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159 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicately Crafted and Brutally Beautiful
As a rule, I generally find the fiction directed at young women frustrating. So often, it's populated by Kicky Young Heroines with *just enough