Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

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Title:  The Falconer (The Falconer book #1)

Author: Elizabeth May

My Rating:blog 5 leaf rating

Buy from Amazon – Buy from Waterstones – Buy from The Book Depository

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Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

– Summary not mine; taken from The Falconer’s Goodreads page. 

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If I had to describe this book in three words, I would choose the first words that left my mouth as I finished the last page:
Oh. My. GOD.

To say the least, Elizabeth May knows how to craft a story, or she has some magical power that allows her to hold her reader’s heart in her hand, slowly cradling it at the beginning, gently carressing, and then, by the end, throwing it into a pit of alligators.
At least, that’s how I felt.

Aileana was the kind of kick-ass, sassy lead-role female I absolutely loved. I loved hearing about her fighting abilities, and her training, and her general skill in torching faery butt. I also liked how to herself, she was never strong enough. Then, when we meet Gavin and he witnesses her fighting for the first time, we learn that actually, she has some incredible talent. To put the icing on the cake, the fighting scenes were very well described and very vivid.
One of the other things that I loved about the book was something that was so incredibly unique and fulfilling, that I actually screamed with delight:
Both love interests were present in the story before the actual narrative began.
Aileana had known these people for at least one year. That meant no awkward and vomit inducing love-at-first-sight meetings, and a big thumbs up from me.

The steampunk elements of the story weren’t that much of a prominent interest to me, but I know that a lot of other readers would really like it. I simply saw it as an extra oddity in Aileana’s world.

The bestiary at the back was a wonderful addition to the book, and added a little fun to it. But, be warned. If, like me, you were looking the creatures up in the back whenever they were happened across in the story, you will come across spoilers. Minuscule ones, but still. I’m probably a minority that did this, so it probably doesn’t matter that much.

Now, for my only complaint about the book, which isn’t really a complaint, and isn’t really about the book. The blurb was awful. Simply, awful. If I had never heard of this book, and was simply deciding on the blurb alone, I probably wouldn’t read this book. Thankfully, I had heard wonders about the book, and I simply scoffed at the blurb and opened it up.

That ending though. Oh my.

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TBR Pile #3 – July

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HELLO! And welcome back. I took a hiatus over June to settle into my new home with mum (It’s wonderful by the way – a little cottage surrounded by fields, nature, and a two minute walk from the beach!), but now I’m back, and I’m very excited to be here.

I feel like I’ve learned so much about blogging, and since I’ve actually passed my first blogoversary (I’ve not actually checked…) I’m pretty surprised that my blogging juice hasn’t run out! If anything, it’s doubled. I’m now regularly requesting (and reading) ARCs from NetGalley, I’ve had my first few physical ARCs from BookBridgr and I’m a beta-reader for an author! It’s all pretty amazing.

Since I was on hiatus and didn’t get to post a picture of the books I got for my birthday, here they are:

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I’m super excited about Graceling, and A Great and Terrible Beauty. In fact, I’m excited about all of them! I’m a big fan of Anne Rice, so reading her take on werewolves will be great. The other three I’ve heard so many wonderful things about, and it’s hard not to be excited about them.

I also received Hollow City, which I’ve read already and I loved it. Ransom Riggs is incredibly talented.

Now, onto my TBR Pile! I’ve got a new method – I now have a box with tiny slips of paper, and at the beginning of each month I will pick out four. This is just for the books I own though, and ARCs I’ll just be reading as and when I need to.

Anyway, after making my little TBR box, I picked out two slips. I’m buddy reading The Falconer, and I’m still reading A Discovery of Witches, so it makes more sense to just pick two. That way I definitely know I can read those during July. Here are the books that I picked out:

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Even though I picked out Midnight Alley, I’ll be reading The Dead Girls Dance since I’ve only read the first Morganville Vampires book. I have the first three books in Rachel Vincent’s series, since they were in the ‘3 for £5’ offer in The Works (my favourite bookshop). All in all, I’m pretty happy with the books that I chose. I can tell The Dead Girls Dance and My Soul to Save will be quick reads, which makes up for the huge A Discovery of Witches.

I’ll also be reading an ARC of ‘The Rain’ by Virginia Bergin.

Until next month, happy reading!