The Fallen Kingdom

June 13, 2017
The Fallen Kingdom Book Cover The Fallen Kingdom
The Falconer, #3
Elizabeth May
Chronicle Books
June 13th, 2017
eARC
NetGalley

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.

(via Goodreads)

 

This book is the third book in the trilogy The Falconer. My review contains minor spoilers for book one, The Falconer and book two The Vanishing Throne.

 

Release Day Review! WOO! 
I love it when I manage to pull that off. I’m something like 2 / 1309230948230948. Crushing it.

 

Aileana Kameron. The girl whose gift is chaos, who can either save the realms or end them. Her lot in life was certainly not easy. Neither is writing reviews for series ending books. I apologize in advance for all the blurred out text below. Just click to view the spoiler!

Wow. I’m so conflicted about this book and this series– I’m completely enamored, but the finale was my least favorite book in this series. That said, it’s a wild and emotional ride. I would certainly recommend anyone who has started this series to finish it. If you enjoyed book two more than book one, I think this might be your favorite book in the series.

Honestly, Aileana, everyone ought to dress up like an inebriated pirate at least once. It’s much more fun to kill things in costume.

May starts us out with a whopper. Aileana has returned from the grave, a second time, complete with all the powers of the Cailleach – Queen of the Faeries – and has no memory. Zero. None! (What a brilliant way to recap things in a meaningful way, too…) From that moment on, we know we’re in for a wild ride. From the beginning, the action never slows down and the odds keep mounting against our heroes. Aileana’s life has been filled with death, destruction, and murder since she became the Falconer and now the fate of the world literally rests inside of her.

This is far and away the darkest book in the trilogy. As the world disintegrates around our characters, they are thrust deep into the Unseelie Kingdom and the dark prison of the Morrigan. May’s world building is magnificent and seamless. Countless new fae mythologies are brought to the fore, but never once did it feel overwhelming or out of place. The slow world building has made the fantastic seem commonplace in this universe. Every possible terrible thing is stacking up against our heroes. Combined with the setting, the character development, and our fast-paced plot it was almost too overwhelming to keep reading. I never thought they’d survive.

We’re not your responsibility, Aileana. This world isn’t your burden. It belongs to all of us. 

There was, as is now to be expected, some magnificent character development. In particular, Sorcha, the Unseelie fae who murdered Aileana’s mother and inspired Aileana to become the Falconer, is suddenly a prominent character. Getting to know her better in this dark place was brilliant. There’s very little I like more than understanding the inspiration for a character’s motivations– particularly when they are the Big Bad”.

That said, there was minimal development between our core characters. This didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might have if only because of the constant dangers they were in. There just wasn’t time. But there was still amazing witty banter. Aithinne and Derrick are still my favorite characters. I was a bit disappointed by how Kiaran was portrayed… He really should have been quite a bit eviler. I would have appreciated some more weakness, cutthroat-yness and general attacking of loved ones. Not because I wanted them to be hurt, but because the Unseelie King should have been a bit more evil. Love is powerful, but not that powerful. I’m just saying. Note: I still adore him and his relationship with both Kam and his sister.

“I hate this,” I mutter.
“Really? I’m having a grand time,” Aithinne says brightly.
“That’s because you’re barmy.”
“I believe you just mispronounced magnificent.”

As you might imagine, there are some horrible things which happen in this book. And, obviously, I can’t talk about them. BUT I AM REALLY UPSET ABOUT THEM STILL. I’ll just leave that there. Not even hidden in spoilers. I’m that upset. I can’t even write about it.

I feel really conflicted about the ending of this series. I am disheartened that Aithinne rewrote/rewound time to before Aileana’s mother was murdered. It’s like all they worked for never happened, never mattered… and it was too easy. Well. Not really. There was a lot of death to get there. But it felt like an easy ending. That said, I *adore* how much all our human characters are dealing with PTSD. They remember all which happened. Which is good! Those experiences built them into amazing people, and I would have been so sad to have lost that. Listening to Daniel, Catherine, Gavin, and Aileana talk about trying to be their old selves when they really weren’t was so powerful. They lost so much. But I loved seeing them try.

But, I totally predicted Kiaran becoming human for Kam. I mean. Seriously. While the romantic in me really loves it, I also would have appreciated the fae just vanishing from their realm forever. I blame my love of Fushigi Yuugi for helping me predict that ending. Oops.

Goodness doesn’t last, Falconer. If enough time has passed and enough people hurt us, we all become cruel and heartless bastards.

All in all, while this was my least favorite book in the series, I think it really had some of the most profound and powerful moments in the whole series. If you are even remotely interested in kickass heroines who doubt their ability to be good people, witty banter, Scotland, and/or the fae– please read this. Right. Now.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Chronicle Books in exchange for an honest review. Check out more from Chronicle Books and Elizabeth May on their respective websites. 


What do you think?

  • Have you read any of The Falconer trilogy? What are your favorite aspects of it?
  • Do you write reviews for books from a series? How do you handle writing them without too many spoilers?
  • What is your favorite series featuring a badass heroine?

19 Comments

  • KrystiYAandWine June 13, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Oh you finished the series! I haven’t read the final one yet, so I’m avoiding the spoilers on this one. But I’m so happy to hear you liked it! 🙂

    • Jackie B June 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      I can’t wait to hear what you think! I have soooo many things to talk about with someone who has read the books. There are plenty of spoilers I didn’t mention here, but I completely get it. I hope you enjoy The Fallen Kingdom!

  • LizScanlon June 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Oh.. this sounds like a great series… I did read the spoilers and all, but they kind of made the series more attractive… maybe except the ending.. I dislike that kind of ending. It’s so anti climactic… But still, a solid 4 stars from you so it has to be good… will check it out! 🙂

    • Jackie B June 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Hahaha– I am also someone who reads all the spoilers. I don’t know why, but I love doing that when I can click through something. There is something so satisfying about the control!
      I think overall the series was worth it, even if the ending wasn’t how I would have ended it. There are some great characters tied up in a complex plot. It is YA historical-fantasy, so in many ways you can say that it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. 🙂

      • LizScanlon June 17, 2017 at 7:35 am

        Ah, the spoilers.. they’re like… how can you not view them? Otherwise it’s like someone offering you chocolate and you’re not accepting it… impossible 😀
        Great stuff re the series… I like the sound of complex plot!

        • Jackie B June 21, 2017 at 5:49 pm

          Hahaha. I adore you, Liis. Adore you.

  • theorangutanlibrarian June 15, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Ah I get what you mean about writing reviews for series enders- so hard!! I am phenomenally curious about this series and literally cannot wait to pick it up. I had to avoid a lot of this review, cos of spoilers 😉 But it’s good that it’s still a 4 star read, even if the ending’s not perfect!

    • Jackie B June 16, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad I’ve intrigued you. Particularly when I’ve never seen reviews for a book on the blogs, it always warms my heart when I get to share that with others. But yes… there are many more spoilers than I even mentioned here. It’s definitely a fun read. I hope you enjoy the series when you get to it!

      • theorangutanlibrarian June 17, 2017 at 9:04 pm

        Ah I get that!! No problem! Hehe yeah that’s fair- sometimes books are just chock-full of spoilery things that need to be discussed!!

        • Jackie B June 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm

          That’s actually why I started by blog! I wanted to talk with other people about the books I’ve been reading. But no one around me was as interested. So I started talking to myself in cyber-space instead. O_o

  • Dani @ Perspective of a Writer June 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I have an arc of the first book they gave out when they gave ARCs out for the 3rd book… I haven’t gotten to it yet but I want to… sad that you weren’t wowed by this (I did only skim it to avoid the minor spoilers ).

    I have a hard time finishing series because I don’t want yo be disappointed, lol. I love complex plots though and must see them yo the end. And congratulations on getting your review out on release day! Woot, I love when that happens too ❤️

    • Jackie B June 20, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      I’m a bit sad I wasn’t wowed by it either. However, I have been told that I am overly critical of YA literature, so… *shrug* I would still encourage you to start this series! I really fell in love with the characters in book one. This isn’t high literature, but it’s a ton of fun to read.

      Is this true for all series? Do you have a series graveyard of incompletely read series? Oooh. I’d love to see that list. 🙂

      • Dani @ Perspective of a Writer June 21, 2017 at 2:16 am

        I’m so glad I found you! I’m “overly” critical too… let’s see how much we agree
        I love to start series but rarely finish considering the number of book ones I read… so yeah a sequel graveyard… it’s on goodreads sort of called series to finish, lol!

        • Jackie B June 21, 2017 at 10:33 am

          I am looking forward to this. Sometimes, I feel like a Negative Nancy in a crowd of fangirls/boys. O_o I can’t wait to see how we align on different books.

          I should totally develop a Sequel Graveyard shelf on Goodreads. I am in the same place with quite a few series, and I bet I’ve forgotten quite a bit of those series in progress, honestly. I wonder how many series I’ve just forgotten entirely? Yikes. Maybe that means I shouldn’t read them?

          • Dani @ Perspective of a Writer June 21, 2017 at 5:18 pm

            That is something I wonder about too… if I’m fine not reading the second book should I even chance reading it?

            • Jackie B June 30, 2017 at 1:41 am

              Good thought process. Typically, I pick up the second book of my friends are raving or I am still curious about something. I almost always regret it. I should pick a page out of your book!

  • Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity July 3, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    It’s interesting that this is your least favourite book of the trilogy because it is almost my favourite! I cannot quite decide between this one and the first, but it’s certainly very VERY close to being my favourite (I think it almost is). I just loved so much about this book, and every moment had me invested 100%!

    I totally know what bit you don’t want to talk about, and I feel you on that. I cannot believe it happened. It made me so very sad.

    I think that the ending was such a gift to the characters, even if they were dealing with the repercussions. They had done so much, and been through so much, and they had a second chance because of it.

    So glad you liked this series! It’s definitely one of my faves 🙂

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