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Friday, April 04, 2014

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

I've been anxiously awaiting for this title to release in America since I saw the UK cover back in 2013. The powerful armed girl with the flames in the background really spoke to me and I love historical fantasy, which seems like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, even though I did enjoy the book, I ended up slightly disappointed. Let me tell you all about it!

The premise is at first very engaging. A young gentlewoman is now of marrying age and assists bals to find a suitable husband. Unfortunately she is victim to a lot of gossips since she was found next to her murdered mother, in a pool of blood, the year before. The whispers peg her guilty of killing her mother, and even though she didn't commit that murder, she's a killer just the same, a faerie killer. I thought the whole proper lady front killing faeries at night was a great idea, and her partner in crime was also very engaging.

I also liked the historical set up and I loved that it was set in Scotland instead of the oh-so-common London. There was also a strong steampunk theme that despite being very important to the story, didn't overwhelm me like I feel so often when it comes to tinkering. I don't enjoy being swamp with technical descriptions of weird contraptions and thankfully, May wasn't overbearing in that department.

Now comes the first element that bothered me. I felt like May didn't pay enough attention to match the dialogues with the time period. Aside from the over-present 'aye' there wasn't much old vocabulary to speak of. Honestly, you could hear most conversations in a contemporary setup and not bat an eyelash. Aileana also possessed a very modern spirit, I didn't feel like she belonged to this time period and that's when I started feeling disconnected. 

Now the relationship between Aileana and Kiaran, despite having strong feeling about it, I don't know how I feel exactly. Sometimes I really felt for Kiaran, other times I wanted to smack him in the head, or even better, shake some sense into Aileana. I really just don't know what to think of that faerie, even after finishing this novel. Also an honorable mention to Derrick, her pixie, which I thought was quirky and cute.

Now the part where I thought I crossed in an alternative universe, or thought that I was missing part of the manuscript (which isn't impossible with an eARC)... the end. Where is the end??? May stops the book in the middle of the final battle. It would deserve caps lock, but I'll try to behave. Really?? Why would any editor let this slide? It's not a cliffhanger, it's an unfinished book and it annoyed me very much. I even went online to make sure the joke wasn't on me, but readers from UK (where it was published September 2013) also complained about it, so it's not an unfortunate mistake. That would be reason enough for me not to read book two, and I honestly don't know if I will.

In conclusion, The Falconer has an interesting premise, with fun and highly detailed lore, but some flaws I couldn't ignore. If you wish to give it a try, I would suggest you wait for the second book to release, that way you won't have to deal with the frustrating ending of this first installment.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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4 People left their mark' :

  1. O wow, a book without a proper ending would make me so mad! Thanks for the warning Tynga.

  2. My review is scheduled to post Monday, and I had a lot of the same thoughts you expressed here. That ending…what? So frustrating. I've read a couple of books that ended in the middle of the scene and I don't understand why. That's not a complete book! A series is one thing, where you have an overarching story that's always there, but the smaller plot points should be complete. It seems like lately I've been reading three books that are just one split up. That's not a series! Ok, rant over.

    I did enjoy the book, and I liked that it was about an assassin who actually kills. Aileana and Kieran's relationship…I wish we had actually seen it develop. I was just a bit disconnected from it. And to see her going from rich society girl to assassin (learning how to fight, etc) would have been so great. Oh well!

  3. I definitely agree with you! And yes it wouldve been some interesting aspects!