The Falconer: Review Discussion

June 12, 2014 2014, 3.5 star books, faeries, fantasy, historical, Kate, Kim, review discussion 34 ★★★½

The Falconer: Review DiscussionThe Falconer by Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
on May 6, 2014
Genres: fantasy
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

 

Being the fantasy loving gals that we are, Kate and I both devoured this one last month. And now here we are to bring our thoughts to you! I’m not normally a huge fan of steampunk or faery stories, but Kate likes both. We ended up enjoying this one just the same, though. Intriguing! Do join us as we discuss the reasons why.

 

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Kim: I rather enjoyed this one. I don’t often go for steampunk, and I really don’t care for faery stories so the fact that I liked this as much as I did should go to show for something. I mean, there are mechanical spiders that will stitch you up. That’s fucking awesome.

Kate: I tend to like steampunk as a general rule–not, like, the cosplay or whatever, because it seems exhausting, but I love being able to read historically-set novels that can contain modern conveniences. Sometimes when I’m reading straight historical novels it’s like, Jesus Christ, invent a fucking cell phone already. I would categorize Falconer as steampunk-lite. It doesn’t have enough of those elements to put off the people who get irritated by them.

Kim: The combination of Scottish historical plus fantasy plus I heard there was a really hot boy had me so intrigued. I was willing to go along with the fae thing. Maybe because it was because this was like urban historical fantasy and I only don’t like fae stories when they’re modern urban fantasy? I don’t know. Well, anyway, I ended up really enjoying the fae aspects. I appreciated the sort of zoological approach to introducing readers to the various fae species usually delivered in the midst of battle. It worked for me.

Kate: I like all types of stories about the fae. I’m not picky. God, am I ever not picky when it comes to faery stories. It’s more fun when they’re set in Scotland, though, because these types of stories are so steeped in that culture.

Kim: I was actually really drawn to Aileana’s darkness. She is pretty much made of vengeance and bitterness and I loved it. At first I was a biiiit put off by it  but I decided to just trust that there was a reason for her fervor (and there was!). After that I was all in. I thought that the writing virtually feasted on her bloodlust and I reveled in it as well. Hmm perhaps I’m a bit scary.

Kate: Oh, yeah, I loved her bloodlust. It was a lot of fun, and if it hadn’t worked, this book would have been really lame. The fight scenes, in particular, were done really well.

Kim: I lovvvvvvvved the action scenes. I think the action was really my favorite part about this book. The scenes were so fun and I enjoyed Aileana’s badassery.

Kate: I loved the gorgeous, fancy gowns, and the obsessive way Derrick repaired Aileana’s when she destroyed them. That stuff was such a fun reminder of the complications of being a wealthy lady and a badass warrior.

Kim: Ahhh! How did I forget the gowns? I think Wendy has a GoodReads shelf called “costume fiction” and that’s just perfect.

Kate: Wendy’s GoodReads shelves are incredible. I mean. Just incredible.

Kim: I also enjoyed the social commentary. I mean, I suppose I’d be very disappointed if I was reading a book about a woman in 19th century British society who was not dissatisfied with her limited position. But still. Perhaps what’s especially nice is that Aileana puts her money where her mouth is. She wants to be fiercely independent and she does her damnedest to try and achieve that.

Kate: Yeah, I read a lot (A LOT) of historical romance, and it kind of bums me out when they skirt around the fact that women were the property of their fathers until they were sold into marriage, at which point they became the property of their husbands. This book doesn’t shy away from that, and it really adds to Aileana’s desperation and bitterness.

Kim: I did find it interesting that this takes place in the space of about a week. The story is so small and self contained. You’re sort of just dropped into this ongoing situation where Aileana has been battling faeries with a vengeance for the past year. All of her relationships with other characters are already well established which didn’t bother me but I can see it being an obstacle for some readers.

Kate: The way the relationships were established only bothered me in a few instances. I was really bothered by Kiaran’s characterization. Like, really bothered by it. Because of the one-week thing. So we meet him and he’s all reluctantly in love with Aileana or whatever, and we’re told that in the past he was mean and showed her no mercy or whatever, but we don’t get to see the change happen. “Show, don’t tell” is a cliche for a reason. I wish we’d gotten to experience the hard-hearted, cold, bajillion-year-old fae warrior get worn down by Aileana’s strength.

