Aileana Kameron is the last of a line of female warriors born to hunt and kill the fae. Living in Edinburgh in 1844, eighteen year old Aileana struggles to balance her life as a falconer with her life as the daughter of a Marquess, where she is forced to attend society functions in search of a suitable man for her hand in marriage. In this world the Fae are only visible to humans if they want to be, making them even more dangerous and as a falconer it is up to her to help keep those in Edinburgh safe from the threat. Written from the first person perspective of Aileana these books easily pull you into the dystopian young-adult fantasy.
Thoughts on the trilogy overall:
The Trilogy by Elizabeth May is fantastic. That’s right, I said it. This is Fantastic. I absolutely loved these books! First of all the artwork for them is beautiful, completely unrelated to how the actual series was but it was what originally drew me in so I had to mention it.
Moving on... The writing style pulled me in immediately, but I’m a sucker for a redhead female character fighting a war against Fae so that shouldn’t be too surprising. In my time scouring various fiction stories I have discovered that apparently I wish to be the heroine of a fantasy series fighting with a sword... Thats obviously not going to happen so instead I continue to live vicariously through books like this. May takes our world in 1844 with a few twists, most notable is the steampunk technology introduced to the story that aids Aileana in many ways throughout the series. She fuses Scottish lore, romance, action, and danger in this really incredible trilogy. So you should probably go get it, like right now!
Aileana is a great character. She’s strong-willed, incredibly smart, funny, and ruthless. What else could you ask for in a crime fighting female main character. I loved reading from her perspective and seeing how she interacts with the world around her. The heartbreak of losing her mother to a faery pushed her to fight with a vengeance for the safety of those around her and for the revenge she craves.
If I haven’t already sold you on this let me try again...
If you like - badass female characters that fight with various weapons, attractive Fae royalty, the possible end of the world, unlikely allies, and of course a sassy pixie then you should check these books out, like right now!
Star Rating: 5/5 for these books. I seriously loved them and will likely revisit them in the future.
Aileana is a stunning aristocratic young lady in Edinburgh, but she’s living a double life. This daughter of the Marquess of Douglass is not only a lady in society but she is also a liar, a murderer and the worlds last Falconer. After her mother was killed, Aileana was charged with the duty of protecting humans from the Fae that hide in plain sight. She starts to fight back against the threats using her falconer abilities, her skills at inventing tools and weapons, and the help of an unusual ally.
I was hooked almost immediately. I mean who wouldn’t be by the beginning lines of this book? "I've memorized their every accusation: Murderess. She did it, She was crouched over her mother's body, covered in blood." It's a pretty interesting way to start a book so I was instantly intrigued.
I fell for Aileana's character quickly. She was witty, smart, different, and creative. Plus she was a weapon wielding Fae killer, so you can't really go wrong there. I really fell for her once I started reading her interactions with Derrick and Kiaran. That was when I really started to enjoy her and the other characters. She cared about others, about her mother, and about getting revenge and that was her motivation for everything she did. Sure she could be a bit impulsive and there are some decisions that she made that were questionable but I think overall she's a great character.
The actual plot of this book pulled me in. There were so many things I wanted to know more about: Why were Fae dangerous to humans, what happened to the other Falconers, what was Kiaran's motivation for killing Faeries? The questions went on and on, some were answered in this book, some weren't but that just pulled me further into the series for the next books.
I also really loved that Elizabeth May put this in Edinburgh but adjusted the world to incorporate the advanced inventions of their time and Aileana's own ability to create inventions. I thought it was a really interesting addition to the book and made the world pull me in more since I wanted to know about the creations. I didn't expect the characters that were introduced at the ending and how they affected the outcome. I thought Lonnrach and Sorcha were intriguing characters and was excited to learn more about them and how they played into everything while also hating them.
The ending is a good cliffhanger that makes you want to pickup the second book quickly and thats exactly what I did.
Star Rating: 5/5 Loved it.
—————————— Spoilers if you haven’t read The Falconer -——————————
The Vanishing Throne
She’s in the hands of her enemy, taken after failing to close the Falconer device to trap the Fae underground again. Aileana is trapped in the Fae realm under Lonnarch’s orders. She doesn’t know how much time is passing in the human world, or what happened to the ones she loves. Realizing she wasn’t killed, Aileana find out that Lonnrach has a plan for her, and he needs her alive in order to complete it, at least for now.
He begins stealing her memories in search of a hidden Fae object, torturing her to a point that she doesn’t know what’s real and what she has imagined until one day an ally arrives to return her home, or whats left of it. A few survivors are living in an underground colony under a fragile truce with the remaining Fae. A father returning home Aileana learns that the worlds of both human and Fae are at risk of disappearing forever and again Aileana is faced with the knowledge that only she can save them, but the cost of doing so could very well be her life.
So much stress in the beginning of this book. I just wanted everyone to be okay and it was stressful not knowing what had happened in the aftermath of the first book. I was so excited to find out what was going to happen next and I really didn't expect the trilogy to take the turn it did. Going from people being in danger to the whole world being in danger was a big surprise and it put a lot of pressure on Aileana since she was the only one capable to save both worlds.
I love Aithinne! She was such a great addition to this series and might have been in my top three characters. She was so different from everyone else and had so many things to overcome but she was strong and capable. The love she has for her brother is incredible considering everything he's done and the fact that they were pinned against one another for the majority of their lives.
