Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception

3112850by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel – October 8, 2008

I’ve been a Stiefvater fan for years now, and I happened upon this and its sequel at a little independent bookstore when I was exploring Estes Park. I meant to read it but it isn’t a common find these days–so when they fell into my lap I was very excited! This is a fun peek at her earliest work. The unique descriptions and darkly thrilling plots she’s now known for are already here, but the voice is younger and less polished. The earnest writing makes up for some cheesy moments, and although Dee tends to tell you what she shouldn’t be feeling quite a bit, I can forgive it for the genuinely interesting faery world that is weaving its spells around her.

It’s so clear here that everything the author loves went into this story: Virginian small towns, Irish culture, cars, bagpipes, and music generally were given the spotlight and the characters lived among it all with stilted bravado.

But then the faeries won’t leave Deirdre alone, and their attention grows deadlier by the day. This is when it feels like the characters shed their scripts and claim their own identities, and everything flows smoothly from there. I love the twists on faerie folklore, and more than anything I loved the ending! So often in these stories the clever human finally overcomes the mischievous faeries and solves the riddle that lets everything turn out for the best. This one doesn’t do that and it’s gutsy and maddeningly good.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Lament is available on Goodreads and on Llewellyn’s store website, here. This bookstore sponsors Flux, Stiefvater’s publisher for the Books of Faerie. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Tithe by Holly Black – Kaye lives a vaguely interesting life in New Jersey, but when a fae warrior shows up in the forest and she saves his life, she has no idea what’s about to happen to her. This is a modern retelling of the Tam Lin myth, and has a very similar style and tone to Lament. The riddles are fun, and if you need a fix when you realize the Lament trilogy is still unfinished, I would start here. See my review.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – This is one of the best YA fantasy books I’ve ever read, and I think it’s what Tithe was meant to be. It’s dark, clever, and heart-wrenching, don’t miss it! See my review here.
  • M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman – A collection of paranormal short stories with his usual flair (note that these stories do come in other anthologies, this just happens to be the one I have). I enjoy his dark stories and writing, and I think fans of faery folklore would find tales to love here too.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – This YA paranormal/fantasy quartet wraps up in 2016, and the writing is amazing! Blue Sargent lives in a tiny Virginia town, and she’s about to meet four of the most intriguing private-school boys you could imagine. They’re looking for the lost Welsh king to grant them a wish, and Blue’s seen enough strange things to know they’ll probably find him. See my review here.
  • The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw – A middle-grade tale with traditional changeling and faery lore that is beautifully done. When Saaski starts to realize she is a changeling, she decides to go into the faery mound to find her true family and the human child she replaced.
  • Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – I admit, the cover and the fact that this is set in small-town Missouri grabbed me. (Who uses Missouri for anything?! This Missourian was very excited. Then Gone Girl happened, which was a bit more believable…) Anyway, the point is, the narration is a bit awkward, but the magic and the story here kept me interested, and I think if you enjoyed Lament you’d like this too (though faeries are not present). Tessa Gratton is one of Stiefvater’s close friends.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – A remote island implied to be close to the UK hosts an annual race among the natives who are able to ride the water-horses (kelpies). Puck is the first girl to enter this race, but she isn’t the only one with everything to lose. This has a similar use of folklore magic and protection from magic that feels true. See my review here.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – A dark novella I absolutely love, that has the same sense of vague “rules” when it comes to interacting with supernatural creatures, be they faeries or something else. See my review here.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Backlist Bonus: Tithe | To Live a Thousand Lives

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: