By: Celine | May 20, 2014 | (26) Comments

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer by Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer, #1
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, YA
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Purchase

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?

Well. It has finally happened. For weeks and weeks I’ve seen people praising The Falconer, or rather, Kiaran *cough*. Naturally, I had to read this, because who doesn’t love a good, swoony love interest? Add the whole faery-killing premise and you’ve got me wanting to read this.

Fortunately, the Falconer didn’t disappoint. I did think it was lacking in certain departments, but overall, it’s a solid and engaging story. The book opens with our protagonist, Aileana, attending a ball and killing a faery. I’ve seen a few complaints that the beginning was too slow, but I was sucked into the story right away. Aileana is a faery-killing machine, and May doesn’t hold back on descriptions when it comes to fighting scenes. There are a lot of fighting scenes though, and if you’re not really into that you might find yourself getting bored with this book. Fortunately, I’m all for fighting scenes and I immensely enjoyed Aileana’s badassness. The book mostly switches between balls and kills, and that is basically Aileana’s life for you.

After her mother’s death, Aileana fells empty and angry. It was a faery that killed her mother, and Aileana wants revenge. Believe me, May did an exceptional job describing Aileana’s inner turmoil and the all-consuming rage. Aileana’s character is alternately hollow and full of anger – her need for revenge drips off th pages. However, May still managed to make Aileana feel like an actual person, not just some kind of badass killing machine (though she is that, too). Aileana gets a good portion of character growth throughout The Falconer and I found myself really enjoying her character.

Some of the other characters were developed well too, for example Kiaran and Derrick. However, I found other characters to be a bit lacking in depth. Aileana’s friend, her father, her friend’s brother…. They were there, but I never got a good grasp on their characters. Although I was too busy enjoying the story to really care. Kiaran is a well-rounded character, and I loved him. At first, I didn’t really feel for him – or for the romance, for that matter – but somewhere halfway through I started shipping him and Aileana. Kiaran’s just such a wonderful and troubled character, and I wished we got to see even more of him. Derrick, a tiny pixie living with Aileana, was just plain wonderful. His comments were often funny and I absolutely loved the scenes were he was drunk on honey. Hilarious!

As for the story itself… Hmmm. I really enjoyed the clever plot and all the badassness happening, but I wish I would’ve had more of a grasp on the world and the faeries. The story takes place in Scotland, but except for the occasional “aye” I never really felt that. I also didn’t really care much for the steampunk elements in the story, but I’ve got to admit I just really care about steampunk at all, so that might work out better for others. What did leave me disappointed were the faeries. Aside from the fact that they were called faeries, I just never really felt that they actually were faeries. They could’ve been any kind of creature, and I would have believed it. Although I enjoyed the way May played with their different powers and “tastes”, I never really saw them as actual faeries. There were a lot of descriptions of the different kinds of faeries, but that was really it.

In all though, I really enjoyed The Falconer! It’s an action-packed adventure with some great characters and a clever story. However, can we talk about that ending for a second? CRUEL. There are endings, and then there are endings. This book didn’t end, it just stopped. MAJOR cliffhanger. Seriously, the book basically stopped in the middle of a sen-

4 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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26 Responses to Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

  1. Great review Celine! I may check this one out some time. I’m not big fairy/faery books.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Guest Review: Shade by Marilyn PeakeMy Profile

  2. I surprisingly hadn’t read much about this book, but the leading character, the premise and the pacing sounds right up my ally, so I might have to keep a better eye out for this one at some point. That cliffhanger though, if it’s as bad as you say it is, it’s baaaaaad, that would annoy the hell out of me! Great review though Celine! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – Dead Girls WalkingMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I hope you’ll get to it at some point! It was definitely a good book. The cliffhanger is pretty bad, but it wouldn’t make me advise against reading this 😉
      Thank you <33

  3. I totally agree about the ending, I seriously had to look and make sure my ARC wasn’t missing pages or something. I agree about the world building and the fae, I didn’t like that all the info was in a glossary. Still a great read and I most interested in the next book.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Tell Me Something Tuesday #57: Reading Series in OrderMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yeah, I can definitely see why you might think that 😛 Butit had the acknowledgments and everything after that last chapter so I guess it really was the ending!

