Exploring Maggie Stiefvaters world of lament was both fun and interesting for as far as books on faeries go, this one was quite exceptional. It depicts the fae beautifully, making them playful yet deadly and sinister creatures which I really liked as it keeps to the truth of the old-world fairytales in which the green folk were wicked and tricksy.
Also Stiefvater has a way of bringing the characters to life that makes you really feel for all their hurts and downfalls, particularly those of the main character Deirdre who’s every choice impacts upon the lives of those nearest and dearest to her heart, sometimes with devastating consequences.
Full off the traditional themes of first love and self-discovery, Lament also explores the importance of friendship and the bitter taste of betrayal. All wrapped up in a 325 Page novel it was a really good read that I would recommend to any lover of the supernatural. Also while it can easily be read as a standalone book I’m looking forward to its sequel ‘ballad’ and am interested to see how the characters will progress in this next instalment.
After reading Maggie Steifvaters previous series of books and being quite impressed with them (Shiver, Linger.....), myself and my daughter (the family that reads together stays together! Lol!), decided that we would try her other books, with this (Lament) and what we thought originally was the second follow on book to Lament, (Ballad), would be the ideal purchase!
Sixteen year old Dee is a cloverhand, this is someone who can see fairies, (though for a good portion of the book she doesn't actually know that!), she is also an amazing musician though with very little confidence when it comes to competing.
At a competition she meets gorgeous and mysterious Luke, who not only seems to fancy her silly, but also gives her the confidence to play her music the way she wants, winning her her first title.
But she soons realises that there is more to beautiful Luke, and maybe he wants more than just a summer fling, couple that with the mysterious man that is stalking her it feels like it will be a long summer!
I have read fairie related books before, and have quite enjoyed them but felt that this book was a little flat feeling, at no time did i feel any empathy with the main charcter of Dee, she came across as quite weak at times and at no time really questioned her involvement with Luke, even when strange things started to happen, which (when you consider she hadn't realised she was a cloverhand until the second chapter!) was completely unrealistic!
Luke on the other hand i did feel a conection with, i really cared that he was suffering, even when it reveals he is actually integral to Dee's survival, i loved how he slowly burned for Dee, knowing that he may well have finally (after a thousand years!) found "the one", but knew he couldn't indulge in his feelings, so reading how he held back but yearned at the same time made the book much better for me!
Story wise again it was a little flat for me, a cloverhand challenging another cloverhand for postion of power within the fairie community, with the only redeeming quality of it being the fairies themselves, these are portrayed as vicious and self serving, thinking nothing of murder and rape for their own amusement, they were in short very menacing feeling!
I really didn't feel this book at all, with the only saving grace (or reason i kept reading until the end!) was the love story between Dee and Luke, though this is a bit of a heartbreaker twist at the end!
This book (like the Shiver series of books), is aimed towards the younger reader market, but seems to have crossed over to the fantasy genre, meaning i can now share books with my 11 year old daughter, without worrying there is anymore than a little colourful language to contend with, though they do all seem to revolve around teenage angst and unrequited love!
Price wise this is available from "The works" as part of a "buy 3 for £5.00" deal currently running.
Thanks for reading x
Synopsis: From Amazon
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.
OK I am totally going to gush so don't say I didn't warn you. I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater's. So be prepared.
My first gush is about Maggie's writing style - it is so descriptive that the mental picture I had of the ice-cream sundae literally made my mouth water. The emotion was woven into the narrative like a rich tapestry transferring me into the book easily. Full immersion achieved. Music plays a big part in Maggie's stories it felt as if it was flowing from the pages.
Written in first person narrative from Dierdre's (Dee) perspective; musically gifted yet a social outcast. She isn't unhappy about this status although she is aware of it. Beautiful but totally oblivious to this fact. From the beginning we have the impression that there is a family secret waiting to be uncovered. A dysfunctional family unit but with undercurrents of the secrets ready to be unearthed, leaving us wondering the reason behind the discord and its effect on their interactions.
The two male protagonist compare and contrast wonderfully together. James the best friend, in love with Dee, solid, reliable and dependable. Luke. the mystery man, dangerous, good looking with a tortured soul - is it any wonder I was drawn to Luke instantly. The use of the dove to portray the tortured soul was genius.
