August 26, 2008
Deirdre Monaghan is a harpist -- one of the best in her county. She's all set to perform in the 26th Annual Eastern Virginia Arts Festival with her best friend, James, who is an amazing piper. Of course, it'd all be easier if James wasn't running late, and she wasn't about to puke her guts out in fear. Stage fright. It happens every single time.
What has never happened before is that a guy comes into the bathroom while she's throwing up, and he holds her hair. He's gorgeous, and he's the same guy she saw in her dream last night...
The guy of her dreams? Literally?
The too-good-to-be-true vibe continues as it turns out that Luke is a flautist who is at least as skilled as she is a harpist -- though he says she's not pushing herself to do anything much on her instrument. Together, the two of them win the highest prizes in the Arts Festival, but by the time they hand out the prizes, Deidre knows that there's something more to Luke than what meets the eye. He's... strange.
And strange things happen around him.
For one thing, her dog, Rye, growls at him -- and Rye doesn't growl at anyone. For another thing, Deirdre's Granna doesn't like him. "You reek of Them," she says, and tells Luke to go back to where he came from.
Ever since she's met Luke, Deirdre's met other strange people -- a cute, freckled guy who shows up, smelling of thyme. A strangely beautiful statuesque woman. And thousands upon thousands of perfect and perfectly formed four-leaf clovers.
Deirdre's best friend, James, admits to be slightly psychic, and Deirdre discovers that she's more than slightly telekinetic. Deirdre is a cloverhands, a girl who sees faeries. And Luke is a gallowglass -- a faerie assassin, who's been sent to make sure she sees nothing ever again.
Luke...the boy she thought could change her from being boring and bland, the boy who admits he's fascinated with her.
LAMENT: THE FAERIE QUEEN'S DECEPTION displays a world both larger and less ordinary than Deirdre has ever dreamed.
Luke is an enigma -- at once older than the world, and a regular teen. Fans of the Twilight series will see a bit of Edward in him. The novel has much to offer, but ended before I was ready, and I was left with a mouthful of questions, such as...
Why wasn't Deirdre a bit more curious earlier? What happens to patient, wonderful James, and his uncanny piper's talent? What does it mean to him that he is the soul saved, or does Deirdre tell him? Is only music left between Deirdre and Luke? What happens with Delia and Granna? How could Deirdre forget her family and all she'd ever known if she wasn't fairy-touched, if she could see through the glamor?
Such frustrated questions might well be answered in the sequel! Ballad: The Gathering of Faerie is due out October 2009. And, if you're needing a Maggie Stiefvater fix in between, the author posts short stories every Friday @ the Merry Sisters of Fate, a blog she writes along with some other stupendous writers. You can also see her artwork at Portraits With Character.
Pre-order this book from an independent bookstore near you! Coming soon: October 2009!