Lament is the first in a duo of Faerie books by Maggie Stiefvater. I have had my copy for a while now but the US version. The UK edition is due to be released in January 2011 by Scholastic UK.
Deidre "Dee" Monaghan is a fantastic and extremely talented musician but she is also really shy. She is terrified of performing and throws up before each one and she's just about to play in the biggest arts competition of the year. Luckily, extremely good looking Luke Dillon is there to hold her hair back and put some confidence back in her. Dee's life is completely ordinary, apart from the fact that she has the ability of telekinesis and Luke seems to be the complete opposite. Everything about him is mysterious and Dee cannot help but be drawn to him.
Her Grandmother doesn't exactly agree. The first time that she meets Luke, she warns Dee off him, knowing what he really is. Luke entangles Dee in a world of faeries, magic and deception, a world where she has no way out and no way of changing what she is. Dee is falling for him hard and demands answers about his past but when she starts learning more, she, Luke and best friend James are all put in extreme danger and she has some really hard choices to make.
What I thought
I actually read Lament and Ballad in the wrong order and it left me with mixed feelings about Dee, the heroine. I totally changed my mind about her though after reading this book. Even though she learned some pretty bad things about Luke which left her unsure of her feelings for a while but you can tell that she is completely in love and would do anything for him. Dee doesn't know how to deal with her newfound abilities or what to do with them and Luke helps her through that, pushing them closer together. They also have something in common when it comes to music as Luke plays the flute, which is what brings them together to begin with. I thought that Dee was cold and uncaring in the next book but reading her story made me realise just how much she went through and how much she lost.
There are two heroes in this book and both were fantastic. First there is Luke, the love interest. He was everything that I expected from him, being mysterious, sexy and intelligent all at the same time. I think that if I had been Dee, I wouldn't have been able to resist him. I really enjoyed that we didn't know everything about him for quite a while in the story and has past was unfolded as it went on. Although he was supposed to be the bad guy, the good in him began to slowly show after he met Dee. I loved how she could see the bad things that he had done but was able to look past them due to knowing him so well and what he was really feeling.
Secondly there is James (the main character of Ballad). He doesn't have a huge part in this story but he is always there for Dee when she needs him. It's obvious that he is jealous of her relationship with Luke, because he wants her for himself but he doesn't really get in the way. If anything, he wants Dee to be happy. Dee and James are close because they both share the gift of music and knows what it feels like to be on the outside but when he reveals that he also has a special ability, they become even closer. James is cocky and witty which is why I liked him. He was different from any other hero that I have read in a long time and he stood out a lot to me.
The book is written solely from Dee's point of view so we don't really know what everyone else is going through. I really liked how Ballad was told from different perspectives so I would have liked to have seen that in this book too. I really wanted to know exactly what was going through Luke's head and what he had been through in the past. The fact that I didn't know what he was thinking did add to his mysteriousness though which was a good thing. Luke having his own book, set in the past, would be a fantastic idea.
Maggie Stiefvater puts a lot of effort into the detail of the faerie world which is what makes the book so magical. I could imagine what each of the different kinds of faerie looked like and it put very clear pictures in my mind. I loved knowing what was going on in the other world and Stiefvater managed to bring good and evil together really well. From the instant that Dee meets Luke, the action very rarely stops. The story is exciting, tense and interesting and one that I couldn't stop reading. As the story was coming to an end, I think my heart skipped a few beats waiting to find out how things were going to pan out but I wasn't disappointed with how Lament ended.