The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
Summary from Goodreads:
Everything she loved is gone.
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.
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.
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…
I am continuing to enjoy this series. The author has come up with her own version of the fairy world, but you can still see the ancient legends at it’s heart. This book was a lot less action, but far darker than the first. It does drag a little at the beginning, but towards the middle begins to pick up the pace a bit. The pace would be my one complaint about this book.
We learn a lot more about the history of the fae and their wars, both among themselves and with humans. We also learn more about Kiaran and his sister, Aithinne. Aithinne is a new character in this book and she was a nice addition. She is the opposite of Kiaran, although she is just as ferocious in her killing of fae. Lonnrach is also new, although we heard about him in the first book. He is the nastiest of the fairies we encounter, although he might be tied with Sorcha, his sister, for pure evil. Sorcha is much more cunning than her brother and there are times you are not sure whose side she is on. We also meet The Cailleach, who is the overall queen of the fairies and the most powerful.
Aileana and Kiaran’s relationship continues to grow. Aileana suffers a lot in this book, seriously more than most humans could stand. She is tortured both physically and mentally by Lonnrach. Those scenes were a bit tough to read and are not for the faint at heart. She is left physically scarred, and I do hope that at some point some fae decides to heal them. Kiaran continues to become more human as he learns to admit and act on his feelings for Aileana.
There are some great new creatures in this book, mainly the Mortair. These creatures are mostly mechanical but have a ‘heart’ and are somewhat sentient although not smart. They come in many shapes and sizes and pretty much destroy everything they come in contact with. These were the only steampunk like things in this series, as Scotland and Edinburgh have pretty much been wiped out.
The ending of this book was amazing and I am glad I have the next one available so I don’t have to wait to long to read it.