Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Format/Length: Paperback / 312 pages
Publisher/Date Published: Gollancz / September 26th 2013
Category/Genre: Young Adult / Urban Fantasy – Paranormal – Historical
She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty.
She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She’s leading a double life: She has the rare ability to sense the sìthichean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.
She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.
She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with the gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder — but she’ll have to save the world first.
THIS BOOK GUYS, THIS BOOK.
I put off reading The Falconer because I’ve never been a fan of steampunk. There. I said it. It’s out. Steampunk, for some reason, has never really appealed to me—for reasons I could never put my finger on. Now, though, I’m definitely going to be backtracking though the steampunk books I’ve been avoiding and giving them a chance, because even if they’re only as half as good as The Falconer was, then I know I’m going to like them.
This novel had everything in it I was hoping for.
A badass female protagonist (seriously, our main character—Aileana—is pretty kickass), a historical backdrop that isn’t overbearing, or confusing, but just enough to paint a vivid picture of the world, and most of all: the beautiful blend of fantasy, mythology and romance which made Elizabeth May’s debut novel so brilliant. So all right, maybe I couldn’t actually pronounce any of the fae terms used in the novel, and maybe they blended together confusingly at some points, but it’s really easy to overlook the minor qualms I had with this novel by looking at it as a whole, instead of picking it apart.
Let’s talk romance. Yes, there is a romance—as there is in pretty much all YA fiction—but unlike a lot of them, it’s not overbearing or in your face. And okay, so maybe there are hints of a love triangle there, too, which I guess you could also consider to be a bit of a cliché in YA, yet none of that really matters when you consider that the story is not about the romance.
Oh, and, the fight scenes? Awesome.
Fans of steampunk—and hell, even people like me who’ve never had a good experience with steampunk before—will love this novel.