Weekend reading recommendation – The Falconer, Elizabeth May

Lady Aileana Kameron, youthful and pretty, tries to combine her life in polite society with her determination to rid her world of murderous fae. The setting’s an agreeably atmospheric steam-punkish alternate Edinburgh in the 1840s. The author nevertheless remains clear-eyed on historical inequalities perpetuated by class and gender, not heavy-handedly moralising but simply weaving such elements into the pacy and entertaining story. Some will see echoes of a certain Slayer here but don’t let that put you off – and let’s remember the tradition of Scots lasses taking on faery foes goes back to the tale of Tam Lin. I’ve seen this labelled as a YA book and it’s a ‘safe’ read as far as graphic sex or violence goes while still offering plenty of action, tense and humorous by turns, and thoroughly convincing villainy. The exploration of love, loss and duty makes it a thoughtful read for all ages. Minor caveats; it’s the first of a series and has a markedly ‘to be continued…’ ending. Also it’s written in first person, continuous present tense which I’m really not a fan of – but here, I was able to get past that within the first few pages as the story engaged me.

click here for Elizabeth May’s website

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