Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Number of Pages: 373
Plot Overview: One year ago, Lady Alieana Kameron watched helplessly as a faery ripped out her mother’s heart. From that day forward, she has hunted the fae with a merciless vengeance. Alongside her mentor, the cold, unforgiving faery Kiaran MacKay, she must protect her native Scotland while hunting her mother’s murderer.
What I Liked: Strong, witty, leading female character? Check. Faeries, in all shapes, temperaments, and sizes, with Gaelic names? Check. A couple of quirky supporting characters, including a goofy pixie sidekick named Derrick? Check. Steampunk weaponry? Check. Nineteenth-century Scotland as a backdrop? Check. These are the ingredients of a really fun read.
What I Didn’t Like: The storyline, though compelling, is not particularly original. There wasn’t any plot device that I couldn’t see coming. Alieana, for all her excellent qualities, had a wishy-washy streak that was sometimes frustrating, especially during the romantic episodes (yes, there’s a romance. It’s not my favorite element of the book). Also, the sentence structure throughout the book is very monotonous. The story was told in first-person limited, and nearly every sentence started with “I [insert verb]”. However, annoying though it was, the lack of diversity was not nearly enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Other Notes: I was thrilled to see a story set in Scotland! Also, this is Elizabeth May’s debut novel. A sequel, The Vanishing Throne, is currently out, and the conclusion to the trilogy appears to be in the works.
Other Reviews: Jia, at dearauthor.com, has a quality, in-depth review out on this book, which can be found here.
Final Verdict: The enjoyable elements in this book outweighed the negative ones. Recommended, with reservations.