Swatting Pixies in The Falconer

The Falconer by Elizabeth May



Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk
Author: Elizabeth May
Published: September 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 378 {hardback}

Original review on Goodreads

The Falconer

Um, excuse me? Why is this book so fantastic yet I HAVE NOT SEEN IT ANYWHERE EXCEPT MY LIBRARY?!!


This book is bloody fantastic. I don’t know what you’re all doing not reading it, because, quite frankly, this should definitely be read. And loved. Period. If you enjoy fantasy come historical fiction come young adult fiction come really sexy fae guys, then yep, this one’s for you.

The Falconer is Aileana’s story of dealing with the traumatic experience of watching her mother horrifically murdered by a sadistic fae. (Didn’t see that coming, did you?) Her father is absent for much of her life after this tragedy and shows no love at all towards his daughter. She struggles with her loneliness, and, of course, the death of her mother. With mainly the company of her Pixie, Derrick, and her fae friend Kiaran, she has little guidance as to who she really is and how to deal with things.

She endures nightly training, or hunting, with Kiaran who trains her up to fight and survive the remaining fae on the surface of Scotland. The others have mysteriously been captured long ago to free the world of their horrors, as fae murder humans. Set during the 1800s Aileana is also faced with the challenge of appearing as a true gentlewoman – taking delights in tea parties, dancing and potential suitors. But of course Aileana really has no time for this (she actually nearly gets assassinated every time she steps outside, I swear). It’s action pact, it’s vamped up with sexual tension and you have no idea who’s going to receive her affections, or if anyone even will. I loved it, I loved, loved, loved it to pieces.

Pronunciation Struggles

A lot of the terms in this book are written in a language of which I’m not entirely sure what it is. I’m reasonably certain that it’s Scottish Gaelic, as the book is set in Edinburgh. Which is Scotland for those of you that don’t know. But don’t quote me on that one. And I say this because it’s not like one of those books that you go hm well that’s probably pronounced maybe like it’s spelt. Not here, have you ever looked at the name Siobhan and gone, S-Eye-Oh-Bahn. Hm? I think so, don’t deny it! Unless of course your name is Siobhan, and you endured many, many years of people murdering your name. So this is greatly fun to read if you enjoy making up words. Alternatively I suppose you could just Google the pronunciation, but we’re all a bit too lazy for that, really.

Aileana and Catherine

Okay, I want you to imagine something for me now. You’re thinking of Katniss Everdeen, you’re thinking of how awesome Jennifer Lawrence is pulling back that bow and picking off the bad guys in a full blown rage. Okay? Good. Now you’re thinking of Hermione Granger, and how badass she totally is (think: Emma Watson punching Tom Felton – who plays Draco, btw.). Okay? Excellent. Now combine these two together and what do you get? A witty, inspirationally awesome and good looking heroine: Aileana.

Seriously, though, have you seen the cover?

*Gasp of delight*

So Aileana is quite a feisty girl and her best friend (Catherine) has no idea about the escapades that she gets up to at night. Always sneaking off at dances her friend (and particularly her friend’s mother) become increasingly suspicious of what this girl is really up to. With rumours already circulating that she had a role to play in her mum’s murder, there’s little wiggling room for Aileana in the grand stage of society. A lot of this book seems to revolve around us, as readers, waiting for her dramatic downfall as a lady and the soon to follow collapse of the plot – surely she can’t get away with this level of fantasy in this time era? Well.

Aileana revels in the delight of killing also. Which is a complete opposite to the temperate of her friend Catherine. I found Catherine to be annoying with how delicate she was, and how in the way of sexy-Kiaran she became. In fact, I don’t think I shall waste another letter on her utter patheticness and almost expendable presence in this book.

Kiaran and Gavin

So I’ve mentioned Kiaran a few times already, and I’m going to mention him some more. You have no idea what to think of this guy for quite literally the entire book *sigh*. (There’s a brutal cliff hanger, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED). He’s fae and similar to Ash from The Iron King series (if you’ve read it), he’s to die for. Everyone has their secrets in this book and he is no exception. In fact, most of Aileana’s struggles with him stem from the fact that they never reveal anything personal to each other. He is a total mystery. A very, very good looking mystery.

Gavin is Catherine’s (gorgeous) brother. I know! May really hit the nail on the head with all these melt-worthy men. He’s a true friend to Aileana and a definite highlight to the book. But I’m afraid I can’t say much more without giving things away. . .

Lights! Camera! Action!

As I previously mentioned, this book is packed with action, it’s so awesome. But I should probably warn the quick to quease type of people; this can be a tad gory. I didn’t really have a problem with it myself, but sometimes I felt we were one step away from ripping someone’s heart out, eating it and then smiling at the camera . . . oh wait.


If you haven’t read this book but you’re mildly interested, or even just if you made it to the end of my review, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy. I started with low expectations (don’t ask me why) and ended up giving it a 5/5 star rating. What can I say.


View all my reviews

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

5 thoughts on “Swatting Pixies in The Falconer

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