Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, Fae, Romance
“If you were alive, you'd wish you had killed me.”
Once upon a time, a human girl fought in a desperate battle, and she was sliced with a blade. She died, and then she came back. She clawed her way out of the grave, with no memories of her past and some abilities that burned her and begged to be unleashed. She could only catch a glimpse of her former self when she bathed in blood, when she harnessed her newfound powers. She was death. She was destruction. Her gift was chaos. But then started to remember, and the weight of her choices and her destiny brought her to her knees. Her world had fallen apart, and the only way to prevent its demise was to find a cruel, ageless being trapped in a realm of nightmares, where reality was fluid. With time running out, she set off a journey with her mother's murderer, a broken queen and a dark faery king. Her faery king. The king had many demons to fight, but he loved her so much he defied his own insticts, his own survival. Their story, though, was not meant to have a happy ending. There are some vows you cannot break. Some enemies you cannot defeat. And some sacrifices you cannot avoid, not when the future of your world is at stake.
“As it begins in death, so shall it end in death, until the day a child of the Cailleach confronts their fate with a true lie on their lips and sacrifices that which they prize most: their heart.”
For the sake of honesty, I have to admit that my rating is rather partial. If I were completely objective, I'd say that The Fallen Kingdom was probably the weakest instalment of the Falconer trilogy, a trilogy I cherished from the first moment. I'd say that I found the story a little underdeveloped, since we spent the majority of the book inside Aileana's head, her internal struggles between compassion and brutality, instead of witnessing mindblowing battles and visiting breathtaking landscapes; that the discovery of the Book of Remembrance and the conclusion of this arc were hasty; that I dreaded yet eagerly expected scenes with wicked Kadamach that would twist and break my soul, but in the end the only difference between Kiaran and Kadamach was the hunger for human blood, not immoraliry and depravity.
But I am not objective.
Are you still you?
I found beauty in this book, in its hopelessness and the terrifying path towards doom and mayhem, in the ashen sky and the parched land. I was swept by the need to dress like a pirate and dance next to a pixie that got drunk in honey and a girl who accepted her ruthlessness yet loved passionately. I walked in the corridors of an empty, desolate palace, and my hands yearned to touch its king, to comfort him and trail the marks in his body that bound him to promises with a steep price. I felt my chest swell with the overpowering longing and the connection that pulsed like a living and breathing thing between the girl and the king. I muffled the sobs that made my body tremble, and tasted my salted tears when I knew that I wasn't wrong when I thought the king and the girl were indeed a retelling of Buffy/Angel.
Let me go.
The stolen moments between Kiaran and Aileana were sweet, sensual and heartbreaking at the same time. They knew they were on borrowed time, and I knew it, but I was helpless. I was a a tangle of emotions, of hunger and desire, soaked in despair, blinded by pain and kept wishing wishing wishing that in the end my heart would be intact. But it was not. It was a bloody and sticky thing that surprisingly kept beating. But Elizabeth May's talents are not limited to the creation of heroes that own every inch of you. She alo gave a human dimension to villains. She made you care for mortals and immortals all the same. She gave you a reprieve with the funny banters and the sarcastic retorts between her rare characters. And she made you whisper to her, even after the tragedies and death and darkness
The Fallen Kingdom was not what I expected, but I loved it nonetheless.