Kim: You’ve laid it out perfectly. My very, very favorite romances are the “stoic guy gets worn down by heroine’s sheer awesome” type. This had so much potential to be a favorite for me that it hurts.

Kate: YES. YES YES YES. Experiencing the change is what makes it so rewarding.

Kim: I wish some of the secondary relationships were a bit more developed. I can barely remember her best friend’s personality less than two weeks after finishing this book. Give me the strong female friendship always!! I really did love Derrick, though. He was such doll, wasn’t he?

Kate: Oh, I very much liked Catherine. I remember her vividly. I thought she was really lovely, and her loyalty to Aileana despite her terrible reputation and behavior in public warmed my heart–but then, Catherine’s a lot like a few of my childhood friends, so I have a soft spot for the stable, proper sidekick. We can’t all be hellions. I liked the maid a lot, too.

Kim: This is a minor point, but I would have appreciated more Scottish-ness. I guess this ties in with how self contained the story is. I mean, I definitely got the atmospheric, cobble stone, magical, steampunk vibe. I just wish it had felt more Scottish than the peppering of “aye” for “yes” throughout the story. Did this bother you or am I being picky?

Kate: It didn’t bother me because I just accepted it as a part of the writer’s voice. It drives me freaking bananas when books are written with heavy brogue or southern twang or whatever (do not get me started on the fucking Fever and Outlander series); I’d much rather the author erred on the side of underplaying that stuff if she doesn’t feel she can do it well.

Kim: I also was really, really bummed that I didn’t love this romance as much as I wanted to. It’s definitely a slow burn and never takes over the plot or the character’s heads. But I was really bothered by how difficult Kiaran was to read. I need less brooding and less secretiveness in my fictional crushes. I’m also not a fan of the “I will withhold information to protect you because I obviously know better than you” love interest which is what Kiaran does. I didn’t really start to feel the connection between them until much later in the book when it seemed a bit sudden. It came too late for me to really get into.

Kate: Yeah… I’m pretty done with stories where, like, a 3,000-year-old dude is super in love with a teenage girl. When I was a teenager, I thought the dudes in their TWENTIES who hit on my were creepy and immature; I can’t imagine what a loser an immortal dude would have to be to relate emotionally/romantically to a child. I know that people died younger back then, so everything was expedited, but this book isn’t really historically accurate enough to get away with someone younger than 20 being a viable love interest for someone so old. And Aileana really does feel like a modern teenager. And, as you know, my husband is twelve years my senior, so I’m pretty forgiving of age differences generally.

Kim: Another thing that grated was the constant reflections on how beautiful and inhumanly gorgeous Kiaran is to Aileana. Yeah, I get that he is, and it’s because he’s fae and isn’t human and part of being sithichean is being utterly beautiful. But the constant repetition of those thoughts got on my nerves. And it’s a shame, because I thought there were some really great moments of delicious, delicious tension between the two. As well as moments that genuinely moved me. This romance had all the potential to be a fave. I just couldn’t get over my above mentioned problems.

Kate: Yeah, I kind of preferred the best-friend’s-big-brother line, romance-wise, honestly. I get the appeal of how gorgeous Kiaran is, and that part of the fantasy is that Aileana considers herself maybe a bit of an ugly duckling (as do most teenage girls), but it was a bit much.

Kate: How did you feel about Gavin? I kind of adored him. He really steps the fuck up and does some scary things out of concern for Aileana, and while he’s not a badass warrior like Kiaran, he is, I think, a good match for someone as strong as she is. Why does she have to have a love interest who can show her up every step of the way? Sigh. I am clearly taking my frustration with tropes out on this one poor book.

Kim: I liked Gavin quite a lot! I really didn’t feel any chemistry between him and Aileana, though. In many ways, Gavin’s bravery means even more because he is not an immortal fae warrior. He’s just a regular dude with an almost useless ability in a really scary situation. And he comes through in a big way. I get the appeal.

Kate: I think part of why I liked him him so much was that I didn’t care for Kiaran. Gavin isn’t really my type, otherwise. But he’s soooooo brave.

Kim: The cliffhanger ending. I wasn’t as annoyed as I thought I would be but that might have been because I’d been well warned that it was coming. An ending that abrupt will usually bother me tremendously.

Kate: Cliffhangers bother me because I read over 300 books a year, so they just don’t WORK on me. Does that make sense? If the story cuts off in the middle of what’s happening, I forget about it within a couple of weeks and don’t feel any anxiety to get the new book when it’s published. And then when I get the new book, I’m confused about what’s happening because the previous story didn’t end in a logical place. This one would have bothered me a lot if I’d shipped this ship hardcore, but I didn’t, so the ending was just kind of frustrating.

