five stars · reviews

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered a book that pulls me in so deep, that I devour it. I first started this book on an airplane, which was a very bad idea. This meant that I was going to be interrupted as I landed, and wouldn’t really be able to keep reading until much, much later.

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

the-falconerOne girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

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.

Series: The Falconer, #1
Review: 5 butterflies

This is the type of book that hooks you from the very beginning. No slow burn, but a hot intensity that makes you feel as if you’re right there with Aileana, no holds barred.

Aileana is a very special woman, and not just because of her abilities. She’s special because of her resilience. I really liked that even though she is an amazing fighter, she also has weaknesses. I’ve encountered so many main characters that have no flaws, the only thing holding them back is the enemy. But here, we encounter a main character that is not only strong, but also vulnerable. Sure, that vulnerability isn’t what she needs. But when is it? It allows us, as readers, to connect with her in such a way that makes the book that much better. She has flaws, but she wouldn’t be herself without them. Honestly, it makes the book so much better knowing that despite her flaws (or perhaps because them), she is able to truly do her best.

Kirian… I didn’t really know how to feel about him. It didn’t help that Aileana didn’t either. Their relationship is incredibly complicated, and the fact that he is a sìthíchean, or faery, makes it that much harder. Because there’s one rule that he’s taught her—and that’s to never trust the fae. But when a sìthíchean like him—who teaches her to fight his own kind—seems to care for her, how can she not trust him? I absolutely loved the relationship between these two, because it wasn’t clear-cut. There are doubts and secrets between them, and that makes the relationship that much forbidden. And we don’t even truly know if we can trust him. At all.

Oh! And the sweet Gavin. Such a sweet man. He doesn’t make an appearance until further in the book, but this man is truly “the boy next door,” who seems to be mild and kind, and with whom Aileana could truly have a future with. If only the faeries didn’t exist. But Gavin intrigued me. I didn’t have such a connection to him as I did to Kirian, mostly because I didn’t know enough about him. He and Aileana have a past, but we don’t really know it. We didn’t experience it. What we do experience is the present, and that is the fiery passion between her and Kirian. And for those worries about a love triangle—don’t worry. It’s not truly a love triangle because for Aileana, Gavin isn’t a romantic option. He’s her friend.

And last, but not least, is Catherine. The best friend. I truly call her the best friend, because she does what only best friends do: trust. She trusts Aileana so much so that she covers for her without even knowing the truth. I can’t really say much about her, because she wasn’t really there a majority of the time, but what I saw, I loved.

I also adored the steampunk parts to it. It truly made it special.

This book will burn a hole through your heart, especially at the end where IT LEAVES OFF AT A CLIFFHANGER. And not even a cliffhanger. It’s a CLIFFHANGER. It’s been a while since I encountered a cliffhanger so cliffhangery that I can’t even. This book is part of a trilogy, however, and the second book is already out. So you—and I—won’t have to wait very long to find out what happens. And the third one is projected to be published this year. So, honestly, yes it’s a cliffhanger, but at least the books are mostly all out.

I recommend—highly, highly recommend—this book to anyone who loves steampunk, magic, drama, suspense, and forbidden romances. Oh, and who doesn’t mind cliffhangers.

A free copy of this book was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
b247c-5
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * Indiebound

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