Backlist Burndown Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Narrator: Susan Duerden
Series: The Falconer #1
Published by Audible Studios on May 6th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes
One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale
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 a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—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 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 a 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.
The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.
You know what? Sometimes I just like to read a book about a girl that is defying societal expectations, and if she kicks some ass doing it, that can be even better. The Falconer is about a young woman who is supposed to be a proper young lady at court. But really, she spends her time hunting and killing fae. Being anything but proper and ladylike. OK, I’m sold! Now the trick is to keep me engaged. And this book definitely did.
Lady Aileana Kameron’s life changes dramatically after witnessing her mother’s brutal murder by one of the fae. She turns her pain into a quest for vengeance. In addition to aligning herself with a pixie and a fae who she decided were “good”, she has been training to hunt/fight/kill fae. She also likes to create things, bringing in a bit of a steampunk element. Honestly, it was refreshing to see more to her than just fight.
Aileanna is faced with being a dutiful daughter and being married away. Attending court as the men vie for attention (aka dowry) is definitely trying for her as she has no interest in settling down to become a wife, mother and all that would be expected of her. She wants to be her own person, she wants, perhaps needs, to continue her hunt of the fae. Becoming someone’s wife will definitely complicate her life in that way, as all of her scars and injuries (hidden under corsets and petticoats) will be all too telling.
Also, there is concern as there seems to be an increase in hostile fae. She is needing to fight more often. Speaking of fighting, I found this book to be very well paced, with a good number of tense moments to keep things moving. It was never dull or slow, but also never too much. The story and action were very well balanced.
This book definitely has some romance going on. In some books, this can unfortunately overpower the story, but thankfully I didn’t find that to be the case here. While Aileen can definitely get a bit lusty and perhaps a bit distracted, I found the story and her ultimate goal came first. Also, I was definitely interested in her romantic interest(s) and trying to figure out who her heart really was after. (So, incase you didn’t guess, there is a bit of a love triangle going on… or at least the potential for a triangle).
I absolutely can not complete this review without mentioning how fantastic I felt the narration was. Susan Duerden gives an amazing performance through out, bringing each of the characters to life with their own personality and voice. In fact, I have just bumped a couple of audiobooks on my list up when I saw she is the narrator. As much as I am looking forward to the next installment of this series (The Vanishing Throne), I am going to hold out a bit to see if they produce an audiobook for it because I would definitely prefer to continue in this format.
I have challenged and committed myself to reading at least one book from my backlist every month and posting the review on the last Friday of the month. I invite anyone interested to join me and link up their own Backlist Burndown reviews. I will offer the link at the bottom of my monthly Backlist Burndown reviews, and also will keep a running record of the reviews on my Dracarys! Backlist Burndown page available from my top menu.