Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book 67: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, Maggie Stiefvater

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1) I loved Steifvater's Scorpio Races and really enjoyed Raven Boys, so when this came up as a Kindle Deal of the Day, I jumped on it. While this was not as good as the aforementioned books, I did enjoy it (and read it in about two days).

Dierdre (Dee) Monaghan is a relatively ordinary sixteen-year-old girl--if it's normal to be preternaturally gifted at music, the harp specifically, and an exceptional student (although this last is mostly just hinted at, since the story takes place during the summer). At some kind of music competition, Dee meets Luke, a mysterious and singularly good-looking boy, who convinces Dee to play a duet with him. The duet, naturally, wins the competition for them, but it also draws all kinds of unusual attention to Dee--particularly the attention of the fee, who start appearing all over town.

As Dee gets closer to Luke, she begins to discover that he has a dark past that he can't really talk about. At the same time, the Fey start closing in, and Dee discovers that not only is her new romance at risk--but her life and the lives of those she cares about may be forfeit too.

So far, so good. Stiefvater is great at plotting, and the story moves along swiftly. I thought it was a nice balance of romance, dry humor, and truly creepy faerie stuff. Other reviewers have pointed out that Dee's parents seem unusually absentee and oblivious (particularly given that her mother may have encountered fey stuff in the past), and I agree this is a problem. Still other reviewers have compared this to Twilight, and while I get the comparison--paranormal love story, hot potentially-paranormal lover, and best friend in love with MC--it didn't feel like Twilight to me when I read it. For one thing, I think it's use of old legends and stories is much more compelling and subtle. (I also wanted bonus points for knowing that the name Dierdre means "sorrow." This is what comes of having a warped sense of humor and of deciding with my sister, years ago, that if one of us had girl twins we should name them Felicity and Dierdre--for happiness and sorrow. Needless to say, it's probably good that neither of us had said twins. But I digress.)

While I read, I found Dee's obsession with Luke to be believable, given the all-consuming nature of first loves; in retrospect, though, it's disturbing to me that Dee wasn't *more* disturbed by Luke, particularly as his secrets start coming to light. I think I also have a bad track record for preferring the third wheel in a love triangle: I spent most of the book rooting for James instead of Luke. I just didn't get his appeal.

Criticisms aside, I think this is a book that paranormal fans, and Stiefvater's fans in particular, would enjoy.

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