Scottish fey-steampunk

The Falconer: Book One of the Falconer Trilogy Kindle Edition
by Elizabeth May
I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest exchange,

Scottish faeries (no where near as nice as their Irish or Welsh relatives) were magically trapped beneath the earth by women who wee known as the Falconers. Through the centuries, the magic has weakened and the Falconers have died out.

All except two. Aileana and her mother. On the night of her coming out, Aileana watches something, a dark fairy rip her mother’s heart out. When she is discovered by the aristocracy, elbow deep in her mother’s blood, Aileana is suspected of murder and made an outcast.

That is until Kiaran, a High Warrior Faerie, recognizes her for what she is and begins training her.

Ms. May does an excellent job of giving Aileana quirks. She has a pixie who uses her dresses to make his own clothes and has the hobby of inventions that she puts to work to destroying the evil faeries with her mentor Kiaran,

Ms. May’s world borders on steam-punk, with DaVinci flying machines and stun guns alongside corsets and arranged marriages.

Fight scenes take place in the freezing cold, as we draw close to the Winter Equinox, the time the seal breaks. Ms. May paints the violence and frenzy of human on Fae fight with a talented brush. Blood and mud and rain and snow all mix to create an ephemeral battlefield filled with icy fog. Aileana fights like a madwoman and at the same time she is the perfect Victorian lady, drinking tea and picking out a wedding dress. Meanwhile, she is falling for Kiaran. Ms. May twists the plot into a labyrinthine story.

Ms. May also uses the Scottish version of the Fae as opposed to the Irish or the Cornish. This is a fabulous twist. Although, warning for Americans, all Celt added letters and you may need to go to google translate to pronounce a word or a dozen. It is is well worth it.

The characters, well they are fantastic. I love the pixie and want one of my own. The gadgets, the stitchers, the automatic tea pot and so on truly hint at a cross between Dr. Who and Downtown Abbey.

I am sad to say there is no HEA. In fact, there is no true ending, we are left with a dark, creepy cliff hanger where the burgeoning love between Kam (Aileana) and Kiaran may or may not be destroyed.

An excellent coming of age, heroine’s journey with humor and corsets! This book is Book Nerd Approved

5 out of 5

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