Personally I LOVED it. I love steampunk, speculative fiction, fantasy, etc. so this was right up my alley.
The Falconer is set in Scotland in 1844. Lady Aileana is a recent debutante and grieving daughter. She is currently stuck in the rage phase of her grieving process. The night of her debut her mother was killed by Fae. She has recently come out of mourning and back into society. While dealing with societal demands, family drama and finding an appropriate husband, she also slays Fae in her spare time.
This book is very action packed and fast paced. The steampunk elements are subtle and not overwhelming. The world building was done wonderfully as the setting is superb. The Fae part of the story is not all about Fae Courts and Fae shenanigans. It was a great mix of everything I love about a book.
Another great aspect of the book are the characters. There are so many to love! Aileana is the grieving, kick butt main character. Kiaran is the Fae teaching her how to be a kick butt kinda gal and is also kinda kick buttish himself. He is also grieving something in his life and is seems cold but there are layers there. Layers that Aileana wants to and tries to unravel. Their relationship is multi-faceted. There is depth there. Much more than I think we see since they have known each other for a year at the time the story begins.
There is the obligatory BFF who seems naïve to Aileana’s nighttime activities but will be there for Aileana when Aileana is ready to confide in her. We also meet Aileana intended. I don’t want to give away plot aspects but I liked him. I thought he was a tortured character but one that was trying to stand up and do the right thing and eventually does. While at times I was worried about the dreaded love triangle it never really came to that and for that I am extremely grateful to Ms. May.
One of the best secondary characters is Derrick. Aileana’s pixie sidekick. Really, no need to go into details. He is awesome. Enough said.
Criticisms. I have one that I have seen a lot of other reviewers mention, and there is also one that I keep seeing mentioned that I disagree with. I do not see a big Fever series influence here. Most Fae series have the same aspects as the folklore has been around for such a long time. I expect some overlap of ideas when reading this genre of fiction. Yes there are some similarities but to me they are minor and I don’t think I necessarily would have noticed them had I not read reviews prior to reading The Falconer.
My one criticism. The ending. I do not mind cliff hangers however I felt like the book ended in the middle of a cliff hanger. I was surprised when the book ended where it did. I felt like not only was it rushed and maybe not as detailed as it should be, I felt like there needed to be a few more pages to the book. I am not sure I even understand what even happened in the end. Which I guess just makes me that more excited for when book 2 comes out.