My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
The Falconer is one of those books that I just couldn’t seem to put down. From the very first page, Elizabeth May grabs the reader and hurls them into Aileana’s life with no chance of stepping back out of it until the book is done. This book is filled with action, danger, mystery and some kissing….all things I love. Hopefully my rambling makes sense and helps you see just how good this book was…if not, just trust me and go read it! I am going to spoiler tag this – I don’t think I give anything away but just want to be careful.
I thought the characters were really well done in this story. Aileana is clearly saddened by her mother’s death but she also has some serious anger toward the fae. On top of that, her life has completely changed and instead of thinking of her future, all she can think about is hunting and getting her revenge. The fact that her father doesn’t appear to care about her at all, only about appearances and status is another issue Aileana is dealing with. When he does show up at the house, he either completely ignores her or he is telling her to do her duty and what she really wants to do with her life doesn’t matter.
Surrounding Aileana are a number of people that help move the story along and provide support for her along the way. Catherine is Aileana’s best friend who has stuck beside her through everything but still doesn’t know about the other part of her life. Catherine trusts her to tell her things when she needs to know them and doesn’t hold it against Aileana when she can’t tell her everything. Derrick is a pixie who lives in her closet and provides a level of protection to Aileana when needed. He has also been helping her track down information on the faery that killed her mother so that she can be prepared for when she comes back to Edinburgh.
Gavin is Catherine’s brother and has been away for 2 years but comes back with a secret of his own. Not only is he a Lord now, but he is also a seer which puts him in danger if he continues to hang around with Aileana. With the way things go the night of the assembly to welcome Gavin home, things are clearly going to change for both Gavin and Aileana.
Kiaran is a mystery. He is one of the strongest types of Fae, a Daoine Sith. Kiaran has plenty of secrets and although some are revealed by the end of the book, not all of them are and I don’t really know what to expect with him…probably very similar to Aileana. He definitely has a past and because of it, he has vowed to never kill humans. It is that vow that drives him to kill/hunt fae with Aileana, teach her how to survive, and also show her who she really is. His past has also given others reason to dislike him – Derrick would love to see him dead and Lonnrach (another faery) alludes to something as well.
The banter between Aileana and Kiaran was one of my favorite parts and I would think it goes without saying that the kissing was too. Throughout the whole story, Aileana struggles with identifying Kiaran as human and he continuously pushes her to realize he is not. Even with the constant reminder, their relationship shifts toward the end of the book and we finally see a crack in Kiaran’s armor and how he reacts to and/or interacts with Aileana. I loved it and it was clear he was trying to keep his distance but realized he couldn’t do what he needed to do without telling her the vow a sithiche makes when pledging himself to another. (hide spoiler)]
Overall this was a great book and I loved how May integrated the Steampunk aspect into this story. It really allows the story to be a bit different but also helps Aileana become more than just a society girl who happens to fight evil fae. Yes, she has her purpose as a Falconer but she is also smart and an inventor – continually trying to come up with new ways to defeat them but also protect herself and those she cares about.
I am more than a little sad that I have to wait until 2015 to find out what happens next for these characters – especially since the ending was somewhat of a cliffhanger. The Falconer kept me turning the pages and if your heart can handle an ending that doesn’t quite give you the full story, definitely check this one out. This was a great book one in a series that I am looking forward to reading more about.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Chronicle Books for the review copy.
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