Sunday, May 6, 2012
Lament, by Maggie Stiefvater- Review
I immediately devoured it, despite a staggering pile of review books looming over me, and giving me the evil eye from my bookshelf.
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .
Maggie has an incredible ability to create ambiance to a degree I find staggering. Her books, like Harry Potter and so many of the best of reading, sweep me away to somewhere else altogether other. They have atmosphere, characters I want to carry around in my pocket, terrific dialogue and, of course- an engrossing story. I started with The Scorpio Races and moved backwards through her repertoire, and I have continually expected to hit a book where I realize I've gone far enough back that some of this impressiveness is lessened from lack of experience. And although there are hints at style development, I've yet to find a book of hers that doesn't impress me the way the first did.
Lament was sweeping, dark and mysterious. The love story was edgy and intriguing and I was guessing, right up until the end, about what was really happening. Dee, in her uncertainty and self consciousness was such a perfect foil to brassy James, and deadly Luke, and the mix of the three set the perfect balance for the story. But most of all I loved how dark this story was. Like Holly Black, Maggie has gone with a much edgier, and traditional, brand of faerie, and it's wonderful to a degree I can't express.
A decadent start to a three parter, Lament will make you want to get your hands on Ballad as soon as possible. If for no other reason then to submerse yourself in this diabolical, musical heaven.
Lament, by Maggie Stiefvater
Re-printed in Canada by Scholastic, February 2012
Buy Lament on Amazon