Kate: I feel like there must be more going on with Aileana’s father. I hope we see another side of him as the series progresses.

Kim: Ohhh I hadn’t even thought of this but I hope so! He definitely knows more than he’s let on so far. Now I’m intrigued. You’ve very sharp eyes for these things so you’re probably right.

Kate: I hope I’m right, because he’s so deliciously terrible! I love when I hate characters (as long as they’re not, like, rapists) and then I find out that they had a deeper motivation.

Final Thoughts:

Kim: 3.5 for me. A fierce and totally murderous heroine stalking the streets of 19th century steampunk Scotland killing off various fae turns out to be as fun as it sounds. I liked that we came at this from different ends of the steampunk and fae spectrums but ended up enjoying this story equally. I’m definitely interested in Book 2 and my fingers are crossed so hard that maybe, just maybe, the issues I had with the romance get addressed.

Kate: A solid 3.5 that could go up to a 4 based on the next book. I wish the romance had worked for me, but the fighting and the friendships and the gentle steampunk and the faery war and the Scotland were really delightful. I need Book 2, like, yesterday.

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Did you read this one? Have we been useful if not? Are we tragically and inescapably wrong? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

kim teal

 

 

 

 

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 Responses to “The Falconer: Review Discussion”

  1. Dee Topa

    Oh my! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I absolutely love steampunk (although I have found it to be a rather hard genre to find truly good stories within) and I love faery books (ever since my mother bought me Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book! Thank you for this wonderful review!

    -dee aka The Book Curmudgeon
    http://bookcurmudgeon.wordpress.com
    Dee Topa recently posted…Intertwined

  2. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I am such the black sheep with the fae! I actually love the idea and myth behind them but so many books make it so bad. This one, however, did not. I loved it so very much. I found it to be a fast paced and fun read. I did enjoy the romance but I would love have seen him worn down a bit more too. Great discussion review ladies!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…July To Read Pile

    • Kim

      Oh, absolutely not, and I love it for that. It’s very much in the forefront of Aileana’s thoughts and even becomes a pressing plot point. There is no sidestepping or making nice of the unfortunate realities of even upper class women’s (as Aileana is) positions in 19 century British society. I give the book many props for that. I have to say, I am definitely intrigued to see what you would make of this one.
      Kim recently posted…Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda: Exclusive Cover Reveal + giveaway

  3. Larissa

    I read this one awhile back and gave it 3 stars I believe c: Glad you guys enjoyed it more than I did. I honestly found the setting and steampunk elements lacking, as somebody who does adore steampunk. They could have easily been not included in my view and The Falconer would still be the same story. These elements didn’t add to the story and because of that I felt they were just pointless. I also would have appreciated more world building in general, I didn’t find myself immersed in the setting at all. It really could have been England, Ireland, Scotland.. really wouldn’t have noticed the difference in The Falconer. Kiaran was another problem for me, I really didn’t find myself loving the romance in The Falconer. With Kiaran it felt so contrived, the romance seemed so generic YA. Le super mysterious bad boy who suddenly (in the span of week it seems lol) falls head over heels for our heroine, we start to see his better side come out. Wooo. I think I would have appreciated the romance more if it was like Kate said, we got to see the slow transformation of cold hearted Kiaran getting worn down by Aileana. The love triangle with the addition of Gavin also grated on my nerves, though that’s just because it seemed unnecessary as we all know how that’s gonna work out[;

    Though I found Gavin’s characterization to be great, you could tell he truly cared for Aileana and I love how stepped up when he was needed. I also did enjoy Aileana herself, I found myself enjoying The Falconer through her engrossing narrative. She was truly bloodthirsty and reading somebody that determined on her goals was quite interesting for me. Aileana’s grief over her mother also felt realistic, really gave the kick ass girl another side and showed you her vulnerability. I wish we had seen more of Catherine, she truly does seem like a great and supportive friend. She managed to calm Aileana down somewhat during times of distress and was clearly a positive influence in her life. I’m also interested in seeing more of Aileana’s father. The relationship there is obviously strained and I feel like delving into it would be quite emotional and enlightening.

