Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception
Maggie Stiefvater, . . Flux, $9.95 (325pp) ISBN 978-0-7387-1370-0
YA readers searching for faerie stories will be happy to find this debut novel, an accomplished take on well-loved themes. Despite her immense talent, teenage musician Deirdre fights nausea-inducing anxiety every time she plays her harp in public. Enter handsome, romantic Luke at just the right moment: a stranger, he calms her before a major competition, performs a duet with her and together they win the grand prize. Deirdre can't help falling in love—only, why do four-leaf clovers keep appearing, and why does Luke keep throwing them away? And why does Deirdre's grandmother instantly express an aversion to Luke? Along with some familiar elements—ruthless faerie royalty, unsuspecting mortals targeted for their as yet unknown gifts, treacherous bargains—Stiefvater brings to her story several layers of romance, a knowledge of Irish music and a talent for plot twists. She is also unafraid of taking plot developments to their logical outcomes, even when they mar the characters' happiness. Vibrant and potent, her writing will hook genre fans. Ages 12–up.
Reviewed on: 10/13/2008