The intertwining of myth/legend and folklore added depth to the storyline plus a sense of realism to the narrative. I adored how all the different types of faeries were portrayed. The music and dancing fuelled the fire in my imagination; totally tactile and three dimensional; absorbing all the senses.
The plot unravels piece by piece like building blocks each chapter building on the last and laying the foundation for the next. As the story unfolds Dee realises she is far stronger than she thought she was and appreciates the bonds of friendship that she has. A journey of self discovery that is not always an easy path to take.
The surprising plot twist left me speechless. The ending was bitter sweet, I felt like it was tugging my heart strings in the same way as Dee tugged the strings on her harp. Yes, I did cry.
A truly touching read.
Lament is the first out of two book in Maggie Stiefvater's Books of Faerie duo that was released in 2008.
Deidre "Dee" Monaghan is a fantastic and extremely talented musician but she is also really shy. She is terrified of performing and throws up before each one and she's just about to play in the biggest arts competition of the year. Luckily, extremely good looking Luke Dillon is there to hold her hair back and put some confidence back in her. Dee's life is completely ordinary, apart from the fact that she has the ability of telekinesis and Luke seems to be the complete opposite. Everything about him is mysterious and Dee cannot help but be drawn to him.
Her Grandmother doesn't exactly agree. The first time that she meets Luke, she warns Dee off him, knowing what he really is. Luke entangles Dee in a world of faeries, magic and deception, a world where she has no way out and no way of changing what she is. Dee is falling for him hard and demands answers about his past but when she starts learning more, she, Luke and best friend James are all put in extreme danger and she has some really hard choices to make.
If you have read my review of Ballad, you will know that I read these books in the wrong order, leaving me with mixed feelings about Dee, the heroine. I totally changed my mind about her though after reading this book. Even though she learned some pretty bad things about Luke which left her unsure of her feelings for a while but you can tell that she is completely in love and would do anything for him. Dee doesn't know how to deal with her newfound powers or what to do with them and Luke helps her through that, pushing them closer together. They also have something in common when it comes to music as Luke plays the flute, which is what brings them together to begin with. I thought that Dee was cold and uncaring in the next book but reading her story made me realise just how much she went through and how much she lost.
There are two heroes in this book and both were fantastic. First there is Luke, the love interest. He was everything that I expected from him, being mysterious, sexy and intelligent all at the same time. I really enjoyed that we didn't know everything about him for quite a while in the story and has past was unfolded as it went on. Although he was supposed to be the bad guy, he turned good after he met Dee. I loved how when she read his mind, she could see everything that he had done in the past and even though it was extremely bad, she could see how sorry he was and how much he didn't want to do it.
Secondly there is James (the main character of Ballad). He doesn't have a huge part in this story but he is always there for Dee when she needs him. It's obvious that he is jealous of her relationship with Luke, because he wants her for himself but he doesn't really get in the way. If anything, he wants Dee to be happy. Dee and James are close because they both share the gift of music and knows what it feels like to be on the outside but when he reveals that he can predict the future, they become even closer. James is cocky and witty which is why I liked him. He was different from any other hero that I have read in a long time and he stood out a lot to me.
The book is written solely from Dee's point of view so we don't really know what everyone else is going through. I really liked how Ballad was told from different perspectives so I would have liked to have seen that in this book too. I really wanted to know exactly what was going through Luke's head and what he had been through in the past. Him having his own book, set in the past, would be a fantastic idea.
There is a lot going on throughout the story which kept me hooked although I thought there was a little too much going on at times. There is everything that happens to Dee, a bit of James, Dee's co worker Sara and then Dee's family, as well as the faerie world. This book would have been more effective if there had been less characters and more simplicity to the plot.
Stiefvater puts a lot of effort into the detail of the faerie world which is what makes the book so magical. I could imagine what each of the different kinds of faerie looked like and it put very clear pictures in my mind. I loved knowing what was going on in the different world and Stiefvater managed to bring good and evil together really well.
If I had read this before Ballad, I would have still wanted to know more about James over Dee because he was much more interesting. It's a good book but not as good as the sequel.