Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Falconer #2

The Vanishing Throne

Rate this book
Everything she loved is gone.

Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…

458 pages, Hardcover

First published November 19, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Elizabeth May

11 books2,254 followers

Elizabeth May is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the romantasy To Cage A God, the Seven Devils duology (co-written with Laura Lam), The Falconer series, and historical romance novels under the pen name Katrina Kendrick. She is Californian by birth and Scottish by choice, and holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews. She currently resides on an old farm in rural Scotland with her husband, three cats, and a lively hive of resident honey bees.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,113 (39%)
4 stars
3,112 (39%)
3 stars
1,267 (16%)
2 stars
258 (3%)
1 star
65 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,028 reviews
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
December 6, 2016
And that's how a magnificent sequel is done!

“Death is her burden. Wherever she goes, it follows. I'm the girl whose gift is chaos.”

Edinburgh is gone.
The fae left nothing but blood and ashes because Aileana did not stop them. Because she failed. Now she is trapped and tortured by Lonnrach, losing pieces of herself as days, weeks, months pass by. When she finally escapes with the help of Kiaran's sister, she realizes that the war is far from over. Lonnrach is searching for the most powerful kind of magic to overthrow the righful Seelie and Unseelie rulers, and Aileana must stop him before it is too late. Caught between ancient rivalries and fae politics, fighting for what's left of humankind, torn between her love for Kiaran and the truth about his past, looking for a way to unlock the vastness of her powers, Aileana Kameron, the last Falconer, the warrior, the liar, can either save the world or end it.
“Perhaps he's my curse. Perhaps I'm his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins.”

My words are inadequate to describe this achingly beautiful and brutal book. The Vanishing Throne was one of the most wonderful, gut-wrenching and riveting reading experiences of my life. I cried and cried, because my body was not a vessel strong enough to contain the magnitude of the feelings that boiled inside me. The love, the pain, the guilt, they were tangible. They were portayed so vividly that they broke me piece by piece. Elizabeth May, tha gaol agam ort le m'uile chridhe.
I love you with my whole heart (because yes I found the translation and yes I sobbed ten minutes straight).

“Somewhere between our hunts and our kills and our kisses, he left his mark on my bones.”

The Vanishing Throne's ambience was gloomy, grim. Mystical. We faced the aftermath of a war, the struggles to survive in a place far from friendly and safe. We tasted cinder and blood, fear and despair. The fae lore was enticing, and each revelation more shocking than the previous. Mechanical monsters, vampire-like fae, a mysterious crone and two siblings whose fate was predetermined but refused to accept that. A creator and a destroyer. Light and darkness, compassion and bloodlust, an eternal dance of life and death that keeps the world in balance, a dance you could not escape, not even to take a breath.
“Aithinne wasn’t hardened by war; she was humanized by it.”

Aithinne was a remarkable character that could make you laugh and hurt, all in the same page. Except her sense of humour, she Aileana had many things in common. They were broken but they survived. Aileana wanted to escape from the mostrous, savage part of her that relished slaughter and violence. She was consumed by remorse and guilt, dealt with PTSD and fought for her memories and her soul. She grew up. And she kept kicking ass.
“You want to know what you mean to me, Kam? Every day I wonder when your human life will end, and it scares the hell out of me. You make me wish I didn’t have for ever.”

I fell in love with Kiaran in the previous book, but in this one, I understood him. I found out the reasons that made him sullen and brooding, the reasons he ran from his past and decided to kill his own kind, and my soul ached for him. There is so much depth in him, shame and anger and regrets, but he loves Aileana so fiercely and passionately that he made my heart sing. They became one of my all-time favorite couples, because despite their differences, they're connected. They're in sync. I kept re-reading their scenes, I relished their moments of vulnerability, their touches, their whispers, their kisses. They reminded me of Buffy and Angel and that scares the hell out of me. I refuse to believe they're cursed or doomed. They're meant to be.

“Ha! There now. You're mine, Kiaran MacKay.”
The way he looks at me steals my breath. He's gazing up at me like I'm powerful. Like I'm magnificent. I don't think I've ever felt more beautiful.
Then he breaks my hold and he's whispering against my lips. “I am,” he tells me. “I'm yours.”

You can imagine my anguish and my sorrow when, after this terrible, devastating ending I realized I'll have to wait for months until the final book is here.

To every single human out there, READ THIS BOOK.
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,668 reviews6,662 followers
January 18, 2023
I enjoyed this book much more then the first book. It is a dark mix between survivors guilt, anger and revelations. I think it has the right mix of action and story. Though I would like to say I would have liked a bit more action but I understand why it was more focused on the story and revelations. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because it is a bit slow, and a bit too much repetition.

In this book we learn the origins of most of the characters as well as the fae race themselves. Every character is changed from the first book, and they do develop a bit in this one as well. Aileana, in this book is on biggest change. In the first book I did find her a bit annoying, but here she is remade tougher stronger and in a way more relatable. If not relatable but I defiantly felt more empathy for her, (not that I have been locked away and tortured for 3 years), as witnessing her experiences made me feel a bond with the character.

All in all a good book of revelations, though it is a bit slow and you might be given enough clues to figure some (not all) of these out a little ahead of time. A good addition to the series, for me this is one sequel better then the original.
Profile Image for Elizabeth May.
Author 11 books2,254 followers
July 11, 2015
I'm leaving this "review" here to more easily answer reader questions (alternatively, you're welcome to visit my GR profile and send me an ask there) and to talk a little about The Vanishing Throne. The images here are ones I collected that fit certain scenes from the book (some of you might recognize them as curious ones that have been sitting for years on my Pinterest page).

The Squire by Eve Ventrue

Some of the scenes in The Vanishing Throne have been in my mind since I first conceived of The Falconer way back in 2009. While book 1 will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first published novel, the scenes from The Vanishing Throne have always been the ones I deeply longed to write.

Frozen in Water by Brooke Shaden

When a writer is pursuing the traditional publishing route for a novel they intend to be the first in a series, a common piece of advice they receive is: don't start the next book in a series until you sell the first. Which is practical, well-meaning advice meant to save querying writers from expending time and energy on a sequel just in case things don't work out for the first book.

"Firestarter" by Victor Eredel

This is advice I've always followed. After all, I wrote 9 unpublished novels before The Falconer sold, and I queried literary agents with Novel 9. Novel 9 was an intended first book, too. Instead of writing its sequel while I was querying that one, I listened to the advice I received. And I wrote The Falconer instead.

It's funny how things work out. :)

The Dark Hedges" by Gary McParland

So out of all the sequels I've had in my mind that never made it to page, The Vanishing Throne is the first one I've ever had the opportunity to write. And that was a unique experience, finally getting the chance to write down all the images and scenes and characters I had built in my mind for years and years.

