By Elizabeth May
LADY AILEANA “Kam” Kameron lives in 19th century Scotland where the fey are not nice pretty things but deadly. A particularly nasty one kills her mother, who is a Falconer, one of the gifted humans who can sense and kill fey. Now Kam is the last of her kind, and with the help of the mysterious fey royal Kiaran, sets out to find her mother’s killer.
The pacing in this book was very awkward. The author seemed to take for granted that her audience is well-read in the lady-by-day, fey-hunter-by-night trope and hits you over the head with everything all at once, which left me feeling like there was a distinct lack of world-building. Instead of seeing Kam meet her mentor Kiaran for the first time and build a grudging trust, we’re instead plopped right into one of their encounters and expected to buy that she would be fine with an extremely powerful faery teaching her after just telling us that her mother was murdered by one of these creatures. Also, we’re told that Kiaran is a hottie, rather than shown their connection.
Buuut the author is right. We have seen The Falconer story and its characters before. The pixie is Jenks from The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, Kiaran is Ash from Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, and Kam is Mac from Karen Marie Moning’s Faefever series. The plot is eerily similar to Faefever, but more of a toned down YA version. In the end, the plot was too derivative and the creative world-building came too late. Plus, it never seemed like Kam really had to strain too hard to keep her two lives, one as a lady of the court, and the other as a fey hunter, truly separate and balanced.
That being said, I did read Book Two in the series, The Vanishing Throne, and it was like the author was suddenly given free reign to tell the story she wanted. It gets much darker, much more creative with the types of fey introduced and their mythology, and the stakes are raised. As such, move through Book One as quickly as you can and then enjoy Book Two.
Recommend for fans of: Karen Marie Moning, Julie Kagawa (haha, I love to recommend her), and Rae Carson
Upcoming Book Review: Alpha Goddess by Amalie Howard