I really enjoyed May's writing on Lonnrach and Aileana, I didn't love what was happening but it was interesting. I was really sad for Aileana after everything that happened to her in the first book, the girl really never gets a break from hardship!
I thought this was a great sequel to the first book. It wasn't perfect but I thoroughly enjoyed this read and couldn't put it down. I also jumped for the last book the moment I finished this so I'm glad I bought the trilogy at the beginning instead of having to wait to pickup the next book.
Star Rating: 5/5 Another great book in the series.
————————— Spoilers if you haven’t read Vanishing Throne -——————————
The Fallen Kingdom
Aileana died, again, and was revived, again. This time things are different. She wakes up to crawl her way out of the ground with no memory of who she is or why she is there.
She fights her way through the forest as the Caelleach’s power pushes her self-control and threatens to kill her. The Fae monarchs, Aithinne and Kadamach have returned to their courts and people waiting to engage in a war to save the world. With Aileana’s death and the return of his powers Kiaran has once again become Kadamach the ruler of the unseele court, feeding on humans to maintain his court. The only hope is to find the Book of Remembrance that has been lost for centuries. The hunt will take Aileana and her allies to the den of the Morrigan, where only the Caelleach power can help them but at the possible cost of Aileana’s life. They are the world’s last hope and they are running out of time.
Of the three books this was my least favorite. The pacing wasn't as good as the other two but I still enjoyed reading the wrap-up to the series. I'm sure there would be mixed feelings about the ending but I actually loved it and felt it really suited the characters and what they wanted in life. I thought the beginning was really interesting with Aileana memory being gone and trying to find out who she is and what she needs to do. It was interesting to see her struggling to grasp the new power that she possessed and how to fix the world before the two monarchs ruined it. She went through a lot throughout the trilogy and I respect the ending that she received.
One of the best parts of this book was Sorcha. She came a long way from book one and I really enjoyed reading about all the changes to her character throughout the series. I thought her ending really suited the development May wrote her character through. She wasn't at all what I expected but was a great addition to the trilogy.
It wasn't a perfect final book to a trilogy but I think it wrapped up everything we needed it to and I was happy with how all the characters came out in the end.
Star Rating: 4.5/5 Still enjoyed it though I didn't feel it had the same drive as the other two books and felt like not a lot really happened.
—————————— Spoilers if you haven’t read The Trilogy -———————————
This was a really incredibly trilogy that I thoroughly enjoyed. I could talk about it for a really long time because there are so many things that I think Elizabeth May did well when creating these books. I absolutely adore the trilogy and would recommend it to anyone and everyone willing to listen. The relationship building, the twists, the plot... It was just so good, every part of it. Even the moments I hated I still loved because they made the books good and made me care for the characters more. The only thing I might not forgive her for is Derrick dying, but I understand why it happened and how it was necessary to his story in these books.
There are some things that happened in this trilogy that usually make me really, really annoyed but in the case of this trilogy I actually think they made sense and worked in the authors favour. One, I usually hate when characters die, only to be brought back. This happens three times. Twice with Aileana and once with Kiaran. The first time Aileana dies is to bring out her falconer abilities, and this totally worked and made sense considering how the seer’s get their ability. The second time also made sense because the Cailleach needed her to take the power and keep the worlds going for just a little longer so that they could get things fixed. Then Kiaran is killed by Aileana just to be brought back later and I was also okay with that because there was a sacrifice involved that allowed him to come back and I really wanted them together. The other thing that I usually hate is when a character with power loses them or gives them up. That happened with Kiaran, but instead of it being a stupid way to save the world or having them stolen from him, he chose to give them up so that he could return to her and live out their lives as mortals. Which was exactly what he said he wanted, he didn’t want to be immortal, he hated the pull of the wild hunt and only wanted to have one lifetime with Aileana. Which honestly I think is really sweet. So I am not mad about this and will not be upset that it happened.
Things I didn’t like:
Aileana dying, both times, I liked her way to much for that to happen and it was just a little crazy that one girl can come back from the dead that many times.
Lonnrach - he sucks, I hate him, keep those nasty fangs out of our girl Aileana.
Derrick dying in the most awful and sad way ever. This might be in my top ten of saddest character deaths. I was sobbing. He came to save the day only to die for Aileana, my heart still hurts over this and I finished the book a while ago.
The Morrigan - she killed Derrick and I hate you for it.
Daniel constantly trying to make Aileana leave the people she loves. I get he was trying to protect people but they needed her help to do that so sending her away was idiotic.
Things I loved:
Aileana and Kiaran, they are so cute and I love them.
The ending!!! I am so happy that they end up together and that Aileana gets her mom back.
Derrick’s love for Aileana is so honest and pure and he would have done absolutely anything for her which hurts but is also really sweet.
Gavin and Catherine and Daniel - they all grew on me over the series and I genuinely loved all of them by the end of the trilogy.
Aithinne- She is so much fun to read. She’s been through so many horrible things and still loves her brother and loves the world. She doesn’t let the things that have happened to her keep her from seeing the bright side of things and she tried everything possible to keep her relationship with Kiaran.
Sorcha's character arc was really great and I ended up liking her by the end of the series.
The Morrigan - a really interesting villain for the last book