Consuelo by Haciendo Clack

It was challenging and rewarding and difficult and wonderful. And I hope (hopehopehope) that fans of the first book find it to be worth the wait. <3

x Elizabeth May

Mif by Daniil Kontorovich
757 reviews2,349 followers
July 28, 2018
i am dead to the point where i dont even know what to say and what the bellwjbdwiwsswjbswknxw i dont even know whata to say i just....goodbye i cant do this anymore

i hate this book more than i hate myself, literally burn book I HATE YOU SO MUCH DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE

i hate everythingin this world *SCREAMS REALLY LOUD FOR TEN HOURS STRAIGHT*
Profile Image for Pamela J. (Fantasy Book Nook) .
20 reviews24 followers
November 3, 2016
The Falconer is one of my favorite series, yet I haven’t recommended to others until now. That’s because book 1, The Falconer, had such an abrupt cliffhanger it would have been cruel to get others emotionally invested. However, now that The Vanishing Throne is officially out, it’s time to sing my praises for this series and author.

A Vanishing Throne picks up a few months after the aforementioned abrupt ending of The Falconer. For those who have read it, you know that Aileana failed to close the seal and thus the sìthichean have been released. As you can deduce- this has had a devasting impact not only on Edinburgh, but the world. This in turn transforms the series from a story about a debutante who secretly hunts fae, to a story about human survival. Since I can’t go into details without spoiling the book, I’ll instead touch on the areas that make this book so phenomenal: the characters, relationship development, and world-building.

The protagonist, Aileana, is one of my literary favorites. She’s clever, witty, and above all, resilient. I appreciate that she’s not infallible and doesn’t always succeed in her endeavors. Most notably, not closing the seal and dooming the human race. In book 2 she must deal with the effects of her failures and endures tremendous suffering at the hands of Lonnrach. However, she perseveres and we see growth in her character and new maturity emerge.

We also finally start to understand Kieran and more of his past is revealed. It’s not pretty. Kieran is not a good person- or rather, sìthichean. He knows this, and while he doesn’t embrace it, he feels no remorse and is completely unapologetic about it. He’s no stereotypical prince charming or bad boy with a heart of gold, he’s complex and damnable- but this makes him profoundly alluring.

Additionally, new characters come into play, both human and sìthichean. While some are only there to move the plot along- others, specifically Aithinne, quickly became my favorite. If you recall from book 1, Aithinne is Kieran’s sister and helped create the seal. Unfortunately, she also became trapped inside with the other sìthichean. For thousands of years. Sìthicheans who hated her. Heinous, vicious, cruel sìthicheans. It’s hard to say if the suffering she endured has left her a bit off, or if that her natural personality. Either way, she’s endearing and highly entertaining.

Moving on to the relationship development: we see new friendships formed and others continued, but the pièce de résistance of the novel is the relationship development with Aileana and Kieran. Book 1 had a subtle undercurrent of tension and romance intertwined with action and killing. Book 2 explores this and gives the reader plenty of ‘feels.’ You will not be left wanting, nor will you be deluged with romance. This book achieves a balance very few in the genre attain.

Finally, I want to briefly address the world-building. Book 1 left us a lot of questions about the seal, the Falconers, and the sìthichean world. This is addressed fully in book 2 and we are thrown some fascinating twists. The storyline comes together and although I don’t want to give anything away- I will say it is good.

Of course what really brings the elements above together is the writing and pace. I mentioned in my review of The Falconer that Elizabeth May is an exceptional writer and The Vanishing Throne continues to highlight this. The pace and flow are just right. There’s action, romance, friendship, witty banter, and excellent dynamic between all the characters. And while the end is does leave us wanting more, it is thankfully not a terrible cliffhanger.

See more of my reviews at: http://FantasyBookNook.com and like us at Facebook.com/TheFantasyBookNook
Profile Image for Tweebs♥️ .
184 reviews836 followers
June 24, 2017
✓ what the fuck
✓ oh no no no
✓ didn't sign up for that
✓ didn't need it in my life
✓ but i'd re-read it
✓ and most likely complain again
✓ legit gonna be a repetitive cycle: read, cry, complain.
✓ but my heart felt like it was shredded into tiny little smol pieces by a Tasmanian Devil
✓ someone call the hospital because i require medical assistance
✓ i swear "feels" should be an official disease
✓ hi, my name is tweebs, and I've been diagnosed with feels since i was a child
✓ symptoms are : screaming, flailing, ugly crying, questioning everything, forgot how to breathe.
✓ those are the basic symptoms
✓ if you suffer from this then you ain't alone buddy
✓ gonna go cry now so peace out
✓ also, Kiaran is mine
✓ i fight dirty so come at me.

Review to come :)
Profile Image for Samantha.
441 reviews16.8k followers
December 8, 2020
3.75 stars

This is enjoyable while reading it but I don’t feel super compelled to read it once I’ve put it down. I still enjoy the fae worlds and powers in this, and I does remind me a lot of Buffy at times. I’ll be finishing up the series.
Profile Image for Maya ︎☁︎︎.
184 reviews149 followers
September 5, 2021
“I’m not a creature of vengeance anymore. I’m not just the girl whose gift is chaos. I’m the girl who endured.”
Well, The Vanishing Throne really took whatever was left of my heart after the ending of The Falconer and cracked it into a thousand tiny pieces. Honestly, this book is so magnificent that it makes me ache from the weight of its beauty, and I have been left with the unshakeable feeling that magic isn’t dead – I am able to walk a few paces to my bookshelf and hold it in my hands.

I went into this series expecting to be swept up in a romantic, whimsical tale rife with faeries, steampunk-elements, and kickass female characters but was instead led blindly into an adventure that was so much deeper than I could have possibly imagined. Elizabeth May managed to put the best and worst parts of humanity into this book, and she’s shown the lengths we will go to if it means we can protect the people we love. This story has gotten richer and more bewitching with each instalment, and whilst I have no idea what May will conjure up in the next book, I know it will leave my heart aching and my soul cleansed.
“We burn bright, and we burn out. That’s what it means to be human.”
First, I have to mention the worldbuilding, which is focused on a little more than in the previous book. We aren’t constricted by Aileana having to blend into ‘proper society’ in The Vanishing Throne, so we finally get to explore the world beyond Edinburgh (a city that is now a scorched mess, oops), which was simply fascinating. I loved seeing Derrick’s home on the Isle of Skye, and I also enjoyed delving deeper into the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, even if I did find them both terrifying! Likewise, Elizabeth May also takes us on an exploration of the realm that holds the dead, and while I can’t talk too much about it without giving away a heap of spoilers, it was one of my favourite parts of this book!

This sequel also has a lot of lore, backstories, and plot twists to wade through, and there were so many things I didn’t see coming! Elizabeth May is not afraid to shock and traumatise her readers until they have blatant, irreversible trust issues, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to go into The Hidden Kingdom without constantly looking over my shoulder.

