“Lament” by Maggie Stiefvater

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I bought Maggie Stiefvater’s Lament in about 2008/2009, after reading her books Shiver and Linger. When I saw she had this new book, I thought “Well, I already know I like her books, so maybe I’ll take a look,” and after reading the blurb I was quite interested in reading it. But the main thing that attracted me to buying the book was the front cover. To me, it’s beautiful. I love the musical notes and staves dotted across it (I’ll be honest, they’re the real reason I finally decided to buy it!), and the colour scheme of red and black goes so well together – with the white bird and lettering across it, it really stands out. So, I bought the book because I really loved the cover and because I knew I liked Maggie’s books.

The blurb, for those of you who are unaware, is as follows:

“Sixteen–year–old Dee is a cloverhand – someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance.

But Dee doesn’t realize that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world.

And she is his next target.”

Short, simple, but very effective – I was immediately drawn in. However, unfortunately my eagerness to read was short–lived, as the prologue, whilst good, didn’t have my attention from the get–go, which is of course a bit annoying. But, I persevered and fortunately it picked up pretty quickly. Dee’s internal monologue in the first few pages of the first chapter (and indeed throughout the novel) always has me laughing quietly with amusement – things such as “Man, he was definitely not a picnic table”, which just crop up seemingly out of nowhere, have my laughing instantly because it’s so unexpected and obviously such a strange thing to say (that quote does make more sense when in the context of the conversation, but it still never fails to amuse me!).

The character of Luke is introduced to us pretty quickly, and he quickly became a favourite character of mine. He’s funny, and he’s nice to Dee, but there are definitely times when you can tell there’s something sinister about him – even without the blurb telling you he’s an assassin! Dee is another good character, though I get really irritated with her at points – but that’s typical in just about any book, there’s got to be at least one character that annoys you! Overall, though, I do like Dee’s character.

My favourite character in the whole book, though, would have to be Aodhan – or “Freckle Freak”. He’s not a nice character at all, yet he’s still a favourite. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t feature more often in the book, but hey – he’s there, and that makes me happy!

One thing that I really disliked about the book isn’t to do with the writing style, or the characters, or punctuation mistakes within the book – it’s the fact that the blurb led me on. So, the blurb tells us that Dee is the next target of Luke, a faerie assassin. Yet this is barely referenced in the book! Okay, I get that you wouldn’t go up to a girl and say “Hey, I’m Luke and I’m going to kill you. Sorry about that”, because that would just be daft. And the book’s written in the first person’s voice of Dee, so you couldn’t exactly jump off to Luke having thoughts about killing her – that would just be weird. But how hard would it be to have Luke actually trying to kill her, or at least going to attempt it then deciding he can’t go through with it? It just annoys me that the blurb says one thing, and it’s only brushed upon briefly in the book – I wanted some cool faerie assassination, but no, it seemed it wasn’t to be.

Despite this, I really enjoyed Lament, and its sequel, Ballad, is also quite good too – I’m just waiting for the third book now! I’d definitely recommend reading Lament as it is pretty good, and I vastly preferred it to Shiver and Linger. The music in this book is also amazing, as I’ve been listening to the songs on YouTube for the past hour – they really fit in with the book, and it’s great 🙂

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