Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May



The Falconer
by Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy (historical)
Published by Chronicle Books, 2014
E-book, purchased
378 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: 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 know my mother thinks the waltz is indecent.”

I watch the couples dancing. They spin around the room, bodies pressed together. Close, intimate. The way dances should be.

“Your mother would find the sight of a chair leg indecent.”


Murder is the simplest thing for me in the world, uncomplicated by emotions. It’s just me and my victims. Hunter and prey.


  • I love the cover!
  • There are a number of young adult books with a similar premise–a young person able to see supernatural beings, hunts and kills them. The “normal” people can’t see the supernatural characters and she can’t talk about them so this gets her into trouble. However, I like the way the author tells this story and I like the characters.
  • Aileana is a sympathetic character. She finds her mother right after her mother is murdered by a faery. That changes her life completely. Now she lives for vengeance. She hunts and kills the fae while many in society thinks she killed her mother. She’s motivated by vengeance.
  • Aileana’s pixie, Derrick, is a fun character. He provides some comic relief, but he also is a useful ally.
  • I like Gavin who is her childhood friend. I like that they don’t want to marry each other!
  • Kiaran, Aileana’s mentor, is a more mysterious character.
  • There are steampunk aspects to the story, but they’re quite subtle.
  • I don’t understand what good a seer is. Perhaps I’ll understand when I read the next book!


  • The book ends in a cliffhanger. The ending is very abrupt.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I read this book in 2014–I still have a few reviews to publish from 2014.
  • I like this first book and look forward to the next book.
  • This reminded me a little of another series I read a few years ago about a girl in London society who fights vampires in between parties. However, I can’t remember the name of the series or the author.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge
  • 2014 New Author Challenge