There are some HUGE revelations about Kiaran’s past in this one that had me in literal HYSTERICS! How did I not see any of this coming??? The way his and Aithinne’s journeys weave into those of the falconers and the faery kingdoms… I! Just! Can’t! You’re all going to be screaming when Aileana uncovers her lineages’ past and realises just how much power she truly possesses, and I am still reeling, guys! The ending was SO INTENSE AND SHOCKING AND I’m just… so lost for words right now. I don’t know how I’m ever going to recover from all the mini-heart attacks this book gave me.
“Perhaps he’s my curse. Perhaps I’m his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins.”
The Vanishing Throne is a book that is sincerely beautiful beyond compare – it is about experiencing a multitude of things you thought would break you, and then realising you are stronger than everyone who set out to ruin you. Aileana is such an unbelievably vulnerable and resilient character, and the fact that she could endure what happened to her in the first few chapters is so inspiring and poignant. It was wonderful to have some PTSD and trauma representation in a YA book, and it was done so brilliantly. I think that if you enjoyed Feyre’s story in ACOMAF, you’ll be especially interested in Aileana’s journey of healing and acceptance.

I also loved the friendship between Aileana and Aithinne, and how they bonded over the torment they both endured at the hands of Lonnrach. She’s a bit mad and passionate, but she’s also unwaveringly loyal and kind, and I adored the love/hate relationship she had with her brother, Kiaran. Dysfunctional, banter-y sibling relationships will always be one of my weaknesses, and I am so here for more of them in the final book!

Speaking of my deathless boy, I am so in love with the relationship between him and his chaotic falconer. When I started the first book, I genuinely didn’t think I’d grow to care about Kiaran and Aileana this much; however, the two of them crept up on me over the last six hundred pages we’ve spent together and now they hold such a special place in my heart. They just fit together so well without even having to think about it and that moment when he whispered “aoram dhuit” to her on that beach towards the end of the book??? I. lost. my. mind. I don’t think any two words have ever brought me to tears so quickly before in my life. They’ve both been through so much warfare, and bloodshed, and sorrow, and I think Elizabeth May should give them a peaceful epilogue. If you decide to pick up The Falconer, you will end up loving these two more than you thought was possible, and they will break you in the most exquisite way.
“That’s what family does: They bring home with them.”
Overall, this story has left its mark on my bones, and I am so grateful to Elizabeth May for creating this vibrant, distinctive, and frightening world so full of characters I love like they are real, flesh-and-blood people. I have no idea how The Fallen Kingdom could possibly repair my damaged heart, but I have no doubt in my mind that this series could never disappoint me, and I know I will remember it affectionately and intensely. If you haven’t bought this trilogy yet, I beg you to go and buy it this very minute. I promise you that you will lose yourself in a beautiful tale so full of magic and monsters and mayhem that real life will never feel satisfying in comparison.
“You make me wish I didn’t have forever.”
Profile Image for Wendy Higgins.
Author 20 books7,954 followers
April 27, 2015
I'm in awe right now.

You know when you're so deep in a story that you can feel all the things the character feels, and when she's fighting and strong, you feel like you can take on the world too? It's impossible not to fall into this story and feel all the things.

I loved THE FALCONER, but its sequel is even more amazing. It has everything that I could possibly want in a story - romance, adventure, a high-stakes plot fraught with danger, fantasy, did I mention the romance? And now I'm left starving for book 3.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,506 followers
September 17, 2020
You know what really upsets me? When only the first book in the series is an audio-book and you can’t even get a physical copy because all the libraries around you only have the digital copy. Like, what type of BS is that?

The audio-book for the first one was so incredibly great that I was so pumped to get back into this world but then there was no audio-book. That’s called trickery and I’m not happy about it.

Ugh. I’m never going to get over this. I’m moving on.

So the reason my rating is a little lower than what it actually should be (besides the bloody audio-book drama I just laid out there) was the writing. She would Italicize flashbacks, which wouldn’t bother me at all (and it would actually be really helpful), if it wasn’t every other paragraph. I found myself getting aggravated with the constant flashback lines.

But what kept me going...

...were the twist. My goodness she threw a huge twist in there about 2/3rds of the way in. My heart literally tore open for the characters. Aileana going through some serious PTSD was written so well throughout the whole book; proving you can’t just shake it off and that it will change the whole you do things. Derrick proving he has humanity and showing everyone his home and opening it up to those who need it. Kiaran standing up for those who he loves (and proving that he can love) and revealing a huge secret that involves his sister Aithinne.

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. The continual building of this world is phenomenal. There are different layers that we get to see and experience. May does a great job of not keeping you in the dark when it comes to describing the weapons and the people.

I am already reading the third book, and I am ready to see how this catastrophe comes to an end.


RTC. I did NOT see that ending coming!


I'm sorry, Kiaran/Kadamach is who and his sister Aithinne is what? I did NOT see that coming. Nope.


Me: hi I just figured out how to get this book on my kindle can I keep it longer?
Library: no
Me: but I'm like half way through
Library: no
Me: Well I guess I'm buying it then.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
260 reviews4,947 followers
February 9, 2017
THAT ENDING. Wowza. I'm torn between 3-4 stars because I have so many mixed feelings. 3.5 stars then?

Okay, let's see if I can function enough to write a semi coherent review. (Minor spoilers, big ones are marked.)

Basically this picks up immediately after the brutal cliffhanger of book 1. The beginning had a super strong start - but after that, the plot seemed to suffer from the ever-famous middle book syndrome. I didn't expect to give this more than 3 stars - which totally sucked because I LOVED the first book. BUT, the ending... such a smart move on the author's part. I'm totally hooked all over again.

Aileana wakes up after falling through the portal and finds herself in what looks like the remains of a Fae land - with Lonnrach hovering over her. He takes her as his prisoner and begins torturing her/wading through her memories. He's after something- but she doesn't know what. She's completely broken - especially after finding out Edinburg is completely destroyed. She starts to lose herself and almost withers away entirely before Aithinne (ermergersh the names in this are so hard to type or remember...) rescues her. Aileana quickly figures out that Aithinne is Kiaran's sister. The two must now find their way out of the desolate fae lands.

That's just the introductory. I love love loved the beginning... and I think it hyped up my intentions for the rest of the book. Once Aileana and Athinne make their escape though, I was bored to tears. Really nothing super prominent happens from about 30% to %70 aside from the fact that they are reunited with Kiaran, Derrick, Cath, and Gavin who are now hiding out in Derrick's kingdom. Way too much time is spent meddling around there. Kiaran and Aileana are still picking through their feelings and I got quite bored of that too, honestly.

But I found myself questioning if I only liked the "idea" of this story vs the actual book/execution. We are left in the dark for so long about who Kiaran really used to be - and most of the history of the fae. I was beginning to doubt that we'd ever get any interesting answers. I was ready for something big to happen- and thank heavens it finally did towards the end. So my advice to you all who get bored in the middle and are thinking of giving up.... hang on my friends, hang on.

