Lament: Excellent YA fantasy

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Maggie Stiefvater: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

First love: it’s scary and confusing enough even when there aren’t homicidal faeries involved. Add in the homicidal faeries, and a girl can get in over her head before she can say “cold iron.”

Maggie Stiefvater‘s Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception is an excellent YA fantasy that will appeal to anyone who likes stories of the fae as they appear in the oldest legends: dangerous, seductive, and sometimes deadly. Let me say right up front: Lament is downright frightening in places. These are not your fluffy, sparkly faeries. Getting mixed up with them can mean stark terror and heartbreaking choices.

The heroine, Deirdre, is one of Lament‘s treasures. She is sought after by the Fair Folk because of her uncanny musical and psychic talents, and in less capable hands, this character could easily become a Mary Sue. Instead, she’s a painfully real teenager who throws up from stage fright, loses her temper, and has a bit too much on her emotional plate.

Her romance with Luke, a boy with faerie connections and a dark past, is pitch-perfect, combining the highs and lows of an ordinary teenage relationship with the perils specific to Deirdre and Luke’s situation. Stiefvater does a great job entwining the two.

Also well-done was the painful family history that simmers beneath the surface of Deirdre’s story. There are many things Deirdre doesn’t know about her family’s past, but what she doesn’t know can hurt her.

Lament ends in a way that is satisfactory and yet leaves just enough loose ends that I’m itching for the sequel, Ballad.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys Holly Black and Melissa Marr.

The Books of Faerie — (2008-2009) Young adult. Publisher: 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… Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

Maggie Stiefvater 1. Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception 2. Ballad: A Gathering of FaerieMaggie Stiefvater 1. Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception 2. Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie


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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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