Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh's social events - right up until a faery killed her mother.
Now it's the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She's determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city's many dark alleyways.
But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana's father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose - and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?
In this debut novel, first in a trilogy, May brings to life a steampunk version of Victorian Scotland beset by vicious faeries. Young aristocratic Aileana Kameron has been training to hunt and kill these faeries for the past year, each one she hopes bringing her closer to the baobhan s th that eviscerated her mother. She soon discovers that her bloodlust is no accident: she's a Falconer, last in a legendary line of faerie hunters. With the most powerful faeries about to break loose from their prison, Aileana has only six days to learn to control her powers. There's palpable sexual tension between Aileana and her faerie mentor, Kiaran; unfortunately he falls prey to many familiar tropes (he's a semi-reformed killer who refuses to discuss his past, especially the loss of a past love very much like Aileana). Even so, fans of Gail Carriger's work in particular should enjoy the combination of steampunk tech and supernatural danger with a multitalented heroine who can hold her against murderous faeries and romantic foils alike. Ages 14 up.