I think part of the draw for this series is a heroine who quite literally slays. Aileanna is constantly at war with herself and her emotions which makes her relatable- but she isn't afraid to get down and dirty. This series is most definitely still as bloody and brutal as ever - and it's dark dark dark. This book doesn't disappoint on that front- it just has a slow middle.

********MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW********

Finally things start to happen towards the end. We get the answers we have been craving about Kiaran since book one. Was some of it predictable? Absolutely- but that doesn't make it any less awesome.


I do have an assortment of random thoughts in addition to the plot...
-Derrick is my sweet sweet child. If something happens to him, I will riot.
-Drinking game- take a shot every time Aileanna repeats something someone said to her in her mind (seriously overkill)
-The whole Aileanna/Athinne friendship was awesome
-Thumbs up to the whole fae history stuff
-The cliffhanger is EVIL and WONDERFUL but be prepared
-I really want to see more of the Seelie/Unseelie stuff come into play more (and I expect we will, now...)

Freaking brilliant set up for the next book.
I'm hoping my expectations aren't too high... but this is so legit now.
Please please please stay good.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Bright Star.
417 reviews126 followers
February 14, 2021
"Why did you choose me?"
"Because you challenge me," he tells me. And then we're not dancing anymore. We're standing pressed together, our hands entwined. "I chose you because you're my equal."


Just go and read this trilogy! ❤️
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews1,014 followers
January 28, 2016

Actual rating: 4.5

Before I start I need to warm you that this review will consist of sheer naked feels. I just finished reading and don't think I will be able to compose coherent thoughts any time soon. So brace yourself for my fan-girling or don't brace yourself and leave this page and shut the door behind you. Your chose.

This book.... it carved my heart from my chest and took it to distant land called Sìth-bhrùth (shee-brooth). There, my heart will travel from The Seelie Court to The Unseelie Court and meet different kinds of fae folk: good little pixies, seductive and bloodthirsty baobhan sith (bah-van shee); and maybe my poor little heart will be chased by cu sith (coo shee) - a hound fae - or maybe my heart will take part in The Wild Hunt and will chase and prey on weak instead of being hunted. After thousand of years of wanders, my poor heart will come back to me and tell me the stories of it's adventures and hopes and fails. I will weep, I will laugh and I finally will be my whole self again.

I thought the Falconer was a nice book but not very original for a fae story.

A little remark about its similarity to Darkfever. I will be able to tell more after reading Darkfever, but so far I read a couple of negative reviews comparing The Falconer to Darkfever, and allegedly The Falkoner is a plagiarism or a fan fiction. I do not have solid data about Darkfever yet, but the "proove" in those reviews does not look convincing at all. These two series share the same mythology and the similarities are common for the whole genre. I can not blame Falconer for those matches. Someone said that if we want we can blame all fantasy genre for being a plagiarism on The Lord of the Rings. But no one really does that. I will definitely come back with a detailed review after I read the Darkfever series and point out my opinion.

I liked characters but I did not really sympathize with them, nor did I feel their pain. Well, The Vanishing Throne definitely changed my mind. It has all the detail first book lacked. It became more sinister and the mood is darker; hope and happily ever after are a distant island in a sea of hurt, blood and vengeance. Everything is lost. Everything is destroyed. Human world is in ruin and we spend the major part of the book in a fae realm. And how beautiful and vivid it is! I felt with every fiber of my soul how magical and terrifying at the same time this world is. I felt the spirit of fae world enveloping my whole self, singing me seductive songs of beautiful lands and dancing under the moon till your feet bleed and your heart stops from exhaustion.

Perhaps he’s my curse. Perhaps I’m his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins.

If you read my review of the first book, you know that I did not wholly believe in Kiaran and Aileana as a couple. They didn't feel right together. Here, my friends, they do. They are a perfect reflection of each others pain and hatred, they clash and they wrack havoc on their enemies together. Their need for each other is bare and brutal; their time is limited. I don't know if there is anything more sad than star-crossed lovers who know they can't be together. Kiaran is immortal, Aileana is mortal and will die someday. But they feel so right together, so true *weeps*
I want him. I want him like he was when he was in those frigid waves with me, whispering encouragements in my ear. I want him the way he was in the ruins of Glasgow, tracing my scars as if he were memorizing them. I want him just like this, laid bare and vulnerable. I want.

I know it's sad to say but I really do not see a happy ending for this both so far. You'll understand why if you read the book. It hurts to even think...

The story-line is tangling and swirling in one ball of sheer consequences from the decisions made thousands of years ago. We do not have a choice, not really, we can only watch how everything is uncurling after such long time. It's a havoc we can't stop, it's the ending we can't predict. It kills us all over again and then one more time. I honestly do not know how to survive till the next installment. The ending broke all boundaries and rules and left us blind with a big gaping hole in our hearts. No. No. No. I can't talk about it, I can't...

Let's better appreciate Elizabeth May for creating amazing secondary characters. We have a new blood - Kiaran's twin Aithinne, who was trapped underground with the whole bunch of angry faeries she helped to trap there. Well, you can imagine they weren't very kind to her, especially their leader Lonnrach, who is a kind of bloodthirsty fairy and drinks blood to control or steal memories from humans and fairies. I am not kidding!

Or Lonnarch will take it without your permission.

Thirty-six human teeth. Forty-six thin fangs, tapered like a snake’s. Together they form two crescents, grooves worn into each arm and each side of my neck, over and over and over.
Twenty-seven times.

Aithinne survived unimaginable horrors and now reunited with her brother. She became my favorite character in this book. She conquered me with her humanity, strange sense (but absolutely irresistible) of humor and her strength. She is one of the most strongest heroines I've ever encountered in a book. I want to sing dithyrambs to her and her bravery. Every scene with Aithinne is like a sunshine in a constantly gloomy world.
Aithinne smiles. ‘You know,’ she says thoughtfully, ‘your hair rather looks like an octopus.’ Then, as if to reassure me: ‘I love octopi.’

Ahaha, every girl dreams about such comparison!

And I looove the bickering between Kiaran and Aithinne. If you have siblings you'll understand:

‘You both look miserable.’‘I’m cold and wet,’ I say. ‘I feel wretched, and my blunderbuss is probably destroyed from the swim. No need to state the obvious.’
She glances at her brother. ‘And I suppose your face is just stuck that way?’
Kiaran pushes to his feet and I do the same. ‘What you see is the incessant, grave look of someone in possession of a sibling.’

And Derrik is once again a funny little pixie, royal to Aileana. He never ceases to amuse me and never betrays his principals:
‘Those stories humans made up about the fae really are absolute nonsense,’ I mutter.Derrick is snickering. ‘I’d love to know who spread those silly rumours. Humans are so gullible.’ His eyes widen. ‘D’you think if I told them that honey repelled faeries they’d put some out for me?’

