Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater (Blog, Website, Facebook)
After spending a few days reading nothing but nonfiction for the Cybils awards, I was more than ready to get lost in a bit of fiction. Last month, I read Jen Robinson’s post about Lament, in which she called the book, "a deliciously creepy romantic novel," so this seemed like the perfect choice. Author Maggie Stiefvater saw my comment on Jen’s post and graciously sent me a copy of the book, and let me tell you, I stayed up until 3 in the morning to finish the book because I simply could not put it down.
Teenager Dierdre (Dee) Monaghan is an exceptionally gifted musician as is her best friend James, and EVERY time she performs, she always throws up. In fact, she’s throwing up before a big competition when she meets Luke Dillion where else, but the bathroom. Hmmm…you might think it’s sort of creepy to meet a ridiculously handsome guy in the bathroom where you’re barfing who just happens to know your name, but Dee is drawn to Luke. In fact, they go outside where Luke gets her to calm down and actually practice before the competition. Luke himself is a killer flautist, so they decide to do a duet where they stun the audience.
From that point on, weird things keep happening to Dee. She constantly finds four leaf clovers, she thinks she sees people watching her, and Luke keeps showing up all the time. Then there's this whole telekinesis ability she suddenly discovers she has. When Dee’s grandmother takes one look at Luke and tells him to stay away from her granddaughter, Dee is determined to find out what’s happening.
Turns out Dee is a cloverhand, a person who can see Faeries, and Luke is a Faerie assassin. And yep, you guessed it….Dee is his target, but he hopelessly falls in love with her, and even though she knows she’s in danger, she falls in love with Luke, too. But the evil Faerie Queen, also named Dierdre, is determined to have Dee dead, which leads to a very exciting and suspenseful showdown.
In this book, we have a forbidden romance, a love triangle, and homicidal faeries. What more can you ask for? A lot of people have compared this to Twilight, and I can definitely see the parallels. A girl falls in love with an older unhuman, yet gorgeous creature. Another friend loves the girl. The girl is constantly confronted with danger. But here’s where the similarities stop.
Dee is a much stronger character than Bella, and unlike Bella, Dee eventually has to get herself out of the most dangerous situation yet.
Maggie Stiefvater's writing is absolutely beautiful and lyrical. As you're reading, the great care she took into developing characters, adding subtle details here and there, building suspense, emotion, and passion is evident. For those of you who appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of the written word, you'll find yourselves consuming each passage with delight. You can get a taste of her writing by reading the Prologue and Chapter 1 here.
Let’s not forget the creepy factor. There were moments in the novel that gave me goose bumps. Throughout the novel, you encounter white hounds, and at one point my own white hound suddenly jumped off the bed and starting howling. Talk about goosebumps.
Maggie Stiefvater has hit a home run with her first novel, and I can't wait to read Ballad, the sequel to Lament, which is coming out in the Fall of 2009.
I highly recommend this book to those who like a bit of magic, a bit of romance, a bit of creepiness, and those who love good writing. It's one of my favorite reads of the year.
What Other Bloggers Are Saying:
Jen Robinson's Book Page: "Overall, Lament offers a compelling and beautifully written glimpse at a hidden world, nearby but usually unseen." (read more...)
The Book Bind: "Brimming with doomed love, oh-so dangerous faeries, and music oozing out of every pore, it is simply wonderful." (read more...)
The Compulsive Reader: "Maggie Stiefvater, with her ability to create not only a gripping romance, but also a shadowy and puzzling mystery at the same time, is most definitely an author to watch. " (read more...)
Charlotte's Library: "...her [Dierdre's] realization that she has become involved in a life or death struggle against inhuman beings make for a gripping read. " (read more...)
The Story Siren: "Lament has a little bit of everything; suspense, romance, intrigue, and action. The bittersweet ending will leave you yearning for more. " (read more...)
Jessica M. Burkhart, Tween Author: "Maggie's writing is edgy, fresh and beautiful. " (read more...)
Kim Kasch Blogsite: A Writer's Blog: "This isn’t your typical kid’s fairytale that takes you on a journey to another world. Lament takes place in our world with modern-day settings." (read more...)
Pat Esden:"I feel like gossiping about all the details--about the music, the characters, my favorite scenes, the romance and horror. " (read more...)
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Flux; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738713708
- ISBN-13: 978-0738713700
- Source: Review copy from author