  4. LOL, aye! I’m thinking Pirates of the Caribbean, but I’ve been seeing this floating around as well. In fact, I saw an extended excerpt – like 50% of the book? – on Amazon for free but didn’t want to get it because I don’t want an excerpt… O_O

    Great review Celine! :3
    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts recently posted…Blog Tour: Assured Destruction by Michael F. Stewart – Review (Bird Attack!) + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Wow, is there really an excerpt of 50% of the book? O.o I always wonder what’s the use in that. I don’t think anyone who’d want to read a sample would read up to 50% and I certainly don’t think anyone would read just half of the book 😛

      Thank you, Sophia! <33

  5. Ooh, I’m really curious about this one. I do think I’ll really like Aileana’s character based on how you described her. Derrick sounds really hilarious and adorable and I can’t wait to meet him! <3 Awesome review, Celine! I can't wait to get my hands on this.
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…When Someone “Skips” a Book Because of My Review…My Profile

    • Celine says:

      I certainly liked Aileana! That girl’s fierce. And yes, Derrick IS hilarious and adorable 😀 I kind of want to adopt him!

      Thanks, Aimee <33

  6. Melliane says:

    I was so anxious when I saw you were reading this one because I really wanted for you to love it as much as I did. And I’m finally really happy to see it’s the case!
    Melliane recently posted…The Outside by Laura BickleMy Profile

  7. Melanie says:

    Ooh I’m reaaaally curious about this one! The praise for this novel seems to be endless and I love the premise.

    Lovely review as always, girly! <33

  8. Hahahaha. It’s really funny how almost every review I’ve seen for this book have been crying about the cruel ending? That’s what makes me want to read this book even more, to see if I’ll be as affected. Great review, doll, I can’t wait to read it soon!
    Faye D’Social Potato (@kawaiileena) recently posted…Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula StrokesMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      The ending is CRUEL. Seriously cruel. It isn’t even an ending! I swear the book just… stopped. Maybe there were a few pages missing?

      Thank you, Faye <33 Hope you get to it soon!

  9. Ooo… I love some badass action scenes. It is disappointing that the family isn’t that developed or the world built as much as it could’ve been, but it sounds like an overall enjoyable read. I’ve heard a lot of praise for this book and am looking forward to picking up my copy. Lovely review, Celine!
    Kris (Imaginary Reads) recently posted…Review: The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne JonesMy Profile

  10. Pili says:

    YAY! So glad to hear you enjoyed the book! But yeah, that damned horrible cruel ending!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #43!!My Profile

  11. For me the fairies were good enough, the real problem I had was the romance. I am a hopeless romantic but when May finally wrote the most romantic scene in the story, it felt flat….it may even seem like instalove. It was so sudden that I just got confused…it would have been better if May waited for the romance to fully develop in the sequel :)) great review!
    Chyna @ lite-rate-ture recently posted…Review: The One by Kiera CassMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      I did like the romance, but I can see why it might feel like it came out of nowhere! I thought there was a lot sexual tension between Kiaran and Aileana, but they’re not really a couple in the traditional sense with lots of sweet scenes and all that because they were fighting so much. I personally did like it, but I can see why you didn’t 🙂

      Thanks, Chyna! <33

  12. Wonderful detailed review Celine! At least the main few characters are developed well, I guess there’s not really a problem with that. I really want to read this book!

  13. A slow beginning? If that wasn’t a wonderful beginning, I don’t know what you want from a book.. I was immediately sucked into the story. THE ENDING. I KNOW.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Monthly recap. May (+ vlog!)My Profile

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