Sunday, June 4, 2017

Review: The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May


The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
Book Three of The Falconer trilogy
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):


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.

What I Liked:

Oh my heart. This book took me through just about every emotion I could go through, while reading a book. Of the three books in this series, this one is the darkest, the most heartbreaking, but also the one that ends the best. Elizabeth May did this series justice with this conclusion novel, and with the perfect ending that was just the right amount of sad and swoony. 

This book begins with Aileana literally clawing her way out of the ground and finding herself in a dark forest. She has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she came about the immense power simmering beneath her skin. After killing an Unseelie faerie, an old friend senses her power and finds her - Derrik. Slowly she begins remembering who she is. When Derrick takes her back to what remains of the human lands, Aileana gets her memory back fully, with the help of Aithinne. It has been two months, and time has not been a friend. The lines have been drawn - Unseelie vs. Seelie, Kadamach vs. Aithinne. Aileana must stop Kadamach from killing Aithinne, but there are bigger problems; there is a book hidden in dark depths that may hold the key to stopping the war altogether, and preventing the necessity of either Kadamach or Aithinne killing each other and the survivor taking the dark throne. Finding this book requires one of Aileana's greatest enemies, and a sacrifice so painful she may not be able to survive the aftermath. But the end of the world is bigger than Aileana, and she won't hold back in trying to protect those she loves, and what's left of the world.

This book was nonstop action from the start, which was great for me. I'm usually terrified of conclusion novels and it takes me forever to pick one up and read it, so I'm grateful to Elizabeth May for starting this book off with a bang and keeping the action at a high pace (though not in an overwhelming way). The stakes are incredibly high in this book, and there is no time to waste.

I've always adored Aileana, in The Falconer and The Vanishing Throne, and this didn't change in this final novel. She is a tough lady and a strong fighter, and she is more ruthless in this book (though no less human). Aileana's resolve to save the world AND her friends AND Kiaran was amazing - often you'll find a heroine fixated on one of those things (usually save the world), but I love that Aileana thinks about all aspects and makes decisions based on trying to save everyone and everything. Aileana is lady goals and she is one of my favorite YA heroines of all time. 

If Aileana is one of my favorite YA heroines, then Kiaran is one of my favorite YA heroes. This book is told entirely from Aileana's first-person POV, and Kiaran doesn't show up until maybe the one-third point of the book, but he proves over and over that he is a favorite of mine. Kiaran turns completely Unseelie but he doesn't lose his love for Aileana or his extreme guilt for the darkness inside him. I love Kiaran's selflessness, but also his wickedness and his determination. He is just as stubborn as Aileana, and he has the same attitude of going after what he wants. 

And the rest of the cast! Aithinne is hilarious and probably my third favorite. I always liked Derrick and he is such a great friend and cheerleader. Catherine, Daniel, and Gavin make appearances, and they are supportive and don't blame Aileana for anything. I love the team of friends that surround Aileana, especially with the negative presences that Aileana has to endure (*cough* Sorcha *cough*).

I won't talk about the big things in details, like the book or the sacrifice or the climax of the story. Just know that once things kick off (I'd say around the one-third point, or whenever Kiaran and Aileana are finally face-to-face), you'll be biting your nails and slowly moving to the edge of your seat. The build-up is so well-written and intense. And dark. Did I mention how dark this book is? It gets intense and dark and at times, painful. 

But there are some very great aspects of the remaining two-thirds of the book, like the romance. Kiaran and Aileana have an undeniable bond and super hot chemistry, and they love each other greatly. Every scene featuring the two of them was either passionate and sexy, or tender and sweet. I adored these two, and their romance was beautiful. 

The ending is wonderful! There is a heartbreaking aspect, but overall, the ending is perfect. I couldn't have imagined a better ending. There is a happily-ever-after, and I will leave it at that.

What I Did Not Like:


I'm not giving this book five stars but I did love it. There were one or two things that made me a little sad but really, this book was fantastic. 

