Monday, 11 October 2010

Review: Lament - Maggie Stiefvater

Goodreads synopsis:
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 . . .

I'm going to preface my review of 'Lament' by saying that overall I did thoroughly enjoy it.  I'd definitely give it four out of five stars and I'm now going to read the rest of Maggie Stiefvater's books.  But (you knew this was coming!)...although I enjoyed it, I wanted to love this book so much.  I wanted to be gripped by it and swept away by it but I found that I still had one foot on the ground the whole way through.  I wasn't completely engulfed by the story and I didn't feel like I wanted to immeditely rush out and buy a copy for my own collection.  I hate saying that because I know so many people love this book but I didn't have that total emotional connection to it.

However, even saying all that, I still think that this is a cracking addition to faerie lore and I adored the style of Maggie Stiefvater's writing - dreamy and inventive and poetic with a very magical quality to it.  I loved the main character, Deirdre and the development of her relationship with Luke, the gallowglass, although I wasn't totally satisfied with the ending.  I liked her self-effacing nature and her insecurities and the way in which she matures and grows in confidence.  I would have liked to have seen more of the background and relationship with her family developed further, particularly what happened to her mother and aunt when they were younger, but I accept that Stiefvater probably left some of that out to concentrate the story firmly on Deirdre herself.

I thought that the relationship between Deirdre and her best-friend James (who is funny and clever and witty) was well written and extremely realistic and it will be interesting to read 'Ballad' which is told from James' point-of-view. 

I'm disappointed that I didn't love it but I may well give it a few months and then read it again.  You never know, it might just win me over next time around!


  1. I didn't love love it either. If did, however, really love the beginning. I love the clovers and all the weird stuff that happened to her right away. I just was very confused at the end. As for Ballad, it was pretty good. But it doesn't answer any of the questions Lament left unanswered.

  2. I love Maggie's writing, but I didn't love this book either. Deirdre irritated me. And I always hate it when girls forget their best friend who is secretly in love with them.
    I'd like to get to Ballad some time though.
    Alison Can Read


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