Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer by Elizabeth MayThe Falconer
Elizabeth May
Chronicle Books
Published May 6, 2014

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Ever since Aileana witnessed her mother’s brutal death, she has hunted for the killer. Maintaining the balance of her daylight life as a wealthy, prominent young woman in Scottish society becomes increasingly difficult as faeries, the monsters who prey on humans like her mother, begin to find Aileana everywhere. Then Aileana learns more drives her than her thirst for vengeance. She’s the last of an ancient race with the ability to fight even the most powerful faeries. And she’ll need all her sleeping gifting to wake if she has any hope of stopping terrible creatures from forming an army and destroying all of humanity.

At first I had a little trouble reconciling all the various parts of the story. The setting has this sort of Jane Austen feel. The terrifying faeries bring a pretty serious suspense, almost horror element. And the strange mechanical devices Aileana depends on and invents give the story a steampunk flare. Once I acclimated to all these things, though, I felt like they complimented each other pretty well. The story needs all those things in order to complete its plot.

The characters—just, wow. I loved the banter between Aileana and her best friend Catherine and of course Aileana and her mentor Kiaran. Pretty much every character surprised me in some great way through the course of the story. I felt like their emotions were complex and realistic, and the fact that sometimes I spotted things before Aileana did (she was rather determinedly clueless about a couple of things) really added to the story and made it believable, if that makes sense. I guess it gave her blind spots and flaws.

I’m crazy eager to get my hands on the second book in this series. I stayed up way too late last night finishing The Falconer and I can tell you I would have jumped straight into the second one if I’d had an ARC on me. I’m hoping there’s still time to get one, but if not, I might have to break down and pre-order this one. It’s too good to miss.

I think if you liked the complex story world and banter between characters in Six of Crows, then The Falconer will definitely appeal to you. Fans of Julie Kagawa might find the faery lore similar and enjoy the human versus fae dynamic.

The Falconer on AmazonRecommended for Ages 13 up.

Cultural Elements
All the characters are from Scotland, so pretty much white and upper class.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used with moderate frequency.

Romance/Sexual Content
Brief kissing. Aileana is very aware of propriety and strives to behave herself like a lady even when circumstances make that difficult. At one point, rumors circulate that she and a young man have been caught in a compromising position, but those rumors are false. At another time, a man enters her bed chamber to clean and dress a wound of hers.

Spiritual Content
The story contains faeries and monsters who possess magic. Some humans have specialized abilities which allow them to sense faeries or resist their magic.

Violent Content
Several intense battle scenes. Some were a bit gruesome.

Drug Content
Alcohol is served at gatherings. Aileana’s friend drinks quite a bit of liquor to get drunk. A pixie living in Aileana’s closet gets drunk on honey and acts silly.

The Falconer on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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