A Series Finale That Drained Me … In A Good Way: The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

A Series Finale That Drained Me … In A Good Way: The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth MayThe Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3)
by Elizabeth May
Release Date: January 1st 1970
Published by Chronicle Books
Genres: Dark, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, YA
Format: eARC
Pages: 389
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Source: ARC received for review purposes

The long-awaited final book in the Falconer trilogy is an imaginative tour-de-force that will thrill fans of the series.

Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against each other in a struggle that will decide the fate of the human and fae worlds, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded by the legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty. To save the world and the people she loves, Aileana must learn to harness her dark new powers even as they are slowly destroying her.

Packed with immersive detail, action, romance, and fae lore, and publishing simultaneously in the UK, The Fallen Kingdom brings the Falconer's story to an epic and unforgettable conclusion.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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This is it, folks. One of my all-time favorite YA series has ended. I’m part heartbroken because this is the end, and part elated, because I loved this ending. Elizabeth May’s debut series is one of the most underrated series out there, and if you haven’t read these books yet, then I URGE you to pick these books, because they are fantastic from start to finish. With The Fallen Kingdom, May put me through an emotional rollercoaster, and by the end, I, a reader who very rarely sheds tears over books, was bawling my eyes out. Now THAT is exactly how a series should end.

The Vanishing Throne ended with a heart-attack-inducing cliffhanger, and you would think that May would maybe slow down and let us breathe a bit with The Fallen Kingdom, but nope. From start to finish this book had me shaking, and flipping through the pages in fear for these characters. I was terrified, and also completely invested in the fates of this cast. Aileana has grown so much from the past few books. She has always been badass with a side of vulnerability to her, but the strength and resilience that she exhibited here was unreal. I was in awe of how brave she was in the face of all the cruelty she had come across, and how far she was willing to go to protect her loved ones. Aileana is fierce and fearless, and everything that I love in a good YA fantasy heroine. I wanted so much for her to get an ending she deserved, and by the end, I think I loved her even more.

The characters really are what makes this series stand out for me. They are multi-layered, and they all serve a purpose. My favorite fae, Kieran, was also going through his own hell in The Fallen Kingdom, and my heart ached for him. I love this boy so much, and I wanted nothing but happiness and peace for him. The romance between Aileana and Kieran provide a much needed brightness to the story. Guys, this romance is so so swoony, and best of all, this is a couple that fights together through thick and thin. There are also some great friendships in The Fallen Kingdom. I really loved Aithinne’s relationship with Ailena – it was very much banterific, and there was a trust there that made their friendship solid. And Derrick, my adorable, loyal, little pixie who I will always cherish forever and ever. Even the villains in The Fallen Kingdom were absolutely breathtaking. They make you want to push them off a steep cliff, but you also find yourself being fascinated by the shades to their characters. Serious props to Elizabeth May for writing compelling villains!

The plot in The Fallen Kingdom opens up where The Vanishing Throne ended. Let me tell you, the book is dark. Like seriously dark, but it’s not the kind of dark that makes you want to put the book down. In fact, it’s the darkness that makes you want to push through hoping the characters will defeat evil. Elizabeth May’s world building is impressive. It’s multi-faceted, well-developed, and feels like it’s real even though it’s entirely fictitious. But best of all, this is a story that’s full of emotions. It will make you laugh, smile, sob, gasp, and cry our eyes out, but it’s all worth it. I did have one or two issues. The first being View Spoiler » Neither of these spoilers greatly took away from my enjoyment of the story though, because the rest was terrific.

There is no doubt that I have found a favorite author in Elizabeth May and a favorite series in The Falconer trilogy. I would not say no to spin-offs, novellas or short stories set in this phenomenal Scottish fantasy world, but to be honest, I’ll also buy her grocery list if she decided to publish. If you’re looking for an epic new historical fantasy series to binge read, I can’t recommend this series enough!

Have you read this series? What are some of your favorite historical fantasy series?
Let me know in the comments below!

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  • It is so hard to let a favorite series go but yay that it ended in a way you enjoyed. Great review!!!

  • Omg I totally need to start this series

  • Ooo I like that it went dark. Since the series ended well, I will now add these to my wishlist 🙂

  • Greg Hill

    I remember wanting to read the first one! And now the series is over. I should binge read these. anyway glad that it turned out well. I love the whole concept of this, I really don’t know why I haven’t read these yet… and I like faerie stories that go a little dark.

    Derrick the pixie sounds awesome too!

  • kindlemom1

    Dang I knew I was missing a series to add to my pile this summer Nick, it was this one! Okay I need to go download the first book now I think before I forget again. I’m so glad this worked out even if it was emotional.

  • Eeek I can’t wait to finally read this one! Probably very soooon.

  • I am so glad you loved this. I read the first one when it came out three years ago??? I didn’t get my ARC copy of the second book read last summer because of my break and stuff, so I have both the second and third book stacked back to back for reading. I am curious about the dark tone.

  • I have never even heard of this series. I just skimmed your review since I haven’t read it yet. I am adding it to my TBR now thou, thank you! I love dark fantasy and this sounds amazing.

  • Angel @Angel Reads

    I still haven’t read this series. There is just so many books to read. Thanks for the review.

  • It’s nice to hear you loved this series from beginning to end. I do love it when an author can wring out so many emotions. Sounds like an action packed exciting story! Lovely review, Nick! 🙂

  • Glad yo hear you enjoyed this book and the series as a whole so much. I read the first one and remember having a few grumbles about it when I finished but I know I wanted to read the second book… and haven’t. I’ll have to catch up and read the second book. It’s good to know that one ends on a cliffhanger so I’ll make sure I get this one as well. I kind of feel like I need to read the first book again and just have a series binge with this one. We’ll see.

    The only historical fantasy rec I have right now is The Dark Days Club because you know me and Danya read the second one recently. Otherwise… I got nothing. How can I think of no books in this genre?

  • I’ve had this fantasy on my TBR since book 1 came out, but I guess I wasn’t that driven into reading it. I’m glad you loved it though Nick! I’ll have to see if I can borrow this one somewhere because I don’t want to pay money until I know I’ll love it, lol. (especially for a trilogy)

    Historical fantasy is always a fave of mine too, so it’s definitely on my TBR. Recently I’ve been “meh” about fantasies so we’ll see how this one goes!

    – Aila @ Happy Indulgence

  • Jazmen

    Ooohhh I like the sounds of this series. Yet another bunch I need to and haven’t read!

  • I have been urged, and I will succumb to said urging. 😂 Brb going to buy this entire trilogy so I can binge it and then gush about it with you. You know how much I adore historical fantasy!