- Age Range: 12 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 12
- Series: Falconer
- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (December 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1452128774
- ISBN-13: 978-1452128771
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Falconer: Book One of the Falconer Trilogy Paperback – December 15, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this debut novel set in an alternate 19th-century Scotland, Aileana, daughter of the Marques, has a secret: she is a faerie hunter. Aileana's world changed when she witnessed her mother violently killed by an evil faerie. Since then, the teen has been secretly training with the extremely powerful, mysterious, and good-looking Kiaran, a Daoine Sith who has given up his violent, human-killing past. Aristocratic life means nothing to Aileana anymore—all that matters is avenging her mother's death. Her killing routine gets more complicated when the fae realize that she is a Falconer, a sacred fae-killing assassin. War is coming, and Aileana is humanity's only hope, aided by Kiaran; Gavin, a Seer and future love triangle interest; and Derrick, her hysterical pixie companion. The Falconer mixes the ever-popular female assassin archetype with steampunk and Scottish faerie lore, creating a fascinating, unique world. Unfortunately, the steampunk-inspired technology does not play a large role in the story, and neither does the Scottish setting. Despite this shortcoming, May's writing is exquisite and demands a close reading to take everything in. Aileana's motives are pretty two-dimensional, but May does a good job showing the protagonist's conflicted feelings about being a killer. Aileana's Beastiary, which catalogs the fae at the end of the novel, is a nice touch. The story ends on a cliff-hanger and readers will be anxious for the next installment in this planned trilogy.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Brandishing a deadly knife and a steampunk lightning pistol loaded with deadly thistle, Scottish noblewoman Aileana takes tea by day and her revenge by night in this new fantasy series. Aileana, daughter of the Marquess of Douglas and the last in a line of female warriors, lost her mother at the hands of evil faeries, and now she is out to kill those who did her wrong. Unfortunately, she has to do so while mingling in polite Victorian society, which means “blasted, impractical, smothering” dresses, not at all fit for physical combat. Sneaking out of high-society functions and coming home in shredded gowns, Aileana is an amazing, brave hero in an age that values ladies only for marriage and homemaking and never for their brutal combat skills. The writing crackles with wit, and the steampunk atmosphere and gadgets are a lively component. The gorgeous cover art will likely reel in many readers, and they will stick around for the intense and at times funny story, the first in a planned trilogy. Grades 9-12. --Stacey Comfort --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The world was fun if a bit undeveloped. The steampunk elements seemed like an afterthought, just thrown in to make everything Kam does seem cooler.
The story itself was pretty good. But once again a lot of things seemed to happen just for dramatic effect. For instance (minor spoiler) I can't see the point of Kiaran refusing to tell her about the seal opening on the lunar eclipse until there's less than a week left until said disastrous eclipse, even though she's apparently the only person who can prevent it. So that little mystery plot bunny just did not make sense at all.
Also my suspension of disbelief couldn't really handle the final battle. (Again minor spoiler) So there's hundreds of evil faeries who just escaped the seal and there's only Kiaran and Kam there to fight them. How exactly does that battle go? Do the other faeries politely wait their turn to fight? Do they just run away? What stops them from piling on Kam to prevent her from getting to the seal at all?
So overall this is a fun light read, but it just made me roll my eyes one too many times.
2nd read - Feb. 2016
Such an amazing combination! My first steampunk. I really loved all the characters they were great. Wow, what an ending! Damn !!! I couldn’t come to myself for a while after i finished it. I loved every second, and I'm waiting book 2.
P.S: I strongly recommend you read this book. ❤
Note: I received The Falconer through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Falconer by Elizabeth May (The Falconer #1)
Published by Chronicle Books on May 6th, 2014 (US)
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk, YA
Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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?
I can’t get over how much I loved the setting of The Falconer. There are fun steampunk inventions all over the place and Aileana likes to tinker on top of it all. Aileana also uses a nice amount of Scottish words/slang that most readers will recognize, so I easily gave her a Scottish accent in my head. All of this combines to bring to life this alternative Scotland and it is just too much fun.
I’m a fan of broken main characters and Aileana is rather broken. She saw her mother die in front of her a year ago and the rumor mill likes to blame her for the murder. This event has affected Aileana pretty deeply, which I found refreshing since it seems too many MCs these days are able to just shrug off those sorts of things.
The writing of The Falconer is fast and action-packed. It often will fade to black on any scenes that are mundane and instead skip straight to the next bit of action. I blew through this one and enjoyed having an easier read.
May is exceptionally talented at writing banter! I was laughing frequently despite the gruesomeness of events because Aileana and her various companions are just so snarky. None of her companions much like each other either, making the snark even better.
Secondary characters can really shape a book and The Falconer has some great secondary characters. There is a pixie, Derrick, who loves honey and hates Aileana’s fighting partner, Kiaran. Then there are Aileana’s human friends who have no idea what is causing her to disappear from every ball they take her to, but try their best to cover for her. I also really enjoyed Aileana’s maid and butler even though they are only on the periphery since even in their few scenes, May is able to convey their personalities strongly.
When you first start The Falconer, you’ll think the romance is going one way, then you’ll get confused and eventually things become clearer. I really didn’t like how the romance ended up and found it annoying when big battles were happening. We really need to force all MCs to go through priorities training…. Kill first, kiss second is all I’m saying.
The Falconer has the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers and not in a good way (is there a good way? I don’t know). I knew it was coming because there was no way the action could wrap up in the page that was left and, surprise! It didn’t. The ending of The Falconer is literally smack dab in the middle of the big epic battle with nothing resolved. If you can’t take that, wait for book two.
While The Falconer is nicely action-oriented, I felt that the smaller details were sacrificed for the action. I wanted more details about Aileana’s inventions or the fae and the main conflict. As action scenes were playing out, I found myself not able to remember why things had to play out this way to begin with.
The Falconer doesn’t quite jump into love triangle territory since Aileana clearly states that she isn’t in anyway interested in one of the guys in her life, but it still seems like dangerous territory. I really hope that a love triangle does not end up manifesting, but it easily could in subsequent books.
I was sure that The Falconer was going to be at least a four-star book when I was in the middle of it. Then it tripped right before the finish line and broke my heart. If you don’t mind slightly annoying romances and cliffhangers, you definitely should read The Falconer because the rest is awesome. If cliffhangers or romances of annoyance are a pet peeve of yours, The Falconer might not be the book for you. However, I am still really excited for the sequel because I must know what happens next!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Published by Chronicle Books on September 19, 2013
YA, fantasy, steam punk, historical
Tags: girls who kick ass, swoony...Read more