Review: The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May

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August 22, 2016 by Zoë

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May is the second book in the Falconer trilogy. Aileana, in the aftermath of a fey attack on Edinburgh, has been imprisoned in Faerie. She needs to escape before something else happens, because there’s no one else ready to protect her world. But things are even more complicated than she realizes.

The Good
I admit that I only remembered a few things from the first book: mainly that Aileana kills fairies, that she was taught to kill fairies by Kiaran (also a fairy and suitably mysterious and angsty), and that she has red hair. I still don’t really remember how the first book ended, but I was able to get back into this story pretty quickly. I enjoyed how much more we get of the way that Faerie is structured in this universe. I have never been a huge fan of the seelie/unseelie dichotomy, but I found the way that it played out here interesting.

Also, Aileana has a pixie friend (who I’d forgotten about completely), and he is amazing and loves sweets as much as I do. In a dark book that was basically about fairies destroying the world he was a little out of place, but he’s still my favorite character.

The Bad
I’m fine with the ever-present trilogy. What I’m not fine with is when the first or second book in the said trilogy just ends. Obviously not everything is going to be tied up, but I really hate it when books just cut off and nothing is tied up. It’s even worse when there’s a pretty good ending and then the book continues on to a cliffhanger. Which is what happened here.

I also haven’t fully bought Kiaran as a character yet. We get more insight into him in this book, but I’m still not really convinced about him or the romance.

Finally, Aileana constantly blames herself. For everything. Part of her character arc is obviously to realize that she’s not responsible for the whole world, but it was exhausting waiting for her to come to that realization.

The Verdict
I love books about Faerie and I really liked Aileana as the vigilante human fighting fairies. We’ve moved pretty far from that Aileana–though she’s still fighting, the world has completely changed. I did still enjoy this book, though. Like I said: fairies.

“Now I understand why this place changes people. Why those I met from the Highlands said Edinburgh would never compare. Why they said magic isn’t dead here.”

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