Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publish Date: October 1, 2008
Genre: YA, paranormal
Series: Books of Faerie
2. Ballad (October 1,2009)
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...
If you haven’t heard me gush about Maggie Stiefvater yet, then where have you been? I love her writing. I wish I had reviews gushing about how much I love Shiver and Linger, the first two novels in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, however I read them before I started up this blog and never wrote reviews for them. I’m hoping to have the time to read them before Forever comes out (JULY 12, 2011!!) and write reviews for all of them. But I was saying...
I love Maggie’s writing. I honestly don’t know how to describe it. It’s magic. It’s awesome. It just pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. That’s why I stayed up until 2 am on two occasions reading LAMENT. That’s not something I usually do. But, I love Maggie’s writing so much and she just wouldn’t let me go to sleep. She would whisper at me from the pages: “But don’t you want to find out what’s going on? Don’t you want to find out what Luke is? Don’t you want to see what’s going to happen??” and I’d say “OK fine, Maggie, but it better be good” and it always was.
Deirdre is a talented musician with a dysfunctional family. Her mother manages her life, her father barely seems to have any impact on it (I didn’t realize until halfway through that she had a father), her Granna acts weird and spews stuff about faeries and wearing iron, and her aunt is way too full of herself. James, her best friend, keeps her grounded and makes sure she has fun. He’s the light in her world until she meets Luke, who holds her hair back while she pukes before a performance (her pre-performance ritual so to speak). The story unfolds as Luke and Deirdre become friends and she starts seeing faeries. She eventually learns that they are very dangerous creatures and are trying to take her away from house and home. Then a whole bunch of crazy stuff happens and we learn about what They (the faeries) want from Deirdre, what is up with Luke and who he is, and more! But you’ll have to read it to find out what ;).
I really liked Deirdre and Luke as characters. Never while I was reading did I get frustrated or irritated or bored with them. They were both consistent and real throughout the book. I love how they were able to bond over music, with Deirdre playing the harp and Luke playing the flute. I have give kudos to Maggie for being so unique with her instrument choices for her characters (especially a male playing the flute!). It may have seemed sudden, but Luke and Deirdre practically had an instantaneous trust in one another. For a character like Deirdre who is shy and has few friends, seeing her make a connection with Luke was nice. Their relationship was complicated because Deirdre wasn’t sure what Luke was at first and, even when she found out things about him that should have sent her running, she still felt she could trust him. By the end, I was just rooting for them and their relationship, hoping that it would work out and everything would be ok.
I honestly don’t know what else to say about LAMENT. I mean, there’s TONS to say, but at the same time, I’m having a hard time pulling together words. I want to tell you about all these awesome parts so that you’ll want to pick it up, but I don’t know how to do that without spoilers. So… here: there’s fog and a graveyard; there’s a physical connection between Luke and Deirdre, although not in the typical, sexual way; there’s a bitchy aunt who I hate; there’s helpful, mysterious, funny, and scary fey; there’s action, there’s pain, there’s sadness; and there’s a bittersweet ending. If you want to see how all of this comes together or just want to read a dark faerie book with a subdued, but steamy romance, then definitely pick up LAMENT and give Maggie’s debut a try!