Released: November 19th 2015
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
My name is Lady Aileana Kameron.
First the fae murdered my mother. Then they destroyed my world.
Now I’m fighting for more than revenge.
Aileana took a stand against the Wild Hunt, and she lost everything: her home, her family and her friends. Held captive by her enemy, and tormenting herself over her failure, escape seems like only the faintest possibility. But when she gets her chance, she seizes it...to rejoin a world devastated by war.
The future is bleak. Hunted by the fae, running for her life, Aileana has only a few options left. Trying to become part of a society scarred by – and hiding from – the Wild Hunt; trusting that a fragile alliance with the fae will save her; or walking the most dangerous path at all: coming in to her own powers as the last of the Falconers... (from Goodreads)
It’s been a long time since I’ve read The Falconer - two years is a lot in the bookish world. I have to admit, I had to read the Recaptains summary of it to remember what actually happened, but I was soon reminded of all the important stuff and was excited to start The Vanishing Throne! I actually enjoyed it even more than The Falconer, I think (though just a smidgen) and I am very excited to find out how things will end in book three (though it’s going to be another long wait).
Aileana went through a lot in this book. She was taken by Lonnrach and tortured in the faery realm, and was starting to lose her grip on reality. When she finally escaped, not only was she left with the scars of what Lonnrach did to her, but she also learnt that three whole years had passed in her world. Everything was different to how things were in the the first book, where she had to go to balls and keep up appearances to fit into her society. None of that mattered anymore. Now, her city was in ruins, people were afraid and living in hiding, her friends had grown up and gotten married and their whole lives had changed - while she hadn’t aged at all. Aileana had a difficult time adjusting to everything, and all the while she was consumed by guilt, blaming herself for not being able to save anyone. I really felt for her, I really did. She managed to stay strong through it all, but you could tell how everything that had happened to her had taken its toll. I really liked her growing friendship with Aithinne, Kiaran’s sister, who we got to meet in this book. Aithinne had been through similar experiences and they both seemed to bond over that. Aithinne was also generally a bit more curious about humans than Kiaran was and seemed to be surprised by some of Aileana’s actions. And even though she still had the whole faery superior attitude going on, she was really helpful to Aileana and got her out of a lot of tricky situations. It was nice to see them get along and I really want to see more of these two together in the next book! I really liked Aithinne and it’s always nice to see a great female friendship.
Speaking of female friendships, I loved Catherine in this book! After all the terrible things that had happened, she had lost a lot of her naivety, and had adapted to a new world of living in hiding and unpredictable fighting. She was one of the only characters to still completely trust Aileana upon her return and I loved that she was such a loyal friend. She had changed during the time that Aileana was gone, but she was still the same kind and friendly person who stuck by Aileana all those years and refused to believe the rumours that Aileana was responsible for her mother’s murder. I really appreciated her presence in the book. I was also glad to see Derrick the pixie again in this book and he was one of my favourite characters! He really cared about Aileana and hated to see her hurt, but he was also quirky and funny and I just really really liked him.
Kiaran, well. He became a bit less mysterious in this book because we delved into his backstory, and it was really interesting to see how different he was now, and how his relationship with his sister had changed so much over the years. And the romance! I really enjoyed it, I have to say. There was a lot of chemistry between Kiaran and Aileana and even though it seemed like it could never work out, I was really hoping for a happy ending for these two.
Plot-wise, ahem, a lot happened here. We got to find out a lot more about the faery world and the different courts, and also about the Cailleach, who was somewhat of enigma. There was a bit of needless repetition at times which I found a bit strange, but mostly, I enjoyed the writing. Some of the scenes were quite powerful, especially at the beginning, and while I sort of predicted the ending, I am very intrigued to find out what happens next - in regard to Kiaran, certainly, because oh my God, but also in regard to Aileana’s future. What will she do? I don’t know how I’ll last until 2017, really.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Vanishing Throne. If you liked The Falconer, definitely pick up this sequel, and if you haven’t started the series yet but like faery stories with a hint of steampunk, then give these books a go.