I fell in love with with the first book in the series when I read it earlier this year so I was absolutely thrilled when I had to wait only a few months to read the sequel!
What’s interesting about this series is that it was actually first published in the UK last year but wasn’t published until this year in the US! It was one of my most anticipated releases for June! I took it with me when I went on my camping trip nearly two weeks ago. I wasn’t disappointed in this and I’m just so excited to read the rest of the series!
Title: The Vanishing Throne
Author: Elizabeth May
Publisher: Chronicle Books
US Release date: June 21, 2016
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, fantasy, steampunk
Length: 458 pages (hardback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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…”
My rating: 4/5 stars
First off, that cover! ❤ If it doesn’t already speak “badass female character” then I don’t know what does!
It’s still 1840s Scotland but due to the events of the last book, everything has changed. We’re taken deeper into the faery world, into the world that Aileana left behind at the end of book 1. There’s romance, too, fighting, killing, and blood! Haha.
I’ll admit that the first few chapters of the book are fairly slow and drag on a bit. I don’t know if it was the author’s intent to do this since we find out that time passes slower in the faery world than it does the human so a couple of years have passed since the end of book 1. The main character, Aileana, is trapped in the faery world and while she struggles internally with a few things and almost shuts down, I think this is why the first few chapters felt as if they did drag.
We’re reintroduced to characters from the last book: Aileana’s best friend, Catherine and her brother, Gavin the Seer. We also see Kiaran again and of course, the ever lovable pixie, Derrick, who provides mass amounts of comic relief that I think the book really needed because otherwise, it’s pretty bleak. We also meet Sorcha again, and meet a few new characters who play interesting roles in the book, especially in connection with some of the faeries Aileana has already met.
There’s a lot of romantic/sexual tension between Aileana and Kiaran. Because of her own internal struggles, there’s a lot that Aileana rethinks in terms of what she knew about herself and her feeling towards the faeries.
It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the series plays out, especially because to the ending. I really did enjoy this book and find Aileana to be a strong character although there were times I found her internal thoughts to be a bit annoying.
Overall, a pleasant second book. I wouldn’t say it suffers from “second book slump” but like I said, there are some parts that that dragged on and this book did a fair job not “info-dumping” though it’s obvious was one of the main points of this book.