I am again apologizing for this review being a tangle of emotions and for lack of structure. I really am in a post-readers depression and can mumble about my feelings forever more. I know that I didn't inform you about the plot and characters properly, because I think you MUST feel everything from your own perspective, and, besides, it hurts too much to talk about. But you need to know for sure: this book is a feast, it's superb in every way the first book wasn't. If you read The Falconer and didn't enjoy it or enjoyed it just a little bit, give The Vanishing Throne a chance to show you how amazing it is, how rich... really I can go on forever supplying this book with epithets and compliments (which I suppose I already did) and it never will be enough. This book did not become my favorite (not so far, but things can change in a few days) but it definitely stands on a special pedestal among other books that touched my heart deeply. Give it a chance to become something more for you either...

Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
460 reviews838 followers
February 5, 2017
“Perhaps he’s my curse. Perhaps I’m his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins.”

Dear Elizabeth,

I have a question: what am I supposed to do with my life now?

With love (just kidding, I'm hating you with a passion right now, WHAT KIND OF ENDING IS THAT),

Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,587 followers
July 21, 2017
4.25 stars

"I've been waiting for more than three years," he murmurs.

"For what?" What's he doing?

"For the girl whose gift is chaos... Death is her burden. Wherever she goes, it follows. They say she can either save the world or end it."

I was so sure I'd hate the post-apocalyptic twist The Vanishing Throne dives down, but I didn't.

Refresher course for those who don't remember the end of The Falconer: Aileana failed to prevent the faery prison from breaking, all hell breaks loose, and in the beginning of The Vanishing Throne, we see our favorite Victorian badass trapped in the faery world. Dark shit happens to her at the hands of an evil faery before she breaks out with the help of Kiaran's sister Aithinne. They return to the mortal world, which is devastated and the remaining humans are living in a sort of bunker for safety.

Hello, dystopian scenario.

But like I said, Elizabeth May does a lovely job of transitioning from steampunk fantasy to post-apocalyptic. It's risky changing genres, especially genres, but she pulled it off. I wish I could tell you a little bit more on how it earned those four stars, but honestly nothing much comes to mind. There's no Second Book Syndrome, Aileana's recovery from PTSD is lovely, Kiaran is fabulous as usual, his sister is hilarious and awesome—good, solid elements, but I can't write a paragraph on them.

Plus, I didn't stop to take notes. Come to think of it, that's probably why I'm stuck.

One thing I should mention is Aileana and Kiaran's romance is very Twilight. Our faery bae is essentially Edward Cullen without the abuse and condescending personality. But there's no angst. He doesn't shove her away and tell her he's no good for her or any of that ridiculous crap. He respects her strength and lets her fight and grow.

“'You want to know what you mean to me, Kam?’ His lips trail down the curve of my neck. 'Every day I wonder when your human life will end, and it scares the hell out of me.’ His words are hot on my skin. ‘You make me wish I didn’t have forever.'”

The humor's still here, despite the more somber tone.

"I admit to being somewhat unclear on the function of human tears," she says. "So we're sad about this? Should I menace someone?"

Overall, a brilliant sequel. I'm so glad I waited to begin this series. That cliffhanger would have killed me.

This has one too, by the way. Less brutal, but pretty damn cruel. Savor the pages, darlings!

My review of The Falconer
My review of The Fallen Kingdom
Profile Image for gio.
1,037 reviews385 followers
May 11, 2016

Uhm. I don't know what to think. On one hand this was much better than book one, especially plot wise, on the other hand I don't think that May has really evolved has a writer, because The Vanishing Throne has the same flaws The Falconer had.

> There's no ending. It's one thing to write a cliffhanger, but ending the book like your computer suddenly broke down the last day of your deadline is another matter. Rushed endings are not the best thing ever, but rushed cliffhangers are an absolute pain in the arse. It made me roll my eyes to be honest.

> I can't connect with the characters. I don't dislike Aileana, but I don't love her either and I do not luuuuuuuv Kiaran. I like them enough, but I don't really feel for them.

That said, plotwise The Vanishing Throne is much better than The Falconer. I really liked the setting and the Fae's role in this book.

> The Vanishing Throne is quite fast paced and this time around May actually used the potential she held in her hands. Whereas the first book was slow and too centered on Aileana's tragic past (aka there was too much of "I'm so bloodthirsty, I'm so badass, I have scars" and little action) this sequel is cleverly plotted and finally gives us some insight on the Seelie and the Unseelie court stories. That part is hands down my favourite.

> The sequel gives more space to the secondary characters. Derrick and Aithinne are my favourite characters. Derrick is still so bloody cute and Aithinne is crazy in a cute way.

> I liked that May finally gave us an insight to Kiaran's past. Unlike so many people I did not find Kiaran oh-so-dreamy. He was an interesting character, but he didn't really have a personality and we did not have info on him. I like him more now because I know about his past and how that plays into the story. I do not have a crush on him and I probably never will, but at least I saw that the author is trying to develop his character. (Even if I still think that she could have done much more with him).

> I'm still on the fence about Aileana. I did not connect with her, but I saw that the author at least took another direction with her character and one that I appreciated much more than the other. She was a bit boring with her badass act in book one, so at least now there are layers to her character.

> I liked that there was more about the Fae (and that they were real Fae, cruel and strange as they might be they don't destroy mountains when they have sex...) but I missed a bit the steampunk element.

I'm curious to see how the trilogy will end, but it seems like May can't write a book in less than two years so...I'll have to wait. I just hope that she'll actually write an ending this time around.

Ok, sarcasm (not even that much sarcasm tbh) aside, I liked The Vanishing Throne more than I expected in a way, but the series still has flaws that I hope will be overcome in the last book of the trilogy.
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews841 followers
December 31, 2020
9 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Pati Yang – Soul For Me
Traditional Scottish Music - The Cuckoo in the Grove
Snow Ghosts – Lost At Sea

Genre: historical-fantasy, steampunk, YA
Stuff: Fae, apocalypse, war with humans
Fail: first 30%, I think, were a bit slow
WOW: Fae-history, emotional part, action
POV: 1st-person, female
Setting: Scotland (Skye), Sìth-bhrùth
Love-Geometry: none

"We burn bright, and we burn out. That’s what it means to be human."

I liked The Falconer. The story was sketchy, chaotic, but has its charm, a badass heroine, two nice men, and ended up with a cliffhanger (seems like I’m a very masochistic reader since such a thing is yet another reason for me to fall for a book). But I didn't become a fan of this series, I wasn't counting days until The Vanishing Throne or thinking over and over whether Kiaran is evil or not. But I will do it now, 'cause the second book had conquered my heart. It wasn't a simple task, I'm not an easy target. But it happened.

