MINI MONDAY: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

I’ll be honest here – the cover of this one caught my eye, and I picked it up on a whim because I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the cover was. Beyond the beauty of this cover, the story itself also sounded intriguing – Debutante by day; Murderess by night. Except Aileana Cameron is hardly your typical debutante, even during the day. Whispered about behind her back, accused of murdering her own mother a year ealier, Aileana is just short of a social pariah. But with hordes of faeries threatening the city, and with a beautiful, immortal faery warrior by her side, Aileana hardly cares. Action-packed, emotionally taut and brilliantly written, The Falconer is definitely worth a read!

Edinburgh, 1844. Beautiful Aileana Cameron 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. Now in paperback, this electrifying thriller-the first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy-blends romance and action with steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.


There were several things I very much enjoyed about this book; in fact, I truly wish The Falconer had been longer, because I feel like there’s just so much more that could have been said!

What I Loved:

  • Aileana’s grit and resolution to follow through on her goals despite their contradiction of who she is supposed to be. Throughout the novel, Aileana faces pressure from multiple sources to be a better debutante (for various reasons). Despite this, Aileana sticks to her guns (literally) and refuses to back down.
  • Building upon that, Aileana is not cowed by the men in her life – notably  her suitors and her father. She maintains her own beliefs and morals, and does not allow her will and/or path to be shaped by her feelings for a man.

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The conclusion of this novel felt rushed and  hastily done. The build-up to the crux of the plot was exceptionally well-done and felt very well-rounded, however the final pages themselves felt a bit underwhelming.
  • The portrayal of the other female characters in the plot. One was portrayed as rather monstrous, the one quite obedient, and the other timid and shy. This contradicted Aileana’s strength, and made it seem as though women can only be strong in relation to extraordinary abilities and/or powers.

Overall Verdict:

The Falconer was quite an interesting read; I blew through it, hanging on every word of the fast-paced, action and info packed story. I loved Aileana’s character and the world which May built. Faeries, huntresses and a Victorian era setting make for a very interesting mix of propriety, lust and violence. Action-packed, emotionally taut and brilliantly written, The Falconer is definitely worth a read!


Following The Falconer, you won’t want to miss the sequel, The Vanishing Throne: 

The second book in the Falconer trilogy is packed with surprises and suspense. Aileana Cameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the portal that she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes up in the fae world, trapped and tortured by the evil Lonnrach. With the help of an unexpected ally, Aileana re-enters the human world, only to find everything irrevocably changed. Edinburgh has been destroyed, and the few human survivors are living in an uneasy truce with the fae, while both worlds are in danger of disappearing altogether. Aileana holds the key to saving both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing that might be her life. Rich with imaginative detail, action, fae lore, and romance, The Vanishing Throne is a thrilling sequel to The Falconer .


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