Would I Recommend It:


I highly recommend this book, if you've read The Falconer and The Vanishing Throne, or even just The Falconer (well, read The Vanishing Throne first - my favorite book of the series). This is a historical series (set in 1800s Scotland), with fantasy aspects (fae, magic, curses, realms). So if you like historical fantasy, definitely give this series a chance! And now you can binge-read the books.

Rating:


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. This series is one of my all-time favorite series of YA lit! I had a feeling that I would fall in love with this series, when I first read The Falconer, and I'm glad I wasn't disappointed. Elizabeth May is on my auto-read list!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


Check out a swoon from The Fallen Kingdom:

27 comments:

  1. Ohh, nonstop action from the start huh. I'll definitely check out this series. Great review Alyssa :)

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  2. I remember when The Falconer was coming out right around when I started blogging and now the whole series is out (and I still haven't read em). I need to get on these, they sound fabulous.

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  3. I haven't read any of the books in this series yet but I always hear such great things!! It's so hyped and based on your review I can kind of see why.

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  4. Oh, wow. This must the one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. I'm in love. Thank you for posting, I have to read it.

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  5. I really want to start this series...soon. It sounds fantastic. Great review.
    Sam @ WLABB

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  6. Excellent review! I haven't read this series, but it sounds exciting. I love that this book concluded in a way you loved and that it was nonstop action. I'm also excited to read this because of the emotions it brought out in you.

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  7. Eee! Yesss. Gorgeous review Alyssa. <3 So, so glad you loved this final book. Sigh. And yesss. Happy ending :D And lots and lots of romance. I'm so so excited to read this one too. <3 You have made me much more excited for it :)

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  8. I haven't read this series so I skimmed your review, but I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as you did!! I'll hopefully begin this series this summer since I love me some good fantasy and swoon-worthy heroes. Wonderful review!

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  9. I bought book one of this trilogy in May 2016... Still haven't read it. I need to read it so badly!

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  10. This book got SOOO dark, I kind of want to read The Falconer and be reminded of happier times. haha. Great review, I liked the ending and wouldn't mind a novella!

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  11. Love the review. Will put it on my TBR!

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  12. I've heard this series is really good! I'll definitely check it out :]

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  13. This is a series I've been wanting to read. I like strong female characters that aren't over the top.

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  14. I love the cover of this book so much. It sounds like a great trilogy, I am definitely checking out the first book. Great review ;)

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  15. I need to read this series!! I feel the same way with conclusion novels I get nervous it wouldn't be done well I am so glad this one worked out. It sounds great with all the action and just amount of darkness. Great review!!

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  16. I have heard so much about the Falconer Trilogy and I need to put them in my TBR. I enjoyed the review and appreciate the time you take on them.

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  17. Okay, I have book one on my shelf and this series sounds fantastic, especially if it's one of your favorites. i'm definitely going to try to read this series soon!! Gorgeous review. :)

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  18. I need to read this series too at some point.

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  19. I have the first book of this trilogy,and need to read ASAP :D
    Thank you for the great review :)

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  20. I haven't read this series yet, so I just skimmed your review.
    I'm glad you liked it, and I definitely know what you mean about not giving a book 5 stars, there are so many that are very close to perfect but theres always one or two things that piss you off.
    Cant wait to start this one. Great review.

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  21. After reading this review it definitely makes me want to read this series! I'll add it to my list and hopefully read it this summer!

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  22. I've been looking forward to this book, it's sad that it's the final book :(

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  23. This sounds amazing. I love books that bring out all emotions

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  24. It's sweet to read some books with a "happily-ever-after" ending. And it's great to see that you enjoyed this book and rated it so highly.

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  25. I'm not really into historical novel but this one does seem to be interesting Oo' *add it to my TBR* Thanks for your review, I'm glad there's a "happily-ever-after" (I just can't read books with no HEA... so I appreciate being warned)

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  26. This series always seems to be on sale for kindle. I think I may have to break down and buy it soon. It sounds awesome.

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  27. Wow I really need to start reading this trilogy, it sounds so interesting! I love historical fantasy so I'm adding this now to my TBR

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