Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May + Giveaway

11 September, 2013 Giveaways, Reviews 57 comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May + GiveawayThe Falconer by Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
Published by Gollancz on 26th September 2013
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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?

I was hanging out with my good friend, Elizabeth May.  We were riding unicorns along a deserted beach as our hair whipped in the wind, occasionally strands of her red and my brown locks blending together.  We gazed lovingly together as we rode, smiling as joy filled our hearts in an almost mutual amount.

When we pulled our unicorns to a break, having reached the peak of a cliff overlooking the sea, I took an opportunity to ask her a question.

“Elizabeth,” I said whimsically as I gazed out at the setting sun glinting off the ocean, “Why did you break my heart with the ending of The Falconer?”

She smiled sadly and beckoned me forward, cricking her finger in my direction to encourage me closer.  I leaned in expectantly.  In a flash she was on me, stabbing me several times in the abdomen before whipping behind me, yanking my hair back and slitting my throat.  As the blood spewed out my throat, drenching my chest, she whispered in my ear, “The House of May sends its regards.”

Then she dumped my body over the cliff, but I wasn’t paying attention to that.  Because I was dead.  My soul wasn’t, though.  That is until she shot it, and it died too.

I really enjoyed The Falconer.  It wasn’t a perfect read.  For example, I loved Aileana’s tinkering, and the various Steampunk aspects of this book.  However, I feel like some of the aspects (Like a hovering hand that retrieves library books) were a little far-fetched.  The world interacted a little with the Steampunk aspects, but most of the innovations seemed limited to Aileana’s Fae killing usage.

There is a love interest.  He is hot.  Like, splooge hot.  But after a while of going:

Now Kiss


Then there may or may not have been kissage.  And I may or may not have been like:

Spiderman's Body

The writing was great.  But you know what the best part is?  May didn’t get all flowery about the romance.  No. She got all flowery about the violence and massacre.  I swear to god, for anyone who likes kicking ass, and protagonists who can do so – this is the perfect book for it.  There is just a surplus of things that need to be shot, stabbed or blown up and Aileana is so very ready to oblige!  With delicious, delicious abandon.

The plot is the really healthy dose of angst, murdering the living hell out of things, and romantic tension.  They cycle around you, one after the other, like you’re a little kid on a Merry-G0-Round.  You know what’s coming next, but it’s so much fun that your mind is rocked any way.

I’m kind of ready to rage quit over the ending.  Like, I finished it and flipped the closest table I could get to.  It’s the kind of ending where you’re going to want to be glad Elizabeth May is on twitter so that you can rage at her about it.  (Her handle is @_ElizabethMay btw.  You’re welcome.)

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to go harass Elizabeth May some more.



I’m giving away the ARC Elizabeth May gave me because I’m intending on buying the hardback myself.

Contest Rules:

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is open internationally.
  • When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.
  • Also, please understand that we reserve the right to disqualify any entries we find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

57 Responses to “Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May + Giveaway”

  1. thegirlinacafe1

    I cannot wait for this book! I sounds and looks like an awesome read. Historical fantasy/steampunk fiction set in the most awesome city in the world? Don’t mind if I do! And I’m glad to hear the love interest is splooge hot. This makes me all shades of happy.

  2. Nara L

    Fantasy/Steampunk?! Baby, I’m there! I do quite like the sound of the action being very descriptive- I guess it’s not often that you see books that expands more on the action/violence side of things rather than the romance and setting. I don’t know whether I should wait until the sequel comes out to read this book though. That cliffhanger sounds a tad horrifying (in a good way, but still…)
    ps where can I get me a unicorn?

  3. adreamindream

    Great review! This book sounds completely awesome – steampunk with massacres and kick ass chicks? Totally! This one’s been on my dying to read shelf for a long time now. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  4. Neyra

    Wtf?! …..the beginning…. poor unicorn, it had to watch u bleed lol.

    I love the idea behind this book, and I hope it’s as good for me as it was to you. Great review Kat.

  5. MiltiadouK

    Hahaha now kiss already!! 😀 I’ve put it on my wishlist from the moment I’ve read the synopsis. The cover is amazing and I love steampunk. Thank you for the international giveaway!

  6. ireadthebooks

    I love when heroes/heroines who claim to be all tough and BA actually ARE tough and BA. I guess it appeals to the combative person inside me, but butt-kicking books are awesome. Also, the cover looks like someone made fire and that’s always nice!

  7. EddieLouise1

    I am SO waiting for this book! Edinburgh is one of my favorite places in the whole world! AND Steampunk! AND the Fae! It sounds awesome. As for that ending… on the scale of NOOOOOOOOOO! as established by Patrick Ness in The Knife of Never Letting Go – how does this rate?

  8. Kate C.

    You know, I’ve been reading E. May’s blog for about a year now and I have to say, I never realized she was so bloodthirsty!  Imagine stabbing someone for asking a simple question?
    I am now on the fence about this book.  I love battles and kick ass heroines, but I’m now thinking I want to wait until the next couple are out.  I learned that lesson after George R. R. Martin.

