Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Falconer Review: Aileana

I am the daughter of the Marquess of Douglas.
I have everything: money, wealth, beauty.
Everything expect vengeance.

I lead a double life.
I am not just an aristocratic lady.
I am also a murderer of the fae.

My mother was killed by fae.
Since then, I have been hunting them.
And I will not stop until I avenge her.

I am the only one left.
The only one able to sense the fae.
The only one able to fight the fae.

I am a Falconer.
The very last.
And the fae know it.

My name is Aileana Kameron.
Hi guys! Today, I'm the fierce Falconer, Aileana!

Book: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer
Book Standing: Book 1
Setting: Edinburgh, Scotland (1844)
POV: first person, by Aileana.
Genre: YA urban fantasy, steampunk, historical (just a bit)

Reading: First time
Favorite line: 
"I'm not here to apologize."
"Wonderful. Thank you for confirming what I had already assumed," I say. "There are two exits out of this room. Choose one."
Rating: 5 stars!

Welcome to Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844! It's so nice to see readers being able to travel the world a bit!

This book has EVERYTHING I love in a good story: badass heroine, double life, family/day life restricting the heroine from saving the world, the fae, vengeance, nifty weapons, tons of action, nightly hunts, EVERYTHING.

Where to begin? I suppose the proper place would be Aileana herself. She's burdened by having witnessed the murder of her mother, and ever since then, she's been on the hunt for the fae that killed her. She spends one year training, and emerges as an incredibly fierce and determined warrior. Swords, daggers, guns--she's got it all covered. Add that to the fact that she's an engineer, and her arsenal of weapons just got a whole lot bigger. Aileana is pulling out sound canons, grenades, practically everything and anything she can invent and build to hurt the fae. She has a whole lot of weapons at her disposal, and she is by no means afraid to use it. Damn, is she badass.

The rest of this post contains spoilers, because I absolutely adorned this book and I need to vent.



I've always had a thing for double lives. I love stories where the daytime life is completely insignificant in comparison to the nighttime life. Aileana's double life takes her on a mission to hunt down all as many faeries as she can, but during the day, she's expected to be a simple-minded lady who should be more worried about her reputation than anything else. Now, what exactly is more important? Surely spending the night dancing with suitors is much more important than spending the night hunting those who would kill said dancers. Wrong! But by skipping dances and other nightly events, Aileana's reputation takes a tumble, and she's left trying to explain her disappearances to other people. Her relationship with her only living family, her father, diminishes. The fact that Aileana still cares about her father and tries to please him shows that Aileana is still human. She isn't a mindless warrior; she has a heart, and she values what remains of her family.

There's one part that I truly sympathized with Aileana. Aileana is preparing to go to war against an entire army or fae, yet she's stuck being fitted for a wedding gown. The world very well might end soon, and Aileana, being the only one capable of stopping it, is forced into talks about weddings. But I loved the feeling of frustration and the burning desire to yell at the ignorant people that Aileana doesn't have time to dally around with such insignificant and trifle things. I just love the irony.

Another thing I love? Stories of the fae. Mainly because my all-time favorite book is The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, which is a book about the fey (please go read it if you haven't!). Since then, I've loved stores about them. I particularly like stories about soulless faeries who are doing good, even fighting their own kind. Yes, I'm a sucker for good-faery stories. The idea of them simply intrigues me.

Example: Kiaran. Faery. He's done a lot of bad stuff, but he's making up for it. He's the one rare faery that fights with Aileana, killing other fae along with her. Though his intentions aren't to keep humans safe like Aileana's is, he is equally as driven to hunt them down.

Also, with Kiaran: love interest. Yes, he happens to be the love interest at the end of the book. Make no mistake: this book is NOT about romance. I would not classify this as romance, and to be quite honest, I'm very happy about the limited amount in it. Yes, I totally ship Aileana and Kiaran, but romance is not what keeps Aileana going. There's enough romance in it to be satisfying, but to not take over the story. The interactions between Aileana and Kiaran is relatively professional, sparing and hunting with each other. They both get on each others nerves, and I suppose it can be taken as a love-hate relationship. But their relationship is not the driving force of the book. This story is about a badass girl hunting faeries, in which it so happens that at the end, she realizes she has grown attached to her hunting partner, Kiaran. She does not outwardly say she loves him, nor does she experience any butterflies or those sappy things whenever she sees him. It's the possibility of losing Kiaran that makes her realize that she will miss him. And even then, she does nothing to alter that possible future or try to save him, because Aileana understands duty. That alone makes this book amazing.

The build up to doomsday? I could feel the anxiety coming from Aileana. Heck, I felt it with her. My heart was speeding up and slowing down in anticipation. I was scared for her.  The impending doom looming over her was looming over me too. Kudos to the author for being able to involve such a strong emotion out of me. I haven't been so emotionally invested in a character for a really long time. It's nice to be on an emotional roller coaster and loving every second of it again.

Can I talk about that cliff-hanger ending? Because it literally. Is. Cliff. Hanging. Aileana failed. And we knew beforehand that if she failed, the world will be overridden with faeries, initializing the end of the world. And it literally just ends there, Aileana surrounded by faeries, realizing that she failed. And then...the words just stopped. Where did the words go? WHERE'S THE REST OF THE STORY??? *agony agony agony*


The next book, The Vanishing Throne, is slated to be released November 19th, 2015! However, as Elizabeth May is a UK-based author, I have no idea when it'll be released internationally... I am still idly waiting for a cover reveal of the American cover, but so far, all has been quiet. But when it does come, I'll be sure to let you all know!

Now. You're task is to go read The Falconer straight away. Go, go! You won't regret it!

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