    Lovely discussion ladies <33
    Larissa recently posted…Review: Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

    • Kim

      Ah, yes. And here is where there’ll be a problem when you really love steampunk and wish there’d been more. I found the little touches to be so delightful since I’m not really a steampunk person. I agree with you about the setting, though. I really wanted more *Scottishness* instead of general 19th century Britishness.

      I think it was supposed to be that Kiaran didn’t *suddenly* develop these feelings; he was just denying them and not letting Aileana know. But you are supposed to get more of the feeling that that is what happens rather than what you’ve described. I understand what the author was going for (and the people who really love this book totally felt this!) but it didn’t work for me. I really wanted that slow transformation/break down. And it’s super frustrating for me because I really loved their tension by the end of the book but it didn’t have any emotional resonance. Bah. Gavin didn’t bother me, fortunately. I never really saw it as a love triangle since Aileana’s feelings for him were very clearly platonic. I like him as a character, also, so I was happy to have a way to fit him into the plot.

      Aileana’s grief was palpable, wasnt it? And, oh man, what is wrong with me that I completely forgot Catherine’s personality? Everyone else loves her. Ignore me! I really enjoyed the exploring of all these relationship dynamics (friendship, arranged marriage, strained father/daughter) through the restrictive 19th c. setting. I liked seeing Aileana battle her way out of her oppression. She was kick ass in more than just the literal way and I loved it.
      Kim recently posted…The Girl with All the Gifts: review

  4. starryeyedjen

    Oh, I really enjoyed this one. I didn’t focus on the romance so much, so it didn’t bother me all that much. I’m not a huge fan of steampunk, but I appreciated the elements that were present in this story. Also, the fight scenes. They were so well done! I was pretty impressed with this novel and can’t wait to see how things play out after that cliffhanger!
    starryeyedjen recently posted…{Joint} Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

    • Kim

      Ha yes if you don’t focus on the romance so much this will go a lot better for you! Unfortunately for me, my tiny mind tends to place the ship above all else when I’m reading a story. It’s a bit embarrassing but it is what it is. And the fight scenes were great, weren’t they? I thought this was sort of a 19th century Buffy but with fae instead of vampires. There’re certainly several different ways things can play out after that cliffhanger. I admit I am (grudgingly…grrr cliffhangers!) intrigued.
      Kim recently posted…The Girl with All the Gifts: review

  5. Carina Olsen

    Aw, amazing discussion you guys :D I’m sorry you didn’t fully love this book :\ But so glad you both enjoyed it. I loved it so much :D But omg. You didn’t like Kiaran? :( SOBS. I loved him to pieces, hih. But I can understand why you guys had some issues with it. Maybe. Perhaps :D But anyway. I loved the fight scenes too :D They were awesome, weren’t they? Sigh. Anyway. Thankk you so much for sharing. <3
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Review: The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill

    • Kim

      Ha well Kate and I do seem to be in the minority on Kiaran. I just didn’t get his vibe *at all* through the majority of the book. There was too much of the “I am a closed off immortal and unfeeling being” thing going. I needed those flashed of vulnerability. I did *definitely* start to feel the tension in last third, though (and we did get those vulnerable flashes towards the end!). I just wish I’d been feeling it throughout. It would have been so perfect. *sigh*.
      Kim recently posted…The Girl with All the Gifts: review

  6. Melliane

    Thanks for the fun review. I real it a few months ago and I confess that I was really surprised and I loved it so I’m glad that you had a good time with it. I’m so curious about the next one!
    Melliane recently posted…Thornlost by Melanie Rawn

    • Kim

      Ohhhh the next one has so much potential!! Things can certainly quickly swing around for me if the relationship issues I had are addressed. Well…I mean…by the end of this book I was sort of swept up enough in the tension to not even care about the issues. But my rational brain swooped in to remind me. What I’m saying is that Book 2 could easily become a 4 (or higher) if Kiaran and Aileana ever have an actual, in depth conversation about their feelings or address them in anyway. Please address them, I beg the writing gods/Elizabeth May.
      Kim recently posted…The Girl with All the Gifts: review

  7. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I liked it but didn’t love it. Probably won’t read the next book. Definitely steampunk lite — I liked the little things Aileana made. And definitely agree that I would have loved to see the “hard-hearted, cold, bajillion-year-old fae warrior” get worn down by Aileana’s strength and perseverance (and stubbornness. Can’t forget that!). The cliffhanger…sucked. Come on, now.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted…A Triplet of Dates with Devi: The PARADOX series