  9. Alyssa_Susanna

    Aw, this book sounds AWESOME! I emailed the publicist of this book, in the USA, and they said the book had been wayyyy pushed back, which sucks for us USA-ians. Like, May 2014, or something. I’ve been waiting since January 2013! LOL 😀

    Anyway, great review, Kat! You are really convincing in this review. The JUST KISS ALREADY sounds like my kind of book 😉

  10. Ransom_Reads

    Entertaining review! I already expected this book to be kick ass and violent, but to here all the lyrical writing surrounds violence and not the so much the romance is great. Can’t wait to get my hands on this 😀

  11. delicateeternity

    So extremely keen to read this book. A kick-assing heroine? Non-flowery love? I obviously need this book in my life.
    I hate rage quitty endings, though, but I guess I’ll have to see if it’s rage-tweet worthy for me, as well, haha.
    I want to ‘meet’ the love interest, because if he is worthy of sexy Spiderman, he’s probably my type. 
    Anyway, this was a uber awesome review. ^.^

  12. KellisAmberlee_

    There is just never enough steampunk novels!!! I so adore them so I always gobble them up. This sure does sound pretty fantastic. I’m nervous about that ending though…

  13. JenB97879697

    She got all flowery about the violence and massacre. – I love that comment.  As a fan of Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, I totally get that.  Actually, it’s that sentence that made me decide I really want to read this.

  14. Aoibheal91

    I am so excited to read this book! Growing up I dreamed of being a writer alongside whatever career I ended up choosing. Though I am still in college, Elizabeth has motivated and inspired me so much through her friendship in my teenage years and seeing how much she has done (and I’m sure she will continue).

  15. TriggerKatt

    Okay, I wanted to read this book before. But after your review, I’m kinda biting at the bit right now. WHY must you make it seem so amazing? College has got me by the collar! I don’t have time to read! *wallows in misery*

  16. MsJessR

    I knew there was a reason I was shipping us, Kat. You are fabulous. *insert Kat hairflip*
    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this one, too. I wasn’t sure about it but hoped I’d hear good things. Now I’m actually looking forward to giving it a try, so thank you!

  17. ThoughtsandPens

    Kat, I haven’t heard about this book but if it’s good enough for you, then I’m in.  Thanks to you and Elizabeth for this giveaway! 😀

  18. erinf1

    I’d come across a cover reveal for this one and thought it sounded great. Good to know that it lives up to the hype 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  19. KaitlinS

    I’m really excited about this book now. This was the first review I had read of it and it seems to be a great read. Plus, the cover is really cool. 🙂
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  20. Wendy Darling

    I WANTS IT. But I can wait to request an ARC, even though I think our release date is well behind the UK one. 
    I’ll read your review way later, after I”ve read and reviewed, but I’m happy to see you enjoyed it!

  21. Ina M

    Oooh! I’ve badly wanted to read The Falconer for a few months now – many thanks for the giveaway, hope the giveaway god is with me! (I’m really due some good luck after stuff going all sorts of wrong lately)

  22. bjezerey

    I have been intrigued by this book for sometime, but now I know I will have to get my hands on it in the nearest possible future. Knowing that the ending produces that sort of reaction will only make the anticipation sweeter when I actually do get to read it. I would be thrilled to be considered as a potential ARC winner.

  23. May

    Sounds like a great book!   I love the idea of a debutant as an assassin.    Looking forward to reading it when it comes out if I don’t win it!

  24. booksandkatie

    I am really looking forward to reading this book 🙂 Too bad I don’t live in the UK! It comes out there, first.

  25. PageMarieH

    I am SO excited for this book! I was so sad when the release date was pushed back but now it’s September and it’s ALMOST HERE! *flails*

  26. nephilimdemon

    I have been waiting for Miss May’s book since the beginning of the year! I am really excited to read this book!!!!

  27. kristiemjm

    I haven’t explored a lot books based outta Scotland. This looks awesome and I love faeries

  28. GizmosReviews

    I have so much fun reading your reviews. Steampunk is one of my fav genre’s thus this clearly falls into my lust after and want now category and if I don’t win a copy, I shall burn your picture in effigy! ::cough:: Sorry, was possessed by my alter-ego there for a moment.

  29. F3stanie

    You definitely made this sound even more interesting 🙂 Bring it on, beastly girl warrior.

  30. Staraptorkiin

    Would love to read this! It’s great to see more books getting out there with badass female leads ♥

  31. Beckster

    Yet another hilarious review! Thanks for keeping up posted (and entertained) on upcoming books!

  32. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Dear Kat,

    I hate you.

    How dare you do this to me? I thought we had something.

    You make this book sound so wonderful and I CANNOT HAS IT. You are a vicious monster to make me want this thing. Clearly, you are in league with the US publishers in order that you may ruin my bookish life.

    Once yours,


    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: Fault LineMy Profile

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