The world-building. First of all, this is a historical steampunk-ish faery fantasy which is setting in Scotland! It's 19th century, times of ladies and gentlemen, of beautifully tailored clothes, of balls and stuff those were interrupted with a Fae-apocalypse. How do you like it? Elizabeth May's descriptions are vivid, detailed, and rich. We'll see a bit of fae-land, some breathtaking Scottish landscapes, a place between life and death, an underwater city, and even more.

Mythology. Elizabeth made up an entire history of Fae. From the very beginning of times to nowadays. I like the conflict she chose to dig in, I like how inextricable the situation she put her characters in is. I love how all the Fae in this story is entwined, what kind of role they play, what kind of creatures they are. And I love the sound of Fae-language.

The writing. At first, all these repetitive sentences were kinda irritating. In The Falconer I was fed up with a Crimson suits you best and I wasn't ready for another round of Juliette Ferrars' delusions. But this time phrases were more varied and... fitting maybe. Especially in the second half of the book. Aside from that, the wording was amazing. I mean it. It made things to me, guys. I was laughing at Elizabeth's jokes before but wasn't crying on sad moments, not once. In The Vanishing Throne I couldn't help myself and my ache. And you know what? I consider my tears as better proof of profound prose, 'cause our tears are a result of very strong feelings.

The plot:

The Vanishing Throne starts with Aileana waking up on a strange floating platform... somewhere. She's alone, but wait, no, she isn't, 'cause there is Lonnrach, salt-white-haired Fae with silver-eyes and dark-dark heart of stone.

Lonnrach by ArchiaOryix

He tells her this is Sìth-bhrùth, fae-land. He tells her that human-world has been destroyed and all the people are killed, he even shows her a glimpse of what Edinburgh looks like at present time. He adds that he needs her alive and now she is his prisoner. And there's nowhere to run to, no one to scream for, nothing to do against such an ancient creature whose single command had shattered Aileana's life.

Lonnrach is like Sorcha, he drinks your blood to get stronger and to steal your memories. He locks Aileana away in a weird mirrored room and visits her from time to time, biting her flesh, violating her mind, weakening her body, suppressing her will. He needs something from her, something important, something that doesn't allow him to kill her right now. Aileana tries to fight back, but she is able to do so no more. She counts her scars, she holds on to her memories about Kiaran, his vow to her, his lips on hers. But she is so ready to give up.

Sorcha by Sha-H

That's when the real fun begins. She will be saved from this nightmare but it will be only the start of her journey, her pains, and joys, losses, and gifts. We'll see the human realm, we'll find out that time flows differently in Sìth-bhrùth, that those who survived are older than Aileana remembers, that nothing is like it used to be. You'll feel the irreversibility of losing all that you had, of the world that has changed forever, of million lives those are lost for nothing. The human realm isn't a place to live anymore, this is a place where you fight for being alive, every single day.

The characters:

I wanna introduce you to Aithinne, Kiaran's sister, the Falconers' main ally, powerful Fae and an awesome woman. She is something! Brave, a bit insane (no wonders, after spending two thousand years underground with her enemies, under endless torture), super funny, very kind, sensitive...
"Aithinne wasn’t hardened by  war; she was humanized by it."

Aithinne by Alicechan

The Falconers are her creation. And she cares about Aileana as mother or sister would do. She loves her brother from the bottom of her heart, despite the things they both are destined for. And she feels for humans. I think this girl is one of my fav heroines ever. I can't say much about Aithinne's character without spoilers, but so many times I was asking Ailiana to hug this adorable Fae, to comfort this wonderful person.

Now to Kiaran.
"Most people would be dismayed by an attempted assassination, but Kiaran seems to regard it as either flirtation or flattery – possibly both."

Since we see the story through Aileana's eyes only and this fae-man isn't a chatty type, he remains a mystery. We'll find out the truth about his past, he will tell us some facts about himself too, but it's not enough, I wanna know how and what he feels. So far I admire his acts, how he treats Aileana, how differently he sees other people, how arrogant and regally he is.

Aileana herself...
"I’m not a creature of vengeance any more. I’m not just the girl whose gift is chaos. I’m the girl who endured." 

That's it. One of the characters would call her 'human enough' and that's awesome, 'cause you know what I love the most? To see human emotions in MCs. When Aileana hears about late Kiaran's love, she's jealous! This supergirl with the power to kill faeries is vulnerable and insecure when it comes to love. It makes her real to me.

As to her strength, she will become stronger. Her Falconer's powers have been sleeping until now, what she had was a part of them, so you'll see a real badassery Aileana.

Aileana and Kiaran.

Kiaran and Aileana by OrenMiller (Cycy)

"Perhaps he’s my curse. Perhaps I’m his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins."

This ship is a bitter-sweet one. They have chemistry, passion, but they are finite, since she's a human and he is a Fae.
"It’s so quiet out here, only ocean waves crashing around us. It’s these moments when I realise that my time with Kiaran is such a fragile thing. At any moment, my human life could end and he’d still be as unchanging as the sea."

So every moment they share is the fire itself. And can I just say how gorgeous they are together? A red-haired girl with pale freckled skin and a huge brunette man with lavender eyes and a cosmic attitude? Time to swoon. Oh, and there would be a very hot hot-scene between these two. Time to burn. Also, they are an awesome fighting-team.
"‘Just hold back the sea and as many fae as you can. Aithinne and I will do the rest.’ He gives me a look.‘ Just hold back the sea, she says.’ With a shake of his head, he takes his position again, deep in concentration."

Time to laugh.

Gavin. I was sure May would make a love-triangle with him and the aforecited couple, but he is a friend, a living memory of former life and no more. His role in the plot isn't the main one, but I like to have him around.

Catherine. She's a likable woman with a strong will. Her friendship with Aileana warms my heart.

Derrick. I LOVE this pixie. He's so adorable I can't even.

New characters. You'd better meet them by yourself, or I'd never shut up.

The final. Oooh, this is yet another cliffhanger, guys. Even more serious than the previous one. I like it, I hate it, I need the next book ASAP.

The Falconer (Охотницы):
The Falconer (Охотницы) #1/3
The Vanishing Throne (Исчезающий трон) #2/3
The Fallen Kingdom (Павшее королевство) #3/3
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,740 reviews711 followers
November 25, 2016
Yeah. This was amazing.

I love this cast of characters. Aileana is even more of a BAMF and Kiaran is broody and Derrick is delightful. I am mildly afraid of them, but still want to be friends.

The story in this book takes off from the beginning and doesn't let go. It's filled with twists and turns and swoons and laughs and heartbreak. Oh, and one crazy ending.

I've never been so excited to have the last book.

