Young Falcon was the bestselling young adult book on the Arboretum Barnes and Noble Bestsellers' List in December 2011.
Young Falcon was the #4 bestselling young adult book on the La Fontera Barnes and Noble Bestsellers' List in September 2012.
"I started Sons and Daughters Book Two soon after I had finished the first book, and the transition was seamless. You could literally glue the books together, and no one would be the wiser. This consistency never faltered through the rest of the story, even with the frequent changes in points of view. And even with the addition of an entire secondary storyline, you never lost track of [the] characters.
And I cannot remember the last time I have read a book that drew me in so emotionally to the characters. I cannot explain how much that meant to me as a reader. Every action, every thought is described just when it needs to be to create the best emotional feel for the scene. Yet despite all this detail, you never let anything slip until just the right moment, often catching the reader quite off guard. And while sometimes you let the reader see what's coming, making them think, "No way ... no way ..." Other times I feel like I've been punched in the gut. In short, an emotional roller coaster.
Besides just being a good story, this book is an excellent insight into morality: its validity, or lack thereof, in certain situations, its extremes, and its various shades of grey ... if they in fact do exist. It's nice when a book communicates something deeper than just a compelling story, causing the reader to step back and think about how the book's world applies to their own. War isn't happy, heroic, or something that should be glazed over, and this book conveys that very well.
All in all, one of the most emotionally gripping stories I have read in a long time. Very nice job." - Travis Clark
"I anxiously await the next before this one has even come out! Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book. [Elizabeth] developed all of the characters wonderfully, as well as the main plotline. I have different emotions regarding different events and characters of the book which … is good because [she] made me feel something with [her] story. I really like how [she] balanced atrocity and goodness, not making the world out to be darker than it is but also not making it daisies and rainbows. The whole plot made a lot of sense and I easily followed it. I enjoyed this book immensely and long to read the next one as soon as possible." - Anthony Milan
"Elizabeth's second novel is a satisfying sequel that demonstrates she really knows how to write plot twists. Her book is full of them, but she is always careful to make sure that the surprises make sense. I thought I knew her characters, but when I read the second book, I had to think again. They were already well-developed in Young Falcon - Book One of Sons and Daughters, but this next book pushes them down paths that I never thought they would take. The novel poses as many questions as it does answers, and I'm already itching for the third book!" - Natalie Bergeron
'I loved this book because it always kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to read more when I was forced to put it down. Elizabeth is an awesome writer who knows how to keep someone’s interest. At the end of [Young Falcon], I had to get [Fallen Rose] because she [ended] it with such a cliff-hanger that it was impossible to ignore! I was once told there is a method to the madness, and I believe she has mastered it in these books.
'Fallen Rose is a masterpiece. Author Elizabeth McKinney draws the reader back into the world of Elysia with exciting combat, intriguing characters, and a brilliant romance. This is a must-read that will leave the reader hungry for the next book!' - P. Glenn
Reviews of Young Falcon, Book One of Sons and Daughters
'A lot of people have told me that there's nothing new under the sun, and Mortimer Adler said in How to Read a Book that there are some plots that have been done to death.
Young Falcon was not, repeat NOT, one of them.
A general idea in Elizabeth Anne McKinney's book is this concept of back from the brink. Humankind was thought to be extinct, a fairy tale, no longer worthy of concern, and all at once they're back wrecking an epic revenge. Back from the brink has not been done enough, which is too bad because it is an epic way of telling a story.
Another thing I loved about Elizabeth's book is that her characters are fabulous. The likeability of characters is super important to me - most particularly that the good characters be good and the bad characters be bad, not complicated with depressing childhoods. Another really important thing is that the characters come alive, and Elizabeth's characters really do come alive. Veryan is my favorite character for two reasons: first that he was bullied in his troop of soldiers and he had a depressing (possibly abusive) childhood and was still heroic, and also because he really just jumped off the page. All the characters seemed to do that. If there was one thing I didn't like it was that Elysia was just a little wishy-washy. She needed a little more grit - but then, from another perspective, the other characters had more than enough grit to make up for her. And besides, she was no coward but was downright admirable. It's so great to find a main character that's actually likeable!
