I’m a little late to the game with Lament. I’ve heard so many great things about it, but when I picked it up from my library a few months back I just couldn’t get past the first chapter. I don’t remember why I put it down. It’s so strange, because this time around I was sucked in immediately! I had decided to give Stiefvater’s first novel another chance since I so enjoyed her other series (Shiver and Linger). I’m glad I did.
Deirdre Monaghan is an extremely talented harp player with a bad case of stage fright. Not just your typical ol’ sweaty-palms stage fright, but vomiting-your-guts-up-before-every-single-performance stage fright. Lament opens on a music competition at Deirdre’s high school. While throwing up in the girls’ bathroom, she meets a boy who seems to have literally stepped out of her dreams. Luke Dillon is handsome, kind, plays the flute, and even holds Deirdre’s hair back for her while she’s vomiting into the toilet. What girl could resist?
When Deirdre plays a duet with him–her on the harp, him on the flute–the music they create together basically seals the deal, and she falls head over heels in love with Luke.
Then really weird things start to happen. Deirdre finds not one, but multiple four-leaf clovers in and around her house (eventually her entire front lawn is turned into a carpet of four-leaf clovers). She’s being stalked by a handsome but decidedly creepy red-haired man, and worst (or best) of all, she’s able to move inanimate objects just by thinking about it. Through a bit of sleuthing and discovery, Deirdre realizes the existence of fearies, a group of otherwordly, tricky creatures, without conscience, that revolve and serve as the court of a a powerful, ageless human Queen.
Even as she falls more and more in love with Luke, she understands that there are things he is keeping from her, secrets that he literally cannot tell her. But these secrets are important, and as Deirdre becomes more powerful, the Queen, jealous and deadly, tries harder and harder to kill her.
I really enjoyed Lament. It progressed very smoothly and I enjoyed Stiefvater’s wit and occasional humor–sometimes it doesn’t work in books like this, or you get the feeling that the author is just trying way too hard, and it ends up being kind of embarrassing. However, Stiefvater pulled it off and also kept the overal atmosphere of Lament mysterious and lyrical. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Deirdre and Luke as well as some other readers and bloggers have. I did admire Deirdre as a protagonist, and I also liked how neatly Stiefvater had her solve the mystery, while at the same time proving her bravery and “emerging from the shell” transformation.
The sequel is called Ballad, and deals with the story of Deirdre’s friend James (who also had a sizable role in Lament).
Author’s Website: www.maggiestiefvater.com