The Falconer Series
Author: Elizabeth May
The Vanishing Throne
The Fallen Kingdom (Ex. Pub June 2017)
Published by: Chronicle Books LLC
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Steampunk, Romance
Amazon Summary for The Falconer
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.
I’m minutes from finishing The Vanishing Throne, and I’m still reeling from Elizabeth May’s cliffhanger! It’s her thing. I was hoping this book wouldn’t end as abruptly as the first; it was only slightly better. Despite May’s less-than-appealing method for ending stories, she writes a really fun series.
Aileana is to fae as Buffy is to vampires—she slays them with super human strength and speed. And like Buffy, Aileana is inconspicuous in her role. A select few know of her gift while she attempts to protect humans from being consumed by faeries. Aileana is fueled by revenge for her mother’s death, but also by love for her friends. She feels responsible for the lives of all mankind, and carries the weight of their protection on her shoulders. But she’s not alone. Kiaran is Aileana’s trainer and partner against the fae, but he’s also an extremely powerful one himself with lots of secrets.
The first book in the series is an introduction to Aileana’s role as a Falconer, and the history of hostility between humans and faeries. While the second book dives even more into the story of the fae and what role Kiaran plays in that world – who he is, where he came from, and how the war between human’s and fae began. Both books are fast-paced adventures about people and fae trying to carve out their own stories outside of what fate has told them to be true. I loved the mix of historical fiction and steampunk action. I expect the final book in the series to be just as exciting, as Aileana, Kiaran, and their friends fall into their final roles to conclusively end the brutal war.
Themes Worth Mentioning
Like many stories that involve immortal beings, The Falconer series explores what it means to be mortal and human–weaknesses and strengths. The series also explores what it means to carve your own destiny: choice matters. Forgiveness and repentance (of sorts) are also explored through some of the characters with terrible pasts, and actions taken against others during a time of desperation, survival, and war.
Age recommendation: 14
Language – Some “Bloody Hells” and “Ballocks”
Drugs & Alcohol— A few characters drink whisky – but not outside of the social constructs of that society.
Sex – Several bruising and passionate kisses; sex is alluded to in one scene in the second book – described as knowing for the first time what it means to be worshipped.
Violence – Sword, knife, and gun violence against fae; The fae also rip hearts out, some bite victims to steal their lives and memories; magic is used to control victims minds
My Goodreads rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.