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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.
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 » how her mother was brought back to life. I’m not trying to be callous, but the whole reason Aileana went on this obstacle-riddled journey that helped her grow and mature was because her mother’s death. I can’t help but feel like it wrapped up too nicely for her. The other thing I was upset by was if both her mother and Kieran were brought back to life, why not Derrick? He was the purest character in this series, and possibly one of the few who deserved eternal happiness. So his death really bummed me out. 🙁 « Hide 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!