    • Kim

      I knowwwww. I practically mourn the potential for this romance! It could have been a favorite. I actually came across an interview somewhere where May talked about the cliffhanger and why it ends that way. She had REASONS, you know. All of which seemed totally avoidable but what do I know. I’m not author or editor.
      Kim recently posted…The Girl with All the Gifts: review

  8. Megan (Adrift on Vulcan)

    It’s so strange that I haven’t been seeing many reviews for this book around yet, because it was published last month and I know plenty of people who were psyched up for it. All the same, glad that you two enjoyed this! I like steampunk but I love fantasy more, so this sounds like something I’d enjoy, especially since I’ve never actually read anything set in Scotland, lol. And holy cow, Aileana sounds awesome. I’m done with those heroes/heroines with good souls and noble hearts; I want those with not-so-happy thoughts and more negativity and less morals because I usually find them more interesting. Good heroines are getting booooringg. Most of the time. xP

    The relationship bit kind of puts me off, though. I think it would’ve been so much better if the book had taken place over a wider period of time instead of just a week so that the relationship development could go more smoothly, but oh well. And YES. Why are all love interests these days so emo and silent and mysterious?! What happened to those happy guys who didn’t have secrets or troubled pasts (happens more in NA)? But all the same, Kiaran still sounds like a pretty likable LI despite his secretivity.

    Not really sure if I should give this book a go now. The plot sounds great, but the character aspect? Not so much. Still, lovely review, you two! Maybe I’ll wait until the sequel comes out and see how much people like that one, haha.
    Megan (Adrift on Vulcan) recently posted…The Book Blogger Test

    • Kim

      I haven’t seen, like, a crazy amount, but a good one. And literally everything I’ve seen has been glowing!!

      If you already like steampunk I’m sure you’ll appreciate those aspects. Kate says this is steampunk-lite so unless you’re a steampunk maniac who must have all the steampunk all the time. :p It sounds like that’s not you, though, anyway. Aileana is a treat. Especially if you’re tired of those goody two shoes heroines. She’s not a bad person; she’s just not made of sweetness and light. I found it so refreshing.

      The timeframe thing is different. It’s not like these characters have just met and suddenly fall for each other. They’ve known each other for over a year. We’re just now dropping into their lives, and see only a short span of time. So it’s weird to be informed that their relationship is contentious and totally platonic, see that it is in fact that way, and then see it turn suddenly romantic toward the end. I really missed the subtle build up that I so love in these situations. Still, though, from other reviews I’ve read it seems that other people totally felt the build up happening. I guess it’s just specific to the reader! I think you should definitely give it a go still. It’s really a lot of fun and Kate and I seem to be in the minority on the romance.

  9. Pili

    I absolutely adored this one and was so surprised that the mix of historical fiction, faeries and steampunk worked for me as it did!
    I didn’t have the same issues you did with the romance, but I would have wanted seeing more of the progression…
    Also, the ending absolutely killed me!! Evil, evil ending! I’m quite looking forward to the sequel!
    I’m also still plotting some Ink & Batter inspired by the book and it’s gorgeous US cover!!
    Pili recently posted…Ink & Batter #6: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski!!

    • Kate Bond

      Oh man, I cannot WAIT to see that. I freaking love your cupcake designs!

      And I thought my kindle had downloaded the e-book wrong when I got to the end, because that couldn’t POSSIBLY be the ending. I’ve been thinking about it today, and it annoys me a little bit. It’s ok for tv shows or comic books to have big cliffhangers because you only have to wait a week or a month or whatever to see what happened, but the next book is like a year away! You can’t maintain suspense over that large a gap!

    • Kim

      I’m so glad you loved it, Pili! I practically envy you for being able to be more on board with the romance. I really did feel the swoons toward the end. I just wish I had been feeling them all along! Ugh, what’s better than two people finally giving into something they’ve wanting for so long? Totally a favorite romance trope for me. I weep for the potential here. :'(

      I’m really, really glad I was warned of the cliffhanger ending because I would have been *very* upset. I don’t tolerate cliffhangers well. I mostly read on Kindle and you know what is the worst? When there’s “extra” material at the end of a book but your Kindle has no idea that it’s extra so it just counts it in the total percentage complete. It is the WORST when my Kindle says I have a half hour left in my book and then it’s done. Haha. I can tell you I was very sad when The 5th WAVE ended and I did not have that half hour left. Me just frantically tapping the screen flipping pages. “THIS CANT BE THE END NOOOOOOO.” Sad times.

