The Falconer (The Falconer, #1)

The Falconer - Elizabeth May There have been few times when I finish a book, close it, and stare at the cover in awe of what I have just finished reading. After I finished The Falconer was one of those few times. I closed it, stared at its cover in awe, and then proceeded to make a high pitched wailing noise because I couldn’t immediately pick up the sequel and enter the world again.

I have read more fantasy books than I can count on all of my fingers and toes. They’re some of my favourite books to read, but not all of them leave a lasting impression. Some of them fade with time, even if I liked them when I read them. Some of them, however, are instantly placed on an imaginary bookshelf of love in my mind, where their name will never be forgotten. The Falconer is now on that shelf.

Now that I have explained to you what happens to books when I love them; and in highly unnecessary detail, I’m sure, I will try and gather my thoughts and present them to you in a cohesive manner. Operative word: try. Okay, here I go.

I received an email from Gollancz Geeks saying that they had copies of The Falconer up for review. I jumped at the chance, having read a few raving reviews, and knowing that it was just the kind of book I would love to read. I didn’t know if Gollancz would be able to send it to me, as I live in Australia, and they are based in the UK. But! Lo and behold, I received another email saying that I had been chosen, and that The Falconer would arrive on my doorstep soon. A few weeks went by, and nothing. No pretty book. I emailed the lovely people at Gollancz, as I assumed it had been lost in the mail. Three days later, the book arrived. And what should be stamped in huge letters across the pretty red packaging (which I loved)? ‘MISSENT TO CANADA’. Suddenly it dawns on me why it took three weeks to arrive. This one book has travelled to more countries than I ever have, especially considering I’ve never been out of my own country. But anyway, I was uber happy, may or may not have let out a squeal of joy, and almost immediately picked up the book to begin reading it.

I was finished in a little under 48 hours. I could not put it down. The pages were compelling me with their powers; keep turning, they urged. And, of course, I complied. How could I not? May has created a world that drew me in from the first word, and still has me drawn in now, almost 12 hours after finishing her book. The Falconer is just THAT amazing. I kid you not.

I adored every aspect of this book, from the font used for the pages, to the writing style, to the characters, and to all these new fangled Scottish words that I am sure I’m pronouncing incorrectly in my mind. But I don’t care. I love this book to pieces.

I often wonder, after finishing an amazing fantasy novel such as this one, how the world and characters can seem so real, when they’re so clearly not. I mean, Aileana, our heroine, fights fae every night, and murders them (heiress, debutante, murderer!). You cannot get more unreal than that, but I believed it the entire time. There wasn’t a moment where I was thinking: yeah, but this would never happen. I was thinking: my gosh, there were definitely fae in Scotland in 1844. That’s how realistic the world that May has created really is. That you can believe in it. In every word.

The characters were superb, and I must say that Kiaran and Derrick are just adorable. Well maybe not Kiaran so much with the cold gaze and broody attitude, but hey. You cannot help but adore him. And Derrick is possibly the cutest character I have read this year; I want to steal him from the pages, and have him mend MY ball gowns. If I had any, that is.

Aileana was a truly a badass main character. I just spent five minutes trying to deviate from using the word ‘badass’, but I came up with nothing. That’s the only way to describe her. One minute, she’s dancing with gentleman at a ball, and the next minute she’s stabbing evil fae, and shooting them with special pistols. She’s just awesome, and the kind of female young adult main character that I have been waiting for. She doesn’t rely on anyone, she fights her own fights, but she’s also vulnerable, as well. Like I said: real.

Just quickly, I want to mention the awesome steampunk themes I this book. I love steampunk, and the gadgets that May described were amazing. A flying bat-like machine! A tea dispenser! Hey, until you read about the awesome tea dispenser, you cannot judge. It’s awesome. All of the inventions described in this book are.

The ending left me keening in a foetal position on the floor because I can’t read any more of what’s going to happen. And that pains me. I want more of the world that May has created, more of the characters, more of the adventure. I just want more, more, more of this awesomeness. And I want it now.

© 2013, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.