In this promising debut novel, Deirdre is a gifted musician who throws up before every performance. When Luke Dillon steps out of her dreams and into a girls’ bathroom to hold back her hair, she has no way of knowing the danger she’s in, or the tangled, mysterious faerie world that she’s now a part of, willing or not.
Deirdre is gifted at more than music, though. For one thing, she’s a cloverhand, someone who can see faeries (though that is not a gift anyone would want to have if they knew what it meant). That has brought Luke into her life, though, and she’s falling for him–and then she finds out that he’s the cruel faerie Queen’s captive assasain, bound to her for the past thousand years by his soul that she keeps in a cage.
This revelation comes with many others as she tries to discover the truth about herself, and save the people that she cares about–not just Luke, because she has a human life, too; she cares about her family and her best friend, James, and the faeries’ interest in her puts them in danger. Deirdre is racing to save herself and the people she loves, and, in a race against homicidal maniac evil faeries, the odds don’t seem to be stacked in her favor.
Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception is a book that, once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. It fueled my bad habit of reading during class. I loved it. It was lovely and complex and complete, and you know I’m a sucker for a story with a sequel that doesn’t feel like it needs to be a story with a sequel. Sequel-feeling-sequels are my pet peeve, and I was glad to see that Maggie Stiefvater didn’t fall into that trap. I’m thrilled that there’s going to be a sequel, too; it’ll be called Ballad, and while the story felt complete, there were also things that I would have liked to see explored more thoroughly–I’m hoping these things (it would be a little spoilery to go into detail) will be addressed.
I loved the characters here; Deirdre was a sympathetic and realistic heroine. She also grew as a person, becoming a little more aware of other people and the rest of the world, which was good. I loved her best friend, James, and her Granna, in particular; they were awesome. I was also highly entertained by Sara, Deirdre’s coworker at Dave’s Ice. The characterization was wonderful for the most part, though Deirdre’s other family members (parents and aunt) could have been better developed.
Just as in real life, faeries were not the only issue in Deirdre’s life. She also dealt with her relationships with her mother and best friend, and her struggles as a performer. On the faerie side of her life, she also handled her confusion about her budding romance with Luke. It added a nice touch of realism to the story, because in real life people’s entire lives are not generally consumed by one thing the way they sometimes are in fiction, but I would also have liked to see a little more depth to some of the other storylines (besides the faeries and the romance). I actually think this book could have used 50-100 more pages to tell this story, but it was fine as is, too.
I also wanted to mention the illustrations and quotes that began the different sections of the novel. They were lovely, and fit well into the book. I enjoyed them; the artist did a wonderful job.
Maggie Stiefvater told a gorgeous, multilayered story in her first novel. About fifty pages from the end, I realized that I really didn’t know what was going to happen, or how the story was going to sort itself out, and that was awesome; unpredictable seems so rare sometimes! This is a wonderfully told story, and I love the way the words flow (lyrical might also be an appropriate adjective). The incorporation of music into this story is a nice touch; it helps to add an extra dimension to this faerie story, which is always nice as faerie stories become increasingly common in YA literature. I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely recommend this well-written, compulsively readable story. And I can’t wait for the sequel!