. While not enough attention is given to the political machinations between the Seelies and the UnSeelies, nor to the fae/human relationship, Tiki, Rieker and their crew can easily sustain readers’ interest. More skillful and consistent copy editing would tip the scales heavily in Hamilton’s favor.
Lovers of fairy tales and Victorian England aren’t the only readers who will be charmed by this story of self-discovery.