Not many orphans find themselves accidentally inside Buckingham Palace; only Tiki could accidentally find a gold ring as she escaped. The strange words of its inscription remind her of a childhood rhyme, but carry a violent oath about a treaty broken. Perhaps that’s why the London slum shadows now fill with winged beings trying to steal the ring back…
Tiki only picks pockets to keep her small family of other orphans alive in 1871’s brutal winter cold, hidden in an abandoned shop near Charing Cross Station. After her father and mother died of the fever, Tiki went to live with her aunt and uncle, whose leering grabs sent the young teen fleeing.
Fellow thief Rieker warns her of danger – from the Queen’s agents and from the winged ones she’s spotted. For the ring that Tiki found is more valuable than mere gold – it’s the treaty between Faerie and the mortal world. If it is out of Queen Victoria’s possession, then the separation between the two realms can be crossed over. As disasters begin to rock the human world and the Queen falls ill, reward posters about the gold ring appear. Tiki is too clever to directly return it and starts to formulate a plan that could get the orphans off the streets.
Why can’t anyone else see the faeries but Tiki and Rieker? Why does the ring’s inscription sound so familiar? Will Prince Leopold discover her secret before she can return the ring without endangering the orphan children she has sworn to protect? And who exactly is Rieker anyway?
This thrilling debut novel takes readers from the coal-smoky backstreets of Victorian London to the palatial halls of royalty as warring factions of Faerie take advantage of the ring’s absence to enter England for good and for evil.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com