Book Club: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

(Harpist Dee meets mysterious Luke, who she finds herself drawn to. However, she doesn’t realise that he conceals a dangerous past, and that her meeting him isn’t just coincidence.)

Ok so I finished this book on the 13th and while I thought the imagery used and the storyline was great, I did also feel that it was a little rushed and even confused me in places.

The book starts with a prologue which is –as you later get to find in the book – our introduction to Luke, the key line being ‘C’mon you’re not done yet’ or something like that, as that statement foreshadows that this character will cross the path of the main female character Dee, as Chapter 1 then starts with her perspective as the rest of the book carries on this way.

Chapter 1 starts with Dee going to an important competition and meets Luke in the toilets whist throwing up due to nerves. What confused me at this point was the statement “Luke was real…people didn’t just walk right out of dreams.” However, you never actually get clued in about this dream or what it entailed, and it could’ve been made to be a foreshadowing dream hinting at events to come. Unless the prologue was the dream, in which case this needed to be made clearer I felt.

I liked the imagery used in describing the surroundings to create a vivid picture for the reader, for example, when Dee wanders off after the competition into a deserted meadow type place where she first encounters Adahon or ‘Freckle Freak’ as she nicknames him later on. The same with the descriptions of characters, even down to their names, particularly Brendan and Una.

I felt that the whole scenario whereby Dee discovers she’s a Clover hand, and when she tells James was executed really well and again was very vivid, to the point where I could see it in my head like a movie.

I liked the use of James as the best friend and the plot twist involving him towards the end was a good move on Stiefvater’s part, as it wasn’t something I expected, whereas Granna and what happened to her was pretty much a given under the circumstances but James I did not expect.
Likewise the incident with Aunt Delia, I just thought she was just a bitch, I didn’t realise she was involved with Them –as they are called in the book- in any way. However, that was also something that confused me as I didn’t understand how Delia could’ve been in cahoots with Them after they killed Granna, and why she throws Dee out of the house. This was then explained to me by a friend who said “yeah but in the book, Delia nearly died when she was younger,” and it is inferred that was due to faeries, “and she was in it from the start so maybe she just wants it out of her life and because Dee is connected to the faeries she just wants her out.” And whilst this makes sense, they also saved her life so why wouldn’t she be grateful to them after they saved her life and gave her an impeccable singing voice? That whole connection did confuse me a bit.

Similarly, the rivalry between the two sisters Delia and Dee’s mom, was hinted it when Dee overhears them arguing in the hospital, and when Dee infers that Delia’s singing voice was actually taken from her mother, but this isn’t really confirmed.

I liked the Love-story aspect, and whilst it felt ‘real’ and you wanted them to be together, I felt that too was a bit rushed as one minute he’s supposed to kill her and the next he’s saying he loves her, and at first you don’t realise whether that is just another ploy or not. I feel as though a confrontation was needed whereby she discovers he is supposed to kill her and then he would dispel that by telling her how he felt, stereotypical yes, but it is kind of what you would expect. You kind of get close to that when they swap memories in the church and she see’s all of his past and things he’s done, yet she goes back to him so that could count, but again, I felt it needed to be made clearer as to when his feelings stop just being an act and become real.

The ending was amazing and again didn’t expect what happened, again being able to see it playing out in my head like a film. Eleanor becoming queen was an unexpected plot twist, seeing as they were thanking Dee for saving one of their own, and the queen was blasting her for being ‘Ordinary’ when she asks them to choose their queen. I expected Dee to be crowned and it was a little out of the blue to me that Eleanor was crowned. However, it was nice to see that it was in fact the influence of The Queen that made Eleanor, in particular, the way she was, as when she is crowned queen herself she says to Luke “you served that queen, not this one,” showing that she only behaved that way out of fear as she would rather obey the queen than be made an example of like Luke.

I would like there to be a sequel to Lament as I would like to see how Luke and Dee’s relationship progresses, however, I get the feeling it would be very similar to Shiver, as now Luke is a faerie Dee can only see him in certain ways and at certain times, like in Shiver with the wolves.

So whilst there were elements I felt could’ve been a bit tighter I did really enjoy the story and was glad for the happy ending and slightly intrigued as to what happens next.

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