      I CANT WAIT to see the FALCONER cupcakes. Your talent is astounding!!!!!
      Kim recently posted…The Falconer: Review Discussion

  10. Wendy Darling

    You know, for some reason I’m kind of resistant to historical romances set in Scotland (maybe it was the insane length of the Gabaldon books that killed it for me), nor do I always love faery books–but this review actually has me interested in this book! It’s a bummer that the romance isn’t more swoony (ALWAYS MAKE IT SWOONY), but mechanical spiders who provide first aid? Yes.

    • Kate Bond

      The mechanical spiders didn’t freak me out. That was exciting.

      The latest Outlander book is out. I have the audiobook on my iphone. I can’t get myself to listen to it.

      Part of what throws me off about fluffy historical Scotland stuff is that it’s uncomfortable for me to read about a people who used to be an oppressed minority but are now just white people. Does that make sense?

    • Kim

      Oh, I think you’d like this one a good deal, Wendy! It’s much less about the romance, anyway, than it is about a bad-ass warrior girl being all crazily bloodthirsty about killing off fae. And it’s weird about the romance because I can easily, easily see why so many people love it so much. It just happened to tick off some bad checkmarks for me. There really is a lot of delicious tension between them and Kiaran gets *very* swoony towards the end. But for me it just seemed to come out of left field rather than the final emergence of long repressed feelings (which I understand it is supposed to be). And yaaaaaasss. I really loved those spiders. Something about the imagery of those mechanical little legs going to work set my wicked heart alight. There are lots of other fun and delicate little steampunk details that I really, really enjoyed. There’s a very impressive self pouring tea service! Delightful!

      As an aside, OUTLANDER is one of those books that I remember reading a long time ago that I can only recall fuzzily and yet not favorably. This was about 10 years ago and the only feelings I remember are being equal parts bored and disturbed. I’m sometimes tempted to find out what present-day Kim thinks. But I somehow just don’t think it would be worth it. :\
      Kim recently posted…The Falconer: Review Discussion

      • Wendy Darling

        I will definitely read this at some point. Especially since you’ve now mentioned a self-pouring tea service, that is something I need in my life even more than samaritan spiders.

        I’ve only read OUTLANDER, but as a teenager, so I may have been too young to appreciate it? I say this because so many women swoon over these books, but my taste is a lot closer to Kate’s when it comes to these things, so I’m in the same boat as you re: reread.

        Also–I do have a “costume fiction” shelf for the books that are too inaccurate/play fast and loose with period details to really be put on the historical fiction shelf. Like, any historical book in which the girl is CONSTANTLY wearing breeches and sneaking out and openly defying her father and ladies of quality being all snarky and rude in polite company and crap like that. Subversive feminism, yes, convince me of that and I will happily throw myself into the story. (Every Sarah Waters book ever, which is why I love her so much.) But take shortcuts to make modern audiences feel connected to the character, and I can’t possibly take you all that seriously. I might enjoy you like a historical romance, but I’m not going to put you on the historical fiction shelf.

        I kind of just addressed you like you were a bookshelf. Hah. Well, I was talking to those costume fiction ladies, but you know what I mean. I’d better have some coffee or something, it’s been a long day.

    • Kim

      I’m not surprised; it’s really a fun book. The only thing that kept me from enjoying it more was the romance. And I have seen so many people utterly love the romance that I can recognize that it is one of those instances where your mileage is really going to vary depending on how much the “telling not showing” aspect would bother you. If they don’t bother you than this would be a clear 4 or 5 stars easily. It’s so funny how reading can be. I can think of a handful of books where the romance is “telling not showing” and I still love it anyway. It all is ultimately up to your tastes and how you’ll handle these specific characters.

      But still, it’s a super enjoyable book anyway. Glad you’ll be picking it up. :)
      Kim recently posted…The Falconer: Review Discussion

    • Kate Bond

      Yeah, it’s not crazy, over-the-top steampunk–there are just elements of it. I think you’ll probably like this–it’s a lot of fun.

    • Kim

      I’m really not one for steampunk but I thought the steampunk elements in this book were just delightful. Aileana has a self pouring tea service she has made herself! Impressive. I think you would *really* like this one, Bethzaida. Read it do! And I’m sad we missed each other at BEA. :( Next year, I hope!!