Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Received from publisher (Thanks, Adam and Mia!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.
Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844
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?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)
When I got my copy of The Falconer in the mail, I squee-d and did a little happy dance because ever since I saw its UK cover way back when, I knew that I needed to read it; so when I finally got it, I was more than excited. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to read it immediately because, well, my mom took my book and read it herself. And while she really enjoyed the book, she instantly regretted reading it so soon (ha! In yo' fezz, mama). So now that I finally read it... I understand what my mom went through and the only thing going through my head is "OH MY GAAAAAAAAAH."
Aileana Kameron used to be a normal debutante, a lady who cared about fashion and who the most suitable gentleman would be for marriage but after her mother is murdered in front of her by a faerie (the type whose name I cannot pronounce nor spell), all she cares about now is revenge and vengeance for her mother's death. She is then trained by Kiaran MacKay, another faerie whose type I cannot spell nor pronounce, to hunt faeries down and maybe even achieve what she's been longing for, to kill the faerie who destroyed her.
Aside from having an awesome name, that kind of reminds me of Celaena Sardothien, and a penchance for violent reactions, Aileana is a certified badass. Even though she is a bit impulsive and likes to disobey orders, that's just what makes her all the more exciting and aren't those qualities pre-requisites to becoming heroine? I love that even though she carries a crazy ton of weapons on her personage, she still manages to maintain a somewhat proper etiquette in regards to functions and also still enjoys dances because no matter how jaded and broken she may be, Aileana is still just a girl, only with a different perspective. Aileana starts off strong and the books ends with her becoming even stronger, more confident in her abilities but we also see a very distinct weakness when it comes to her memories regarding her mother's death. She still has much to learn and experience, and I look forward to seeing more of what Aileana has to offer.
Once you meet Gavin Galloway (or Stewart), you will may end up assuming that there will be a love triangle between Gavin, Aileana and Kiaran but it's really not what it looks like. It was clear to me that Gavin and Aileana only had a platonic relationship and that their friendship would only grow. I really liked the easy quips and banter between the two because of how familiar they are with each other, being childhood friends. It allows the reader to feel less tense especially with the very dark times ahead. I am very interested in seeing what happened to Gavin and Derrick in the next book.
Speaking of Derrick, can I please haz my own pixie? I absolutely loved Derrick, he may actually be my favorite character of the book. Fiercely protective and a whole lot of adorableness, Derrick lit up The Falconer and gave it its magic. I just loved the little fellow. I wanted to smoosh him throughout the whole book, seriously. I cannot get over how cute he is, hehe. But moving on...
At first, I really didn't know what to feel about Kiaran. I mean, yeah, he's naturally good looking thanks to his fae genes and is insanely powerful, but his distance and general stoic-ness made him feel cold. He clearly put Aileana at arms length throughout the year they were training but as the book went on, you could see him slowly thawing out. Sure, he still got her all riled up and challenged Aileana endlessly and was still vague in everything, but the little glimpses I got of him being vulnerable made up for it. I honestly felt that he had the best lines because even though they weren't a lot and they were brief, whatever he said held a lot of depth and emotion, my heart broke for him. Kiaran being an immortal went through a lot and that changed him, all I wanted to do was give him a hug and make him feel better but I honestly don't think that would have helped.
Okay, the tension between Kiaran and Aileana was so thick that you could feel it suffocating everyone. While I was glad that the romance aspect of the book was not prioritized and that Elizabeth May highlighted the action parts more, I wanted a little more from the two but of course, duty always goes first. Most of the time, I wanted to shout at the two to just kiss already!! But aww, the feelz. Seriously.
I was really impressed by the different fae that were introduced in the book because that added more excitement and depth to it. Anyone can see that Elizabeth May really did her research because the different terms that are used and pretty much everything feels so authentic and very well thought-out. It was great reading a book written by someone who really knew what she was doing/writing. Great job, Miss May!
The Falconer doesn't only pack a powerful punch but its different moves and skills will leave you completely blindsided. From a powerful heroine to heart-pounding action sequences to a plot twist you will not see coming, you will be left breathless reading The Falconer and in the end, all you can say is more, please. I cannot even properly express how much I need the second book right now. Right. Now. Dang, Elizabeth May, you have made a fan out of me. I loved this book!