The Falconer by Elizabeth May – Review

Cover- The Falconer

Published: May 6, 2014

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 378 (Hardcover)

My Rating:  4.0/5.0



She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

I love all things faerie, so had I realized that was what The Falconer was about, I probably would have picked it up much sooner. As it is, I guess I have pretty great timing because the final book in the trilogy will be out in June 2017. That means I don’t have to wait for a painfully long time to find out how everything ends! The Falconer is a great mash-up of Scottish culture, steampunk, and faeries so if that sounds like your thing, you should definitely check this one out.

Aileana Kameron has been hunting and killing faeries ever since her mother was brutally murdered by one a year ago. She goes out nightly to track, hone her skills, and satisfy her thirst for vengeance, but since her formal return to society, this has become somewhat more difficult. Her trainer and battle-partner Kiaran is a faerie, but for a reason unknown to Aileana, he has turned against his own kind. Aileana is also assisted by Derrick, a pixie addicted to honey and unable to keep himself from mending her torn dresses. Aileana’s determination to avenge her mother is admirable, though this also causes her to exhibit rash behavior that is threatening to herself and, on occasion, those close to her. She no longer feels she fits in with her peers and doesn’t hold the same goals she did a year ago, meaning no more dreams of a handsome husband, a nice home, and children. I admire her courage and the fact that she is aware and accepting of the problems she faces amongst society and even the turmoil this causes between herself and her father.

As with most fantasy, Aileana can’t simply just go out and satisfy her vengeance by killing the faeries that prey off humanity. She must have her vengeance on the very powerful faerie that murdered her mother. Throw in a standard save the world (or at least the country) plot line and you’ve got 75% of the fantasy books on the market today. While these tropes are common, it doesn’t change the fact they’re really fun to read about when done well. Elizabeth May managed to not make me roll my eyes at the plot, so for that The Falconer deserves a decent rating. Throw in some human-fey forbidden love, an unwanted engagement, and a tough chick that makes steampunk weaponry and I’m a sucker for it.

The Falconer had everything that I love reading about in a book. Admittedly, these are kind of guilty pleasures (I love the fey-crush thing) but it was a great story! I’ll definitely be checking out the next two books and will probably be picking them up in hardcover because the covers are lovely. I’m always on the lookout for more book similar to this (especially if there are dark, bad faeries) so send recommendations this way if you’ve got them!!


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