Today I have a spoiler-free review of The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May which is the second book in The Falconer trilogy. You can check out my spoiler-free review of the first book here: The Falconer! This trilogy is set in a steampunk version of Edinburgh in the 1800’s, and is filled with Scottish folklore and faeries!
The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May – The Falconer #2
- US hardcover – 458 pages.
- Release date: 21st of June 2016
- Published by Chronicle Books
- ISBN: 1452128820
- Goodreads page for The Vanishing Throne here!
I enjoyed The Falconer, the first book in this series, but this second book is on a whole other level. I absolutely LOVED it! Definitely one of the best books I have ever read. It has been a few days since I finished it, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
I am still so happy to see a female Scottish main character in YA, and I absolutely love Aileana. She is so realistic and May’s writing really brings her to life. I think she is probably one of my favourite female characters now. We saw an immense amount of character development in this book, with every character, and I just love the whole lot of them! Some awful things happen in this book, and the author did a brilliant job of really making me feel Aileana’s emotions. I like that the author gives characters a chance to be upset and traumatised, rather swiftly recovering.
It’s hard for me to say how good the world-building, because it’s set in Scotland my mind immediately fills in everything I know about places like Edinburgh and Glasgow. We see some new locations in this book, some of which are amazing, and May’s writing is brilliant at setting the scene. She really transports the reader to the different locations. The steampunk elements do throw me off a little sometimes, but that is the only fault I can find.
I love the Scottish folklore elements with the fae, and seelie and unseelie kingdoms. It’s clear that May did a lot of research before writing this series, but it’s still so unique. The world is unlike anything I have ever read before, and I doubt anything will ever come close. I just adore it. It’s the perfect combination of everything I’ve ever wanted from a YA book.
One thing I really loved about this book is the way May uses repetition of certain phrases throughout. This repetition occurred quite a lot and it was really effective at bringing the reader back and reminding us of the central plot. You know that way when you read a book and scenes are just so perfect? When even the awful scenes are just written so perfectly you don’t even know what to do with yourself. That’s how I felt for the majority of this book, it was all just so right! I love, love, love her writing style.
“We burn bright, and we burn out. That’s what it means to be human.” – This was my favourite quote from the whole book. It just jumped out at me and I love it. I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK.