Review of The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)The Falconer
By: Elizabeth May
Release Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: HC provided by publisher

A copy of the finished book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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.

My Thoughts:
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.

Final Thoughts:
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.


  1. says

    Wasn’t this one great?! I am so excited to have a GOOD new Faery series in my life, lol. The ending did bother me a lot, but I’m glad to hear it didn’t detract from your own experience. I’m so excited for the next book. ;D

    • says

      YES! I have read a good amount of bleh fairy books but this one was amazing. So glad you loved it too! I’ve yet to see anyone that didn’t.

  2. says

    Great review Kristen. <3 I'm glad you loved this book 😀 I did too. It was just so so amazing. Sigh. Loved it so much 🙂 And yesss. Kiaran, so awesome, hih. <3 But yes. Ending! SO EVIL. Damn it. I need book two now, please <3 🙂

    • says

      Need book 2 badly!! Kiaran was wonderfully done. I can’t wait to read more about him. Do you think May would put out a novella from his POV? that would be amazing.

  3. says

    Fantastic review, Kristen! I also have my review for it up today on the blog!
    I agree that there never was a real love triangle, things with Gavin were more friendship and convenience, and Aileana always had very clear who she was dedicated to.
    I cannot wait for book 2! And I agree, it was such a great Fae book, even for me that I’m not usually a fan!

  4. says

    Great review Kristen! I’ve never tried a faery book before but after reading your review I might wait for this one to be released and try this. I like their names too, unique but pretty 🙂

  5. says

    This is the 2nd review I read of this today and it sounds really good! I love how you describe Kiaran and you’re making me realize how so may love interests ARE either written as good or evil – bad boy or sweetheart. it’s good to see just a normal grey-area fella! Lol that sounds so odd but you and me we understand, yo!! Although I have not had the best of luck with faery books in general I haven’t read one in well over a year so I’m willing to give them another shot! Awesome review, muffin!

    • says

      It’s good Giselle…it really is! I can’t wait to hear what you think when you read it. And yes about the grey-area boys. We need more of these.

  6. says

    Wow. Your cover is so different to our. And I have to say this looks like a brilliant book. I am one of those that shy away from fae books, as I find it difficult to connect with sometimes. But I think this one will be different, I can see that I will really enjoy the character relationship and development throughout the novel. 🙂 Lovely review, Kristen.

  7. says

    I used to love fairy books but have stayed away lately but was so glad I read The Falconer. I thought Derrick was great as well. The characters are truly fantastic. My main complaint was the ending… AHH, could not handle it. I am looking forward to the next one.

    • says

      I loved Derrick 🙂 The characters were the strongest aspect to me. I can’t wait to read more from May. That ending was evil and the wait will be torture.

    • says

      The ending was the weakest aspect but the book is so worth the read. I loved it! I was in such a slump and this was able to pull me right out. I love the UK cover! haha

  8. says

    The concept does sound a bit odd, but I’ve read several good reviews for this one, so I’m thinking it might be worth a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  9. says

    Haha…that first bit…so true! I’m so glad you loved this one, too, Kristen! I agree, that ending was more than a little abrupt, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment either. It did, however, make me even more anxious for the next book. 😀

    • says

      Me too Jen…I need book 2 sooner than later. Why is it so hard to write a good fairy or mermaid book? So happy that May was able to write such a beautiful, fast paced book. Loved it so much 🙂

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