Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: The Torn Wing - Kiki Hamilton

The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton
Series: Faery Ring #2
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
Published on August 9, 2012
Published by Fair Wind Books
Pages: 318
Read From: 2.24.13 - 2.26.13

As an orphan who stole the Queen's ring - only to find the ring was a reservoir that held a truce between the world of Faerie and the British Court - Tiki's greatest fear suddenly becomes all too real: the fey have
returned to London seeking revenge. As war escalates in the Otherworld, Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold, is attacked. In order to protect her family and those she loves, Tiki needs to know the meaning of an fainne si, the birthmark that winds around her wrist. But will she be brave enough to face the truth?


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Surprisingly, yes. You can’t see the character impersonator’s face, and I like how the blue light hints at fairy wings. And as always, I love the title font.

Characters: Tiki hasn’t changed much from The Faerie Ring, and neither has my opinion of her. She is, for the most part, an all right protagonist. She could be a lot worse, and she accepts her “secret” lineage at an agreeable point, so her continued denial didn’t get annoying. She still jumps to wild conclusions about Rieker, and grows unreasonably angry with him when he seems to be keeping secrets from her, but she doesn’t go off and do rash things like she did in the previous book. One could, I suppose, say that her trusting Larkin is rash, but it takes her a long time before she finally goes along with what Larkin says. Probably Tiki’s biggest downfall is her name, which I still cannot stand. The Author could have called her anything else, except Tiki. Rieker continues to be a really good character; he’s sensible and is the most complicated character. Clara tries too hard to be cute, and I found her annoying rather than endearing.

The Romance: There’s definitely feelings between Tiki and Rieker, but it doesn’t take much precedence in The Torn Wing - not as much as I was expecting. Apart from one smooch scene, the characters are too busy avoiding crazy Fey to really bother with the romance, thank goodness. And as much as I like Rieker, he still strikes me as a character who really doesn’t need a love interest. Especially when his love interest is Tiki, and I don’t care enough about her to become emotionally invested in their attachment.

Plot: The two courts of the Fey World are falling out - big time. The Summer King of the Seelie Court has been killed, and the Unseelie king is trying for complete control of both the Fey World and the human world - by deposing the English monarchy. Remarkably, the book actually is as exciting as it sounds, despite Tiki’s reluctance to accept her heritage. I loved how the Author tied in the Stone of Destiny - or the Stone of Scone, as it might be better known as - to the Fey and the High King. Tiki’s personal struggles amazingly don’t get in the way of things, and Readers are led through an exciting, intriguing, and dark story of faeries and ancient British lore. While none of the twists surprised me, I still liked them, for they worked well in the plot, and I look forward to seeing how they turn out in later installments.

Believability: For a girl who lived on the streets her entire life, Clara was way too trusting of strangers. No child, no matter young or innocent, who grew up on the London streets would be that trusting - just no. Also, Rieker’s household bothered me. Even if he preferred to keep a small domestic staff, he would have a cook - the housekeeper wouldn’t be doing it, and he might in fact not have a housekeeper at all, but keep a butler and a few housemaids, and a cook, but no one else. Either way, he’d definitely have a cook.

Writing Style: The Author’s style hasn’t improved nor worsened. It’s still pleasant enough, but the dialogue is rather modern, and pretty much everything about it screams “modern Author,” just like the first book. However, I must give the Author points on her depiction of the Fey and their world. She portrays the Seelie and Unseelie Courts so perfectly; the dark beauty, the shiftiness of faeries, the allure of the Fey World - it’s all there, so while her story might have a few shortcomings, her version of the Otherworld almost makes up for it.

Content: None.

Conclusion: At first, it threatened to be very anticlimactic and kind of disappointing, considering the foreshadowing and climax leading up to the moment. But then the Author threw a good twist in, which will lead into the third book very nicely, and I honestly am really looking forward to the next one. Tiki’s name will always be a thorn in my side, and I suspect that this will be a series that will always have some historical inaccuracies that will serve to irk me some. But the Author’s world of Fey is interesting enough, and dark enough, that I cannot say that I dislike the series - and that The Torn Wing was a very good addition. There are worse fairy stories to read out there; this isn’t one of them. It is, at least, entertaining, and the Otherworld dangerously enchanting.

Recommended Audience: Girl-read, thirteen-and-up just based on interest level. Readers of "faerie fiction" will really enjoy the Author's rendition of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

Others in This Series:
1)The Faerie Ring
2)The Torn Wing
3)The Seven Year King
4)The Faerie Queen

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