**Huge thanks to Chronicle Books and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Jessireads.
354 reviews68 followers
November 7, 2021
” You want to know what you mean to me, Kam? “
His lips trail down the curve of my neck.
“ Every day I wonder when your human life will end, and it scares the hell out of me. “
His words are hot on my skin.
“ You make me wish I didn’t have forever. “

Profile Image for Sophie.
1,235 reviews445 followers
March 21, 2017
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

When I found out The Vanishing Throne was up on NetGalley, I was ready to scream in the middle of a lecture. When I got the email that I'd been approved, I honestly could not concentrate. Even with me having an essay and presentation due asap, I started this book as soon as I downloaded it on my iPad.

The Vanishing Throne starts immediately after the awful cliffhanger of The Falconer. Aileana is stuck in the faerie kingdom, at the mercy of Lonnarch. She is being tortured on a daily basis for information about a magical item hidden in the human world that can unite the Seelie and Unseelie kingdoms. Just as she's about to lose hope, she finds herself rescued by Kiaran's sister, Aithinne. However, the rescue isn't all it's cracked up to be. Edinburgh, and the rest of the human world is lying in ruins, and Aileana blames herself for every death, every injury, basically, she blames herself for everything. As she starts to come to terms with her loss, she discovers her origins as a Falconer, and what her role in the fight ultimately is. We learn so much in this book, that it was sort of a whirlwind getting my head around all the new information, especially when so much affected Aileana, but she took it like a trooper.

Now, Aileana is just as amazing as I remembered from The Falconer. She's obviously feeling a lot of guilt for failing to close the lock on the faerie world, but she is still her strong, spunky self inside. It felt like torture seeing her trapped in the faerie world at Lonnrach's control, but I was glad that we got to see this more vulnerable side to her. Even after she escaped, she still had vulnerable moments, which, honestly, made her a lot more human. She definitely came into her own in this books, vis-a-vis her powers, and I can't wait to see this even more in book 3.

The romance that had killed be in book 1, was well worth the wait. Now that the awkward first kiss stage is out of the way, the romance is full speed ahead. I'd forgotten how much I loved Kiaran, but he was the swooniest person ever here! Every moment between him and Aileana, even the bog standard ones without any romantic interact at all, made my heart flutter. They just have the best chemistry I've seen in a long time, and I seriously need them to have this relationship ever. OTP!!

The new, and old characters, were wonderful too. I loved seeing the characters from book 1 who hadn't died - no spoilers who - and their interactions with Aileana were as lovely as I remembered. One of the new characters I disliked was Daniel, but that mainly due to his first impression. He did sort of redeem himself towards the end. Aithinne, though, was crazy, and barmy, but so endearing at the same time. Her and Kiaran's banter was how I'd imagine a sibling relationship to be.

After the awful cliffhanger in The Falconer, I never though The Vanishing Throne could have one as bad, but I was proved wrong. I'm gutted that book 3's release date isn't until 2017, because honestly, I don't know how I'll cope. May has created truly awesome characters, and I'm both a little in love with them, and a little jealous I'm not them. If you were a fan of The Falconer, you will be in love with The Vanishing Throne. This one definitely did not suffer from the sophomore slump, like so many others do, and I'm in awe with how intense and involved this storyline is. I can't recommend this enough, and thank you so, so much, Gollancz, for letting me read this book early!
Profile Image for Callie (BeverageandBook).
206 reviews170 followers
June 12, 2018
“Perhaps he’s my curse. Perhaps I’m his weakness. Together we left the world in ruins.”

That ending. I’m not okay guys. I’ll be back to write a review when I can deal with my emotions.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,432 reviews1,326 followers
February 24, 2023
I distinctly remember grabbing The Falconer off my shelf on my way to BEA in 2014 and becoming so engrossed in it that I didn’t care about our delays, and I refused to leave the hotel room until I turned the last page because the story was absolutely amazing. The Vanishing Throne quickly became the book highest on my ‘OMG I must have it list!’

Let me just tell you that this second book was well worth the two years it took to arrive in my hands!

If you read The Falconer, you know how it ended… Aileana became trapped in the portal that she was attempting to close, and now Lonnrach spends all his spare time torturing her, stealing her memories to find the information he will need to save his world, all while Edinburgh becomes a wasteland.

We all know that second books in series can sometimes be hit or miss and I worried so much that this might be the case because I loooooved The Falconer, but I can tell you that this book was even better than the first for me, despite a bit of a slower start.

Aileana… her memories have gradually been taken from her as Lonnrach tortures her, digging through her mind trying to find the information he needs. Trapped in the Fae world but never truly giving up hope that she’d escape, the opportunity arrives from someone unexpected. But the horror that she finds when she finally gets home forces her to realize that she will need to awaken the powers hidden within her. Aileana holds the key to saving both the city and the lives of her friends and family, but it requires her to figure out how to access her Falconer powers, and the price to doing so could be incredibly high.

When Aileana finally reunites with her friends she realizes that she’s been gone for three years, and not only has the outside world changed, but those she was closest to have as well. Among those she’s reunited with is Kieran and while I liked him in book 1, I found that I loved him here. We learn so much more about his past as Kadamach and the horrors he dealt. Now Aileana has to come to terms with the idea that Kieran, this Fae that she has come to know and care for in very deep ways, did these things and determine if she can be okay with that.

I will say that the tension and romance between these two was so well done. The relationship has always kind of been there under the surface for them, and the one person that Aileana is able to hold on to while she’s being tortured is Kieran, so upon her return, she often turns to him for comfort and support and we definitely get to see their connection deepen and move forward.

His hands are on either side of my face, the gentlest of touches. ‘Aoram dhuit.’
I will worship thee.
‘You said it was a pledge. Do I make it, too?’
‘No, Kam.’ His eyes lock with mine just before he presses a kiss to the pulse of my throat. Then his lips are at my ear, whispering, ‘You let me honor my words.’

May does an amazing job of bringing the secondary characters into this story a bit more. Of course we have Derrick, Catherine and Gavin, but my absolute favorite became Aithinne, I really loved the connection that formed between her and Aileana… unfortunately their common ground wasn’t due to happy times, but it really bonded them in ways that no one else could understand.

We also get a lot more of Sorcha and all I can say is that I can’t wait for her to get hers because .. UGH.

So the ending… you guys it’s a bit cliffhangerish, but despite that, I am so glad I read this one when I did. I am so excited to get my hands on book 3.

If you haven’t started this series yet, I can’t tell you how much you need to change that. This series will have you so enthralled… crafted with a steampunk feel, filled with action and twists and turns you won’t see coming, it’s a story you don’t’ want to miss.

Thank you to Chronicle for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Sara.
263 reviews366 followers
August 9, 2017
Ragazzi, questo secondo libro è fantastico! I personaggi sono maturati tutti tantissimo, cosa che non ho potuto fare a meno di apprezzare enormemente. Il passato misterioso dei nostri Fae preferiti è stato svelato e se alcune Delle cose rivelate me le aspettavo, altre mi hanno colto totalmente di sorpresa. PER NON PARLARE DI QUEL MALEDETTO FINALE, I NEED IL SEGUITO RIGHT NOW. In breve, se cercate un fantasy storico ben strutturato, dalle atmosfere gotiche e ambientato in Scozia, io vi consiglio assolutamente di cominciare questa serie. Merita davvero.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews843 followers
June 14, 2016
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
Book Two of The Falconer trilogy
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

The second book in the Falconer trilogy is packed with surprises and suspense.

Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the portal that she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes up in the fae world, trapped and tortured by the evil Lonnrach. With the help of an unexpected ally, Aileana re-enters the human world, only to find everything irrevocably changed. Edinburgh has been destroyed, and the few human survivors are living in an uneasy truce with the fae, while both worlds are in danger of disappearing altogether. Aileana holds the key to saving both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing that might be her life.

Rich with imaginative detail, action, fae lore, and romance, The Vanishing Throne is a thrilling sequel to The Falconer.

What I Liked:

For the year of 2016, out of 57 books read, only four have received a five-star rating from me... this will be the fifth. I don't use the five-star rating a lot - it's pretty rare that a book hits me upside the head with its magnificence. Seriously, I don't really fall in love with books; I'll really enjoy them, or like them, but lovelovelove? I reserve the five-star rating for those types, and they are few and far between.

This is one of those books.

And it's a sequel! Generally I haaaate the sequel of a trilogy (the second book). Sequel slump is a very common problem in YA trilogies (and series in general). But not so, in this series. I went into this book knowing two things: 1) my UK friends who had already read this book in November 2015 absolutely loved it, and 2) those same UK friends warned me of a cliffhanger ending (but that's all I knew - that the ending would be somewhat cliffhanger-y). So I was pretty wary, going in. As it would turn out, I had every right to be wary, but I really enjoyed the book!

Aileana Kameron wakes up to find herself trapped in the fae world, a place of inbetween, imprisoned by Lonnrach. Time moves differently in this place, and Lonnrach... he is intent on gathering information from Aileana's memories. When Aileana is rescued and brought back to the human world, she discovers two things: she's been in the fae world for three years, and the human world has been completely destroyed by Lonnrach. Few survived, and the humans that did are in the pixie kingdom, with some familiar faces. Aileana must awaken her Falconer powers and find a mysterious crystal that Lonnrach is looking for, before he finds it. If he finds it, the consequences will be detrimental for both human and fae.

Elizabeth May has clearly mastered many things when it comes to writing, but I must say, the character development sticks out to me. May takes Aileana on a fierce and cruel and painful and emotional journey. While she is imprisoned by Lonnrach, she is tortured by him, and she can't fight it. Aileana is convinced that this is her punishment for not ending things, at the end of book one. When Aileana escapes with the help of a new friend, Aileana blames herself for the state of the human world. She isn't broken, but she is devastated. The author has Aileana undergo a great deal of character development. Already was Aileana a strong and capable heroine, but she has a contained rage and strength that builds as the book goes on.

The first, hmm, twenty percent or so of the book broke my heart. I hated seeing Aileana imprisoned, and seeing what Lonnrach was doing to her. He rifled through her memories without her permission, over and over, and it was painful and distressing and damaging. Aileana escaped with an exhaustion but also a hatred and a burning urge to slaughter Lonnrach. Good for her!

After Aileana escapes with her new friend, she is taken to a familiar face... Kiaran. If I liked the faerie in book one, I adored him, in this book. Cracks are showing in his emotionless exterior. He's new at letting emotions through, and it's kind of adorable. There is a scene when he and Aileana are reunited, and she needs comforting, and he attempts to hug her to comfort her... so cute. That scene is one of my favorites. Ahhh, Kiaran. We learn a lot about him in this book - he is Kadamach, and Kadamach has quite the past.

Secondary characters that were very important - Derrick (bubbly and excitable as ever), Aithinne (this is Kiaran's sister - I like her so much!), Gavin (ew, he is so different from book one, and not in good ways), Catherine (okay I like her so much more now). Three years passed in the human world since Aileana was taken, so Gavin, Catherine, and the other humans are three years older (whereas Aileana is only a few months older than she was when she was taken), and they are different people. They had to adapt and survive the destruction of the human world, a world that no longer involves polite society and gentry and balls and servants.

I think that was one thing that really set this book apart from book one - the setting pretty much completely changes. Scotland - and all of Earth - has been destroyed by Lonnrach, from the end of book one. We're not dealing with snobby society ladies anymore, though we're still in 1800s Scotland. I liked this new post-apocalyptic setting. It is harsh and demanding, yet there is something real and valuable about everything, now the world as they once knew it is no more.

Okay, I'll talk about the romance now. No love triangle, no huge drama, only an upwards progression. Aileana and Kiaran have such a swoon-worthy relationship. I love how they're not quite sure of where they stand, when they are reunited in this book. And slowly, they rediscover and discover how important they are to each other, how much they care about each other, and how much they've missed each other. Kiaran saves Aileana many times, subconsciously; when she is imprisoned, she thinks about him. He's never far from her thoughts, and vice versa. Also, fun fact... their relationship, as beautiful and developed as it is, takes a steamy turn. Have I mentioned how much I love these two together? It's a thing of beauty, the two of them figuring out their relationship and feelings.

Character development, A+. Setting, A+. Romance, A+++. Plot, A+. I was never bored, and I was driven to keep reading. I finished this book in one sitting. When the last quarter of the book was upon me, I was filled with dread - I knew the cliffhanger ending was coming up, but everything leading up was going so perfectly! There were so many reveals of secrets and information, and so much was worked through, and I was loving how everything was connected to everything else.

But that ending came, and, well, it definitely is cliffhanger-y. But it's not nearly as bad as I expected. In fact, I would hesitate to call it "cruel"... I'm slightly scared to see how the beginning of book three will come about, because I know most of the characters will be very confused... anyway, the ending was not nearly as stressful as I'd expected. Still not a sunshine-and-rainbows ending, but one can't expect that, when it comes to a book-two-in-the-trilogy!

What I Did Not Like:

Ahh. I guess I could complain about the ending, but like I said, it really wasn't as bad as I expected. I knew what I was expecting and it would have been much worse. So there's that!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly highly highly recommend this book! It's even better than book one, and I really liked The Falconer. I rarely give books five stars - and even rarer do I give a book two/sequel five stars, so believe me when I say that this book is worth reading. The entire trilogy is worth reading. I could see this being an all-time favorite series (assuming we get a HEA at the end of book three...). If you like historical fiction heavily laced with paranormal/fantasy but also a swoony romance... *nudges*


4.5 stars -> rounded up to 5 stars. Even though the ending was cliffhanger-y and I'll be in agony waiting for book three (do we think the UK publication date will be during 2016? Because I'll buy the UK version in a heartbeat), I totally want to reread this book already!

Pre-read squees:

Huh. We have a USA cover.





See for yourself!

Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,028 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.