Monday, October 1, 2012

The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton

Title: The Torn Wing
Author: Kiki Hamilton
Publisher: Fair Wind Books
Release Date: August 9, 2012
Pages: 313 pages (paperback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: author website

The Torn Wing (The Faerie Ring, #2)London 1872 -

A bloody escape, a deadly threat, a shocking revelation...

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 fáinne sí, the birthmark that winds around her wrist. But will she be brave enough to face the truth?


Review:


The Faerie Ring didn't impress me much when I read it in February 2012, but I wanted to read on for two main reasons: I felt like Hamilton had the ability to improve upon her story and I wanted to see where it would go. Nowhere much, I can say now that I've finished the novel. The Torn Wing feels more like set-up than the previous book ever did and it covers very little new ground that is of interest to me.

Admittedly, the only thing that still attracts me to this series is the writing. I love how easily Hamilton's prose flows, but the decline in quality between the traditionally-published first book and the small-press-published/self-published (my research has not brought me to a conclusion on that one) second book is clear, though most of the flubs are in grammar. Dropped punctuation (more than a few quotation marks are missing), wrongly used punctuation (like using the possessive form of something when it wasn't needed), formatting errors,... I almost wanted to take a red pen to it, but consider I plan to pass this on to someone, marking it up is a no-no.

One of my complaints about The Faerie Ring was its lack of depth and genuine feeling, and this issue also pervades The Torn Wing. Tiki isn't very introspective and I suppose that's part of her character, but when Larkin tells Tiki she might be the rightful ruler of the faeries and Tiki never stops to think about what it might cost her if it were true, that becomes a problem. If I were told I might be a faerie queen, I'd sure be thinking about what taking up the throne would cost me! People are selfish like that, and I'd think Tiki would be too as an orphan who had to fend for herself on the streets for a good while. Her maddening way of forgiving people didn't help much.

The story also gets a little more indulgent in cliches than it was in the first book. I'm glad it didn't go the route of a love triangle with Leo, Tiki, and Rieker like I fear (though Leo does still like her), it seems like there's set up for another love triangle with a new character named Dain. It gets more cliche than that, but revealing that would be a spoiler and I don't feel like revealing it.

I like how the Ripper murders and the royal hemophilia were tied in with the story, but I have a big problem with the latter. See, Prince Leopold gets attacked by a faerie and the wound won't stop bleeding because it's a faerie wound. It is covered up by calling it hemophilia, and the problem here is that royal hemophilia is an established issue that goes beyond Leo. Princesses Alice and Beatrice were confirmed carriers of royal hemophilia and there are well-documented cases of their descendants carrying on/suffering from that gene. Like Alexei Romanov? He had it. His grandmother was Princess Alice. The implication of Leo's well-established hemophilia being only a cover-up and hemophilia not actually being in the family contradicts solid historical fact and it bugs me.

Yeah, I'm taking issue with how a historical fantasy contradicts historical fact. When the novel is trying to present itself as if it actually happened within our timeline but was kept secret from everyone else, I can do that.

I might read The Seven Year King, the third book of this series, but right now, I'm not sure what I'd be reading on for. I gave The Torn Wing a shot because I hoped for improvement and there was absolutely none. It was nothing but set-up. I can be a bit of a sucker sometimes for books, but I've got my limits.

2 stars!


What am I reading next?: Easy by Tammara Webber