In The Faerie Ring, debut author Kiki Hamilton blends historical fiction with the paranormal in the story of a stolen ring that holds the key to peace between the faery realm and the rulers of England. Tiki only stole the ring out of desperation to provide food for her orphan family, but now she is caught in the middle of a high stakes battle over the treaty, and her own mysterious past comes to play in the negotiations for it’s return. With the ring missing, the faeries are free to roam the streets of Victorian London, bringing mischief and chaos and threatening war. Fellow thief Rieker seems to know a lot about the significance of the ring, but is he a trusted ally or a master of deceit? The author spins a magical tale of adventure, romance and suspense in this fast paced and action packed urban fantasy.I’m always a bit wary about reading books about faeries, but the historical aspect of this one intrigued me and does set it apart from other books. The faeries we meet are the devious sort that keeps you looking over your shoulder. We get a taste of the faery world that left me wanting to learn more about them.In terms of the setting, I liked seeing the contrast of Tiki’s rough life as a pickpocket trying to scrape by to the extravagant, privileged occupants of Buckingham Palace. Familiar landmarks such as Charing Cross, Covent Garden, and Hyde Park become a character in the book and provide a scenic backdrop to the events of the story. The vivid descriptions brought me right to Victorian London and made me feel like I was part of the action.Although I loved the setting of the book, my favorite part of the story was the characters. Tiki is kind, protective and scrappy and will do anything for her adopted family. The youngest member of the family, Clara, is very ill and that is the motivation for Tiki to earn money to provide a better life for her. Tiki also has a strange birthmark on her wrist that seems to be familiar to those in the royal family as well as to the faery folk. Rieker is another thief in Tiki’s circles that starts to pop up more and more once he discovers that she has the faery ring. He is mysterious and seems to know more than he is letting on. All of the orphans in Tiki’s family and the royal princes she meets are compelling characters that add interest to the story. There is some romance in the story, but it is not a major part. I also liked that it is a gradual romance and I look forward to seeing how it develops in future books.The book flows smoothly throughout with an effortless writing style. It is pleasant to read and with an entertaining, easy to read and even pace. The story is told through third person POV that suits the story well. The dialogue of the character’s rings true to the historical time period as well.I think this book will appeal to those that enjoy fantasy books, and also to YA historical fiction fans. The Faerie Ring is filled with adventure, excitement and romance and is a strong kickoff to a new four-book series. Look for the sequel The Torn Wing to hit stores in 2012.