A copy of the finished book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Though many people I know shy away from faery books I tend to be attracted to them, though they are often not very good. I went into reading The Falconer a bit hesitant because of this. I ended up loving it more than I expected. There wasn’t much I didn’t love about this book, from the setting, pacing to the characters. I felt that May created an enthralling world and a main character I was immediately drawn to, and to top it off she threw in some steam-punk elements.
The Falconer follows Aileana and her struggle to maintain balance between her aristocratic duties as well as her fae hunting at night. May succeeded in pulling me into the stress Aileana felt as she struggled with keeping her reputation. Her tenuous relationship with her father after her mother’s death was heartbreaking. Because of her isolation and tragic past Aileana had to be self sufficient and tough. I thought she was an exciting heroine to follow and I wanted her to succeed.
Hands down my favorite aspect of this book were the character interactions and dialog. Though Aileana lacks in a confidant in her peers she does have Derrick, a pixie that resides in her dressing room. I found his antics to be a welcomed light hearted touch and his support of our main character endearing. May’s descriptions made him very real for me and I fully want a pixie of my own.
My favorite relationship had to be between Aileana and her renegade fae mentor, Kiaran MacKay. Their mutual distrust and secrecy created a stressed though charismatic friendship between the two. Kiaran was my favorite type of male lead; he was mysterious, ancient and wise. May succeeded in giving him a magical aura and his chemistry with Aileana was breath-taking for me. Kiaran was never presented as good or evil and I loved how he fully resides in the grey. His many secrets kept me on my toes and left me needing to know more.
Though shunned by most of her peers Aileana does have a friend of sorts in Catherine. They’ve been friends since they were children and though Aileana doesn’t confide in her they do have a friendship that offers the smallest amount of support. Catherine’s brother Gavin was also largely present in this book. Some might see a love triangle but I never did. I knew where Aileana’s heart was from start to finish and never felt there was any question. I did appreciate Gavin and Kiaran’s heated exchanges and found them rather humorous.
The ending of The Falconer left some to be desired for me and didn’t feel like a proper ending or even a cliff hanger. This was the type of ending where you turn the pages and reread the last few thinking you must have missed a page. Though the ending felt a bit abrupt it did not detract from my overall enjoyment.
The Falconer was equally full of action and heart. I fell in love with May’s characters and was enchanted with their story from page one. I desperately need the next in the series. In short, I loved this book.