Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Pages: 378
Genre: YA Fantasy/ YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: May 6, 2014
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother. Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways. But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?"
Lady Aileana Kameron isn't your usual debutante.  She not only can see the fae, but she is also a Falconer or someone who is equipped to kill them.  She has been training with Kiaran, a mysterious and beautiful fae, who, surprisingly, wants to destroy his kind and holds many secrets.  Also, a pixie, Derrick, protects her and helps her recover from her injuries.  This is more than just killing fae to Aileana though. Her mother was killed by one and in turn, it has become personal.  Her father, even though he doesn't know Aileana's secrets, would rather she was more conventional and spend her time taking up more leisurely pursuits, such as finding a husband; however, she wants more for herself.  Elizabeth May's debut, The Falconer, is a slow to start novel, but once the action picked up, I was hooked.

Aileana is a fun heroine in The Falconer.  She's feisty, unconventional, and is downright tough. Unlike the other girls, she can hold her own and even invents various types of weaponry to fight the fae.  Aileana is a little hyper focused on destroying the fae since the violent death of her mother, but overall, I enjoyed her.  

What initially set me off when reading The Falconer was the time period. I thought it was set in 19th century Scotland with a fantasy twist (fae) and it is, but it's a little bit different than I expected. It's a steampunk world with steampunk technology, etc.  Also, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't much focus on the Scottish world, but more on Scottish lore. Thank God for the glossary (Aileana's Beastiary) at the end of the novel which lists the various types of fae. I found myself referring to this quite a bit. 

In The Falconer, readers are introduced to Gavin, Aileana's childhood friend. Aileana used to have a childhood crush on him and since his return from school, she realizes that he is hiding many secrets.  Also, readers get to know the elusive and extremely good looking fae, Kiaran, a bit more and some of his motives, such as the important question of why would he help kill fae if he is fae? Lastly, my favorite character in The Falconer is the pixie, Derrick. He's hilarious, fun and some of his one-liners made me laugh out loud.  

Despite my initial hesitance towards The Falconer, the plot really starts to pick up by the middle of the novel. Plus, once the fae realize all that Aileana is capable of, the action picks up tremendously and war is looming over their heads.

Of course The Falconer ends with a crazy cliffhanger (as any good trilogy should) and despite a few of my issues with the novel, I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, which is due out next year.




9 comments:

  1. DERRICK!!! YES! I loved him so much Christina! He was a highlight for sure. I just kept wanting him to eat more honey so he'd get a little drunk and start running his mouth. He was adorable when drunk:) I'm glad you ended up enjoying this one overall, I just fell in love with it and can't wait to see what happens next. Fabulous review!

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    1. Haha, YES! I loved him, too. He had me laughing out loud and I wanted him to eat honey as well. Too fun! I am looking forward to the next book as well. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

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  2. I need to read this book! I love that it takes place in Edinburgh. I was there two years ago and so I hear that this book is great in that way. Sounds like it hits all the right things as a book in general though! Thanks for the awesome review. I'll have to read this one sooner than later!

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    1. I have never been to Edinburgh, but definitely want to go….this book sounds right up your alley! Thanks for visiting, Christianna. I hope you get your hands on a copy soon!

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  3. This sounds like exactly my kind of book. Fae + steampunk? It's like it was written for me :)

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    1. I totally didn't expect the whole steampunk aspect, but it was a lot of fun! You should definitely read this book, Christa! You'll have to let me know what you think. Thanks for dropping by.

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  4. I was really enjoying this book until her romantic feelings toward K were introduced and I became annoyed and gave up. I am glad to hear that you liked it though because that means I should give it another chance :)

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    1. YES! I had such a hard time getting into this book, but about 1/2 way through, I somehow became addicted. It definitely grew on me and I can say it does get better, so I hope you pick it up again soon! Thanks for dropping by, Christina!

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  5. I just read the Falconer and I couldn't agree more with you! I didn't love it but I enjoyed it!

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