I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale
She's a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.
She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.
She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.
She's a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.
I read this book in one evening and completely enjoyed myself, hence the 4 star rating. It was really quite predictable—aristocratic girl in a steampunk Victorian timeline who is vowed to avenge the death of her mother. At a swanky event of some kind, a banshee has killed Aileana’s mother and left Aileana drenched in blood. Since then, she has acquired a pixie sidekick (Derrick) and a Fairy mentor and fight instructor (Kiaran).
Very reminiscent of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series or Sarah J. Maas’ Court of Thorns and Roses series. I blundered into this volume, not realizing that it is first of a trilogy—if you abhor cliff-hanger endings, you either want to skip this book or have book two queued up and ready to go.
There is a very obvious paranormal romance element to this novel, telegraphed from extremely early in the book. In this respect, both Moning and Maas were better at the build up to the relationship, letting their heroines struggle with the concept longer and creating better tension in the stories. May throws in an old flame of Aileana’s—she may be a Falconer (a hunter of the Fae), but Gavin is a Seer. Aileana needs a magic flower in order to see the Fae, so she and Gavin are a natural team. This sets up a quasi-love triangle between Aileana, Gavin, and Kiaran.
The end of this first installment may have been a cliff-hanger, but it’s a very effective one. It left me wishing I had the second book already in my hands to see what is meant by those last couple of pages! I was relieved to find out that my public library has both of the remaining books, so I will eventually get to discover the outcome.
Use of Scots dialect was sparing, just enough to remind the reader of where the action takes place, a feature which I appreciated. Also the dust jacket art is gorgeous. Recommended for fans of Fae paranormal romance fiction.