The Falconer: Book 1

Book review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
The Falconer: Book 1 Book Poster Image
Dark, enchanting, violent tale of faery-killing teen girl.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Introduces readers to Scottish folklore and the Gaelic language. 

Positive Messages

Trust must be earned -- and forgiveness is far better than revenge. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character proves to be selfless as she risks her own life to save others. 


The Falconer revolves around killing evil faeries that are out to destroy the human race. Knives, swords, and homemade bombs are used in battle. Plenty of hand-to-hand combat and killing. People are stabbed, and one murder includes the heart being ripped from the body. Even though the violence takes place against a fantastical backdrop -- and faeries disappear once they’re dead -- the overall tone of the book is quite dark, especially when the narrator describes her inescapable addiction to killing. 


Some passionate kissing. 


"Bastard" is used twice.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character drinks heavily in attempt to relieve his PTSD symptoms. And pixies get drunk from honey.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Falconer is about a teenage girl who kills faeries to protect the human race. The book is chock-full of hand-to-hand battle scenes and killing. Those injured in combat mend quickly due to magical healing potions, and faeries disappear once killed. Although the violence is set against a fantastical backdrop, the overall tone of the book may be too dark for younger readers. While the heroine effortlessly slashes through her enemies, she describes in great detail the power she gains from each slaying and her lust for the kill. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySlytherClaw21 February 22, 2019


I loved it, is it violent? yes but so is hunger games and divergent, in this she is killing creatures and not other kids. it started out slow and I read another... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySmolBatNumber46 March 30, 2018


I had to put this book down it was so boring. The main character kept on moping about her dead mother and LOVED to kill fearies. I would have suggested it to yo... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE FALCONER is a steampunk faery tale about 16-year old Aileana Kameron, Scottish aristocrat and socialite by day and faery killer by night. Determined to avenge her mother’s murderess (an evil faery), Aileana refuses to stop slaying the fae species until her mission's accomplished. Very few people in the world have the ability to see faeries, resulting in the popular belief that they’re mere legends used by parents to get children to behave properly. However, Aileana was born with the special gift of seeing. The ability to see is a double edged sword, as “seers” are also cursed with bearing witness to the fae attack on humans. After endless hours of combat training with her only fae friend, Kiaran, Aileana learns that she’s the last living falconer, the one person capable of protecting the human race against faery destruction. Balancing her time between tea parties, balls, and protecting innocent lives, Aileana finds it more and more difficult to keep her secret from those she loves most. As society grows increasingly suspicious about the mysterious teen and why she continues to disappear each time a person's found injured or dead, Aileana must distract rumors long enough to prevent the fae from breaking an ancient seal protecting the human race from complete ruin.

Is it any good?

Even though this quirky faery tale is filled with bloodcurdling violence, magical and laugh-out-loud hysterical moments ensue. The heroine can’t seem to rid herself of Derrick, the tiny pixie living in her closet who continues to steal her finest garments to stitch tiny clothing for himself. Things get a little out of hand at a ballroom event when Derrick, drunk on honey, attaches himself to Aileana’s collarbone during the waltz and screams at her oblivious partner to twirl them “faster, faster!”

Enchanting and in-depth details of sweet little pixies and frightening evil faeries among a proper mid-19th century Scottish setting, all come together to create a fantastic first installment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why fantasy and steampunk novels are so popular. What others have you read? How does The Falconer compare? 

  • What place do folklore and legends have in literature?

  • The Falconer includes some graphically detailed violent scenes. Does the fantasy setting help make the violence easier to handle?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and romance

Themes & Topics

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