The Falconer (The Falconer #1)

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The Falconer (The Falconer #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
May 01, 2014
ISBN
1452114234
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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?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Spellbinding Tale
(Updated: May 02, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Mystical. Magical. Some books just wrap you up in their spell. I know this is what happened with me once I opened The Falconer. The publishing director’s letter at the beginning of this novel warns readers of this. And believe me it delivers!

Eighteen-year-old Lady Ailenana Kameron is supposed to be ‘looking’ for a husband like any proper daughter of marquess. Instead she’s a faery slayer. She craves the hunt and is now hunting for the Baobhan Sith who murdered her mother. Now only if she could tear the confiding grab of her time aside and also resist the chemistry whenever she’s around sithichean Kiaran. He carries his own secret, one that might end up killing Ailenana.The

What worked for me had to be the amazing voice of this novel. Remember, if the voice of the novel sings to me, I’ll follow the characters anywhere. OMG, this book kept me up until 3am in the morning. Loved it so much! I was hooked from the first page. Now this is a true feat as I ‘thought’ I was over tales with faeries. NOT.

Think Steampunk meets 1844 Scotland with one kickass heroine that would give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a run for her money. Only in this case the heroine is supposed to be the proper lady with a secret: she's a faery slayer and loves it.


The chemistry between Ailenana and her teacher Kiaran worked. He wasn’t the typical ‘bad’ faery but rather let readers glimpse into the sorrow he’d carried for so long.

Spellbinding tale with amazing twists and turns throughout that will have you demanding more!
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Will Delight Whedon Fans
(Updated: March 03, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Note: This review is of the British edition published by Gollancz. I've heard it might be different.

What I Liked:
Elizabeth May is totally awesome, and so I really wanted to read her book. This order of events has totally ruined me before, but in this case all ended well. I enjoyed The Falconer from the beginning to the end, and pretty much need book two immediately after that ending. The Falconer is full of action, has an incredibly awesome heroine, and is sure to delight fans of Joss Whedon’s work.

Aileana is totally badass. I know this description gets overused, but she’s like a nineteenth century Buffy. Only she’s better than Buffy, because she’s really smart too. Not only can she wield weapons like a pro, but she’s also an inventor (of more weapons). She is, however, endearingly terrible at being the little high society lady she’s meant to be. The blurb makes her sound like such a prickish princess, but she totally hates her title and just wants to spend all of her time killing. In fact, the blurb says she “only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady,’ but actually she doesn’t look that much like one to society, since they totally think she killed her mom and she’s always disappearing from balls with a headache and returning disheveled.

Rarely does a heroine get off on killing quite as much as Aileana does. Watching her slay fae is a thing of beauty, it really is. She loves fighting, both knowing her own strength and skills and the rush of power she gets when the fae dies. In fact, her love of killing fae has left her reputation (and much of her wardrobe) in tatters, because she keeps running out of balls to go kill some. May also doesn’t make the battles too easy, which I love. Aileana is often in real danger, and she gets hurt a lot.

When Aileana isn’t killing faeries, she’s hanging out with her bestie, Catherine. I can tell that I’ve been reading too much YA when I kept expecting Catherine to turn on Aileana. Actually, this is undeserved, because Catherine is an awesome friend, who listens to Aileana and offers to beat down snotty debutantes to preserve Aileana’s honor. They are so bantery and adorable. In fact, all the characters are quite bantery, so you know I was a happy girl.

Though I’m usually most in love with the characters, what I liked best was the world. Historical Scotland, though much featured in romance novels, if the kilts on the covers are any indication of what’s underneath (OH MY), isn’t a time period I’ve encountered in YA. I squeed every time Aileana said “wee” or “aye” by the way, because my love of accents is absurdly high. Add steampunk into nineteenth century Scotland, and I’m a goner. Then, on top of that, we have faeries, but they’re not namby pamby boring faeries; they are killer, evil faeries, which YES.

What Left Me Wanting More:
So…that ending. Where was it? The Falconer basically just trails off mid-fight scene, leaving the reader sputtering and flipping around to make sure there wasn’t another page that got skipped or something. This cliffhanger is mean. I am not a fan of this sort of cliffhanger. In fact, cliffhanger seems to mild of a term, considering that it just cuts off partway through a scene. I really feel like each book in a series should close out some a smaller story arc while advancing the larger one, but this book doesn’t close out anything. The Falconer could easily have been a hundred pages longer, allowing for a bit more of a slow burn from the romance and time to close out a small story arc, and it would have been perfection.

The Final Verdict:
Based on some things I’ve seen Elizabeth May say on Twitter (I sound like such a stalker, but let’s move past that), I think I’ll only like this series more as it continues. It’s only going to get darker and more painful from here, and, yes, I want that.
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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
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Steampunk!
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
We follow 18 year old Aileana on a hard mission. She's the last of the Falconers, which means she is the only one who can stop the really powerful faeries from escaping from their prison and taking over Edinburgh. She's also the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas. So she also needs to act like a real proper lady while not getting caught hunting the faeries. Did I mention she saw her mother murdered in front of her by a faerie?

Yeah, she doesn't have an easy life at all. I don't envy her. She hunts the fay every night and it's taking a toll on her life as a lady. Leaving the ball when she should be dancing and coming back with torn clothes and wounds. She's also crushing on a powerful faerie, one that has helped train her.

This is an amazing book! I enjoyed it so much! It was easy to get into and the plot is fast paced. Full of action and steampunk goodness. Aileana is an awesome character. I love how strong she is but she seems so real because she does have her weaknesses. I've got nothing to say about this book other than the fact that the ending was such a cliffhanger. I need the next book now! I can not wait for Amazon to ship me the next book!

Read this book now! It's so great and it's sad that it doesn't have the hype it so rightly deserves. Please show this book some love and read it! You will love it as much as I do!
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Steamed My Punk
(Updated: April 01, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
The Falconer is quite the genre mashup—a Victorian-era Scottish mythos-based paranormal YA, with just enough hints of steam punk to account for the more flavorful vehicles and weaponry mentioned. The story is told in first-person present-tense, entirely from the perspective of the heroine, Aileana.

After helplessly witnessing her mother's gruesome death at the hands of a powerful Fae, seventeen year old Aileana leads a double life--one feigning mid 19th-century propriety, and the other consumed with hunting and slaying errant Fae in the name of vengeance. Her Fairy-hunting mentor, Kiaran, is a several thousand-year-old exceedingly mysterious Fae--who destroys his own for his own reasons (which one has to read most of the book to vaguely decipher).

The writing itself is strong, and the story initially pulled this reader in with very little adjustment needed for one who normally dislikes a present-tense telling. Conveying battle, chase, and action are definitely the author's strong suits. And a few of the side-characters proved pretty well fleshed out. The heroine's best friend, Derrick--the obligatory endearing-yet-scattered pixie companion--and Gavin were all pleasant additions to the dynamic and, if anything, didn't get enough page time.

The Downsides:

As much as I appreciated the heroine's innate bad-assery, the murderous rampaging, along with feedbacking thoughts of trauma and revenge became repetitive. Rather than grow or heal, she seemed instead to quite willingly go the path of self-destruct. Which segues to a few more drawbacks I had trouble getting past.

The heroine and hero/antihero (?) are both mentally scarred and emotionally constipated. The entire basis of their relationship centers around half-truths and omissions that conveniently withhold a lot of information from the readers. As a result of their almost complete lack of intimacy, or capacity therefor, the possibility of romance or even romantic tension between them was difficult to buy. And then there's the tremendous age difference.

I also didn't care for the cliffhanger ending. (If you can really call it that.) In my opinion, it felt jarring--more like the book cut off in the dead middle of the climax and left us with more questions than answers just when the world-building was really getting going. Rather than enticed into reading the next installment, I'm afraid this reviewer was left...well...a bit irritated. >.>
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