So now that I'm almost done with my unconventional book review, I would just like to say - well done, Elizabeth. Five stars!' - Marta Stahlfeld, author of Darkwoods, Pasadagavra, and Graystone
'My 10th grade daughter is not a reader by nature but since the author was her same age, decided to give the book a try. Unexpectedly, my daughter LOVES the book and can't put it away at night. The characters are very well developed and the story-line is mesmerizing. She's very excited for the next book to come out, and I love that she's reading an extra book outside of school. The young author has amazing talent!' - Sarah
'Young Falcon transports the reader to another world and time. Elizabeth brings these elven characters to life in a way that makes them seem fully human, and you want to root for them to succeed. Elysia grows from naively thinking she can conquer the world to truly believing in herself and her abilities. Had I not known while reading the book that Elizabeth was a high school student, I never would have believed it. She writes with maturity and experience well beyond her years. I am looking forward to the next installment of Sons and Daughters and seeing where Elysia's journey takes her as she fights to save her country.' - Jennifer Mayo, librarian
'I love the book! It is the kind of book that once you start reading it, you won't put it back down until you finish it. My favorite character is probably Elysia; she is a young, free-spirited girl. I can't wait until I get to read the second book!' - Caitlyn Pouw
'Young Falcon was so good! I don't usually read this type of book, but I really loved this book! I can't wait for the next one!' - Samantha Walker
'I was completely absorbed by this complex story. The author has done a wonderful job at building the fantasy world. I am a school librarian, and when I read a chapter to my 5th graders, they were captivated. I have had students take the book home and finish it in one night. There is a long hold list for my copies and students are clamoring for the next book in the series. Well-written, engaging characters in a tightly constructed fantasy world.' - Tere Hager, librarian
'Honestly, I did not expect to be so consumed by the story. I could not put it down. The characters drew me in and I wish the sequel were already out. I wished the end had had a bit more of a conclusion, so I was not left hanging, but I will definitely have to read the sequel' - Beth
'This book was amazing! I loved every second of it!' - Kayle Morin
'I love Young Falcon and read it in four hours. My favorite character is Elysia because she thinks humans are extinct. When she meets some dangerous creatures like giant wolves and humans, she doesn't know what to do. She is captured by humans, attacked by wolves, and protects a dragon egg. It was so good, I can't really describe it in words. Young Falcon was truly amazing.' - Misty Hall
'I couldn't wait to read Young Falcon; I was more excited about it than Christopher Paolini's Inheritance!' - Casey H., age 16
'This book was awesome! I couldn't put it down. All of the characters are developed so well. The author really catches your attention with all the adventure and suspense. Elysia has such a good personality. I can't wait for the second book!' - Tessa Whitaker
'An adventure into an extraordinary world with remarkable characters and unpredictable twists. Definitely a must-read!' - Mia Dedear, age 17
'I would give this book 4.5 stars, just because there were some parts that were a long read with lots of description. I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down and am very excited for the new book. Young Falcon is about a young elven girl who takes a trip across the country to the capital on an errand for her father. On the way, she gets captured by humans, who are thought to be legends. They hold her and a young elven warrior, Veryan, prisoner. [Elysia and Veryan] form a shaky friendship with each other and with another prisoner named Yaron. And you'll have to read the rest of the book to find out what happens!' - Clarice
'Young Falcon is an intriguing read. Ms. McKinney’s characters are without doubt my favorite part of the story. All of them have a great knack for arousing your curiosity; she tells you just enough to make you want more. They keep you on your toes wondering about what they will do next. Her setting was described in such detail that it is easy to imagine that she might have actually been to the places she writes about. All in all, Young Falcon was a great ride. I loved it, but I suspect it’s only the tip of the iceberg. It was peppered with teasers in plot and character, and I can’t wait to see more of her rich setting and delightful characters!' - Natalie Bergeron
'Young Falcon is honestly a lot better than Eragon. The characters have so much more depth and are so engaging. I loved this book!' - Molly M.
'Young Falcon is a wonderful read ... [Elizabeth] is a truly gifted and talented writer. It was no surprise to me that [she] wrote such a brilliant, suspenseful, and thought-provoking book. I introduced this novel to my book club, and they loved it! They are extremely excited for the sequel. I can't wait to see what she will author next!' - Danielle McGhee
'Young Falcon was an amazing read! The author used to go to my school and was amazed at how descriptive and mesmerizing her book was. I loved how there were so many plot twists that kept me turning the pages! There was never a dull moment, and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an exhilarating read.' - Anonymous
'If you like fantasy and haven't read this book, you should definitely check it out. It's a great read!' - Anthony Milan
'[Elizabeth] needs to hurry up and get the next book published! Young Falcon was so good! It's the best book I've ever read! I loved the characters, and the suspense of the plot was very intense.' - Alex Singleton
Articles about Elizabeth have also been published in Salado's Village Voice and in the Temple Daily Telegram.