ARC Review: The Falconer – Elizabeth May

15791085eARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for fair review


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?


This is going to be one of those reviews. You know the ones. This isn’t a bad book, far from it, but it’s also a book that could have been so much more.

On the face of it, there are some things to recommend the book: lots of action, some good side characters, and good use of the fae.


Aileana Kameron is a psychopath.


Like, she needs medication levels of crazy. Here are a selection of quotes (all subject to change in the final edition):

  • “The device shouldn’t have had that much power. Who knew faeries exploded so magnificently? “I certainly don’t want the faery who murdered my mother to die that quickly when I find her.”
  • “For a small, petty moment, I envy Catherine. She can share her life wholly with someone, completely fulfilled. She won’t need to lie to her husband, or slip out of house at night to quiet a need for violence.”
  • “If I didn’t already have the instinctual urge to murder”

And these are all things said before she even came to knew what a Falconer is let alone that she was one. That plot summary is a freaking lie. From the earliest pages of the book, we see that she isn’t quite right. She spent so much time fighting and killing that when she comes out of official mourning for her mother, she’s lost her social skills.

On the face of it, this isn’t a bad thing necessarily. I think there is SO MUCH you can do with a character like this – she reminds me of Maddie from True Grit; or what Maddie would have been had she had the skills to hunt down her father’s killer herself. The problem is, I don’t think the author intended for her to come off as quite this broken. That, or whomever wrote the cover blurb should be fired since it’s obvious from page one what her decision is.

If I thought that Aileana was meant to be anti-hero, I’d be all over singing the praises of this book. Promise is, I don’t. I honestly think that the author was going for a bit of a Buffy vibe, only she forgot that Buffy was doing her damnedest to live a normal life despite being a Slayer.

I am so torn about this book. It’s definitely a fun read, it’s definitely darker than what you might be expecting. I will also say that I’m not a fan of the cliffhanger ending, and I’m still pondering why the Falconer doesn’t have a falcon. Still, if it does hit the screen, I’ll totally see it. It’s one of those books that will probably make a better film. It’s got a lot of cinematic feel to it as it stands, and I think they’d cut down that edge of crazy Aileana has too. If Buffy slayed faery sounds good to you, you might want to give it a go.

Verdict: Borrow It, there’s a lot to like, but I think the main character got away from the author which is never a good thing.

Available: May 6.


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Falconer – Elizabeth May

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