Home / Book Review / Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Just say yes to The Falconer. You can thank me later 🙂

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Goodreads | Amazon | Elizabeth May’s Website

the falconer elizabeth may book review

Title & Author: The Falconer: Book 1 by Elizabeth May

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Fairies, Historical

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Series: The Falconer #1

Publisher: Chronicle Books

How I Got the Book: ARC via Edelweiss


“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?”


You guys, you guys. I try to keep it relatively professional here…pfftttttt. Ok, that was a good one, I know.

More like, I try not to use all caps and a million exclamation marks. Obviously, I fail at these aims…but, I digress. The Falconer was one of the last books I read in 2013. And let me tell you, IT MADE MY YEAR.

The Falconer involves the following:

  • Seriously badass heroine
  • Scotland, steampunk style (I KNOW!)
  • Ugly fae…with one very big exception
  • Surprises around every turn

Not listed in the book are THE FEELS. Lots of feels. In a good way. Let’s just say that Aileana has had a rough year and she is so relatable and lovable because she is so very vulnerable yet determined. Gotta love a girl with a plan.

Plus, the setting was fantastic. There are ornithopters (flying machines) and healing mechanical spiders all set against a backdrop that looks a little like this:

Yeah. I know. Incredible.

Then there’s the scary beautiful world of the fae. I like seeing fairies portrayed as the bad guys because it more closely mimics the original folklore and tales (just my personal preference). Plus, it adds an air of danger and unpredictability to the story. You can’t trust those fae, I’m tellin’ ya.

The Falconer has no slow parts. Seriously, it is literally non-stop action the whole time, and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t felt this excited about a book in a long time.

There’s comedy and romance and drama and tough relationships and no easy answers. This is the beginning of a beautiful series. Love, love, love.


It’s very rare to find a YA fantasy that blends the otherworldly with a very real and raw heroine. I ate up this story and mourned when it was over. The Falconer is a standout read, and I very strongly recommend you pick a copy as soon as it comes out.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Lisa Schensted

    I just flailed!

  • Yay!!! I am so happy to see your glowing review, because I snagged this one from Edelweiss too, and am just SO excited to read it. Faeries! Steampunk! SCOTLAND!! It sounds incredible. I also really admire your professionalism in the face of feels. 😉