I got Lament from the library because I was on a definite Maggie Stiefvater kick earlier this year and having finished her other books decided to go back to some of her earlier work and read her faerie series. The book had some definite Stiefvater elements with the fun characters, interesting relationship problems, and a bit of magic to pull it all together.
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. (Synopsis from GoodReads)
I like how Stiefvater’s background in the arts really plays into her characters. They always say, Write what you know, and while I don’t know that Stiefvater has ever seen a faerie, it is clear she has a passion and a gift for the arts because her artistic characters are always really grounded in that reality no matter what crazy supernatural stuff is happening around them. I also really liked the different faerie creatures that Deirdre sees, they were interesting and had unique personalities and came into the story with defined back stories which you could tell just from the way they interacted with the world. I also found Deirdre’s family’s past information extremely interesting. The relationship she has with her aunt and her aunt’s relationship to her mother where all really well played out in a way that was different, as it too is based on supernatural stuff, and grounded in the reality of sibling relationships and family dynamics.
My only concern is that this is again with the Insta Love. But that just seems to be a hallmark of Stiefvater’s writing, so I probably should quit complaining since I’m in love with her work otherwise. I did think it interesting that there were also the element of the main character befriending someone she didn’t think she would befriend, similar to Grace and Isabelle’s relationship in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. While there are similar elements between the series, the characters have different personas and unique challenges and the stories are very different from one another.
Lament is a great opening to a series about family dynamics, relationship problems, and one girl’s discovery that she can see the things that crawl through the night.