The Vanishing Throne (Falconer Trilogy 2) Paperback – 19 Nov 2015
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Although the story is yet to be finished at the book's conclusion, the ending...sets things up nicely for the trilogy's final chapter where the ultimate fate of two worlds will be decided. 8/10 (Starburst)
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer.
A new generation of heroines has arrived.
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In this book we learn the origins of most of the characters as well as the fae race themselves. Every character is changed from the first book, and they do develop a bit in this one as well. Aileana, in this book is on biggest change. In the first book I did find her a bit annoying, but here she is remade tougher stronger and in a way more relatable. If not relatable but I defiantly felt more empathy for her, (not that I have been locked away and tortured for 3 years), as witnessing her experiences made me feel a bond with the character.
All in all a good book of revelations, though it is a bit slow and you might be given enough clues to figure some (not all) of these out a little ahead of time. A good addition to the series, for me this is one sequel better then the original.
Author: Elizabeth May
Page count: 362pp
Release date: 18th Nov 2015
(The third book The Fallen Lingdom was released 15th June 2017) Grab it now!
The first book in this series 'The Falconer' introduced us to a post-Regency world of early polite 19th Century society in Edinburgh, where Lady Alieana Kameron plays the game of 'lady' whilst tinkering with inventions.
On meeting pixie Derrick and Fae Kiaran, she discovers she is the 'Falconer' - the one who is strong enough to fight the fae - who wish to destroy the human world. There is much more to the first book (death, betrayal, love, passion, magic) but - spoilers darling!
Now, in the second book, having failed to save the world in a very Buffy-like manner - she is half dead and prisoner of Lonnrach - a baobhan sith - a vampire-like fae who holds Alieana in the faerie realm sucking her memories dry to find the information he needs to take a throne. The Vanishing Throne.
Time moves at a different pace in the Sith-bhruth - a week there can be months in the world of humans. But every day in her faerie prison is a day of torture - Lonnrach's bite leaving physical and emotional scars, as his venom runs through her veins. But it is the guilt that consumes her, as much as the need to escape - she is shown visions of a desolate Edinburgh and knows she failed to save it.
Thankfully help comes in the form of Kiaran's sister Aithinne.
There's a nice little nod to The Princess Bride in here as Alieana escapes through the forests and rocks with Aithinne.
Though the imprisonment and escape is tense, emotional and intriguing, it was great to move on into Alieana's normal world to see her reaction, and to see some old favourite characters.
Derrick the tiny winged pixie is particularly funny, as is Aithinne's jubilant use of 'normal' swear words (implied at and stopped at just the right moment rather than expressed) and her sibling rivalry with Kiaran. Never mind Alieana's love for Kiaran- a powerful fae she is only just getting to know.
When Derrick is drunk on honey he is very productive and at one point makes new clothes for Alieana- who huffs - to which Derrick replies "so just because the world ends you can't dress fancy anymore?" Point made! I can almost feel Joss Whedon's influence here, in reflect of sparkling dialogue at the least.
As for Kiaran, he has taught himself not to feel compassion after centuries in faerie, but seeing Alieana again stirs something deep inside, and when she is hurt at one point by another character his anger is cold. Bound from killing humans he still points out, "It's incredible what the human body can endure without dying." He's your 'Angel' to Alieana's Buffy; sexy, brooding, stalwart, strong - and lethal.
As a team, our heroes are formidable adversaries for Lonnrach, each character having different attributes to bring to the party; carrying on with the Buffy analogy - the 'Scooby Gang', each one valuable in their own right, with believable personalities to match.
With the gang and the surviving humans forming a truce with the pixies, we see an extraordinary underground city; glittering quartz domes, bee hive shaped houses, obsidian buildings, and food from everywhere in the world, which the pixies can create from nothing. But the sparkling fae disturb Alieana who still bears the scars of her torture.
However, for the reader, the city is awesome; you can smell, taste and feel this place. Stunning. Yet for Alieana there's something missing that the real world has. Yet that real world is shattered and can't be returned to right now. That won't stop Alieana from trying to save the world that exists now - with a fairy killing gun (a blunderbus of her own design) her own innate powers and her team as back up.
This is a hero I can get on with. And here's why;
"No - I don't want balls (now now trader! not that type), or parties, or dresses again. No elevenhours or fourhours or being forced into marriage.
Those things all kept me caged ..."
This is an awesome blend of Austen-era bad-assery heroines, magical steampunk, fae legend and urban fantasy.
Aileana, having blipped through the portal she was attempting to seal shut in The Falconer, has been trapped in a mind-bending, twisty world of mirrors and magic enough to drive anyone insane, whilst slowly having her memories scoured by Lonnrach. During this same time, the human world has been all but obliterated. This was most certainly not the plan, but this is the situation, and Aileana must now deal with the consequences of her failure.
We see tremendous growth from Ailenana in this book and also get some much needed back story on Keiran. I also particularly enjoyed his sister, Aithinne's, contribution to the story. The world-building , which required some extra focus as it's essentially a completely new world Aileana is faced with outside of the portal, was excellent. All in all, this book had more of everything, including the feels!
Book 3 in this series, The Fallen Kingdom, has just been released and I can't wait to get to it. God damn you, TBR pile!
5 Stars ★★★★★ A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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The Vanishing Throne is the second in the Falconer series by Elizabeth May, a series that brings to us a story including the fae, a little romance and...Read more