The Falconer ~ BRC

Happy Spring! In Texas we’ve already had 80 degree weather–strawberry picking weather.  And I’ve already gone strawberry picking.  In fact, it’s probably around time for me to go again…  But I digress.  Let’s get to it.  On Tuesday there was a tweet in my feed about THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May being on sale for $1.99 (ebook).  I loved the cover and was intrigued by the storyline, so I bought it.  No regrets.  Well, maybe one little one.  But I’ll get to that.  As of the writing of this review, it is still on sale, so go grab it up!  Read on, and I’ll tell you why you should.

From Amazon:
Edinburgh, 1844. Beautiful Aileana Kameron only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. In fact, she’s spent the year since her mother died developing her ability to sense the presence of Sithichean, a faery race bent on slaughtering humans. She has a secret mission: to destroy the faery who murdered her mother. But when she learns she’s a Falconer, the last in a line of female warriors and the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity, her quest for revenge gets a whole lot more complicated. The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller blends romance and action with steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

FalconercoverfinalOne year ago, Aileana was dreaming about balls, and dresses, and the man she might marry.  Then she saw her mother murdered by a faery.  Since then, she’s been training to fight and kill faeries who willfully murder every night in Edinburgh–training with a faery who has vowed never again to kill humans.  In her spare time, she invents new weapons to arm herself in the fight.  They incorporate arrows, fire, explosives…whatever it takes, and the inventions are seriously half the fun of this book.  Aileana is a fascinating character: driven, broken, self-possessed, cunning, guilt-ridden…and when we meet her, she’s already thoroughly entrenched in this unbelievable life.  There’s also a charming, funny little pixie living in her dressing room.

After all this is established, and it’s clear she’s settled into her crazy life, the hits start coming and don’t let up.  She discovers she’s a Falconer–the last of her kind–ideally suited to fight against the faeries and surprise! that the seal that has locked the faery population beneath Edinburgh is about to break and she’s the only one who can fix it.  Then there’s the pesky little problem of her father requiring her to marry.  And the fact that she’s falling in love with the faery who’s trained her…  Not to mention a whole bunch of other things that I won’t mention here, because they’re kind of spoilery.  Believe me, it’s intense.

I loved Aileana, but there were times I thought her language didn’t totally gel with my expectations for a young lady living in 1844 Edinburgh.  Still, that was a minor flaw.  The book did require a little suspension of belief–it read like an action/adventure movie might play out–but honestly, I didn’t care.  And then there was that ending.  Let’s just say that it was good, but it wasn’t nearly enough.  It’s a serious cliffhanger, and I don’t even know when the next book is coming out!!

So.  While I recommend this book–highly–I’d maybe suggest waiting to read it until number 2 is visible on the horizon.  I think it might be available in the UK, but I’m not sure when the US release date might be.  I’ll definitely be waiting.

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@Barrie Summy
Posted in book review club on 03/31/2015 08:39 pm


  1. I stopped reading this book because the fairy hunting part didn’t appeal to me and her voice was wrong for the time period. I was curious to hear more about it so thanks for the review! Fantasy isn’t usually my thing but I can see its appeal to fans of that genre.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      The lapses in the heroine’s voice and the fighting were actually my least favorite parts of this book, Sarah. I don’t typically go in for fantasy too much either, but I loved all the folklore.

  2. Interesting premise! I recently read Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the creative weaponry. Thanks for reviewing!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      My son LOVED Steelheart. This was my first foray into steampunk, and I enjoyed it too. :)

      • Steelheart was incredibly fast paced. That’s got to appeal to many teen readers. And moms who spend a lot of time in the car (I listened to this book). 😉

  3. Interesting. It sounds like the sort of idea that could be genius with a talented writer or else a train wreck with a mediocre one. Judging by your review, it must be the former.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I tend to be a little more tolerant than most people, Stacy. The anachronistic feeling of the heroine’s voice might bug you. As well as the suspension of belief required for fairy hunting in Edinburgh… But I really did enjoy it. 😉

  4. I love steampunk, so I grabbed a copy while it’s still $1.99.

    For YA steampunk, I recommend the Magnificent Devices series by Shelley Adina. A Lady of Devices is the first one. It’s not Victorian England as we usually know it, but the books are exciting and LOL funny at times. Lots of creative weaponry and no fantasy elements for those who aren’t into magical creatures.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Ooh, thanks for the recommendation, Linda! Sounds fun!

      The steampunk in this one is relatively low key (I think). There are mentions here and there and then the weapons and a couple of vehicles. But maybe that’s normal. 😀

  5. Oooh… This sounds like a hoot! Excellent review!

  6. I’m not a fan of books where buying and reading the next book is a pre-requisite to finding out how things are wrapped up. I do like series but the books need to be stand alone and not dependent on the others. It also sounds like it has a lot going on. Great review though, thanks.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I get what you mean, Lucy. I was a little surprised that it ended when it did. This is probably the least-resolved ending I’ve ever read.

  7. I’m torn–the plot’s right up my alley but I’m really afraid I’ll be put off by the voice. Maybe I’ll sample it on Amazon before I commit myself. Thanks for the review, Alyssa–perfect for my purposes!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Yes, tryout a sample, Ellen. See what you think. I hope it’s a good fit!

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