Series Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

The Falconer Trilogy


Synopsis for The Falconer (from Goodreads):
One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.


Series: The Falconer Trilogy
Author: Elizabeth May
# of Books: 3 (The Falconer, The Vanishing Throne, The Falling Kingdom)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Steampunk, Faeries, Action, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: May 2014 – June 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook, Hardcover


**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

This book was everywhere early last year and the cover captured my attention. What made me super eager to pick it up was the fact that it was set in Scotland AND had faeries! I love faery stories and pretty much reading anything featuring them. This one promised to have a lot of action with a dash of romance and so I put it at the top of my TBR for 2016.

The Concept / The World:

I totally forgot this book was steampunk until I started to read it. It gives the world a really neat flavour to it and makes everything seem so much more badass. Steampunk is another favourite genre of mine and I really liked the world we get here–it has its own unique spin on everything.

I thought it was the perfect hybrid between the aristocratic world of Scotland and England during that era, and the supernatural elements like the faeries. It was an easy world to understand and has a lot of complex features to it so you pay attention to what is happening. I highly recommend reading the “bestiary” glossary at the back to keep everything straight though.

The Plot:

I thought there was a great balance between the social aspects of Aileana’s life–such as her duties as a daughter of the upper class–and her supernatural pass times. This book honestly had a great flow to it and kept you interested. I always felt like it was building to a grand moment and that kept me reading.

I also love the action! It has been a long time since I’ve read a book with such great action scenes that are easy to understand and visualize in my head. I had a lot of fun reading this book!

The Characters:

I liked Aileana a lot! I really liked the fact that she isn’t some heart of stone heroine who can kick serious ass but that she has emotions and isn’t too afraid to show them. Sure, she wants vengeance but I liked that her character had more depth than that to her. It was great watching her grow as a young woman and I find it easy to root for her.

Everyone else does their jobs perfectly and add to the story without taking too much away from Aileana.

The Romance:

This is probably why I dropped my rating to a 4.5/5 instead of a 5. I just didn’t like the way this one progressed exactly. The romance really plays a very small role in this story and so it takes a bit of a backseat. While I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen romantically, I felt like its flow was a little off and perhaps a little sudden? I wasn’t in love with the romance as much as I thought I was going to be but I’m hoping that changes in the sequel.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m looking forward to learning more about the fey world and how Aileana is going to handle everything going forward. There were some great developments and I’m stoked to see how everything unfolds in the next one!


–November 3, 2016– Book #2: The Vanishing Throne

This novel was super easy to get reoriented with. There was enough recap to quickly get you up to speed with everything that had happened but not so much that you were bored out of your skull waiting for some action.

When compared to The Falconer, I thought this one had less physical action. It’s more political and drama filled, meaning you get some fantastic reveals and character developments. So it’s a strong sequel in that sense because it starts to bring everything together.

However, I did find it lag a bit in the middle. In a series like this where action is at the pinnacle, it’s easy for you to see when things slow down. But that being said, I never got bored with this book and I am desperately in need of the finale!

–May 23, 2018– Book #3: The Fallen Kingdom

Despite life constantly interfering with my reading time when it came to this finale, I truly enjoyed myself as I read this. There is such a great flow to the writing that it doesn’t take much to find yourself immersed once again in this captivating world.

The action here is pretty consistent and there are always new developments happening along the way. This book kept me on my toes to say the least. And for someone who wasn’t necessarily a fan of the romance early on in this series, the scenes in this book melted my heart. A fantastic conclusion!
–November 3, 2016– Book #2: The Vanishing Throne

Series Rating: 4/5

The Falconer 4.5/5 | The Vanishing Throne 4/5 | The Fallen Kingdom 4/5


If you want a historical fantasy that is lighter on the romance and heavy on the action, I think this is a great one for you to grab!

Read if You Like: action, steampunk, faeries
Avoid if You: want more romance




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Comments 4

  • I have seen this book around a bit but I didn’t pay it much attention but now I think I do have to give it a read because it actually sounds pretty great. Loved your review!

    • Thank you! I hope you do get a chance to read it because I think it is a great book. Especially if you like fantasy novels with an interesting spin 🙂

  • I’m so glad you liked this one, Lauren! I LOVED it when I read it in 2013, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel 😀

    I feel like everything was perfect in this book. I loved how action packed it was, and like you said: there was such a balance between all the plot arcs. I loved this so much.

    I’m sad you weren’t convinced by the romance, though! Kiaran was practically my favourite character, so I was 100% down with those two having a romantic relationship, haha XD

    I hope you like the second one as much as this one!

    • I can’t wait to read the second one! It sucks that it isn’t here in Canada yet 🙁

      With the romance, I liked the idea of it–I just wanted to see it develop more. Like I knew it was going to happen, I like them together: I just wanted a little more sexual tension I guess to reaffirm all of that. Because they could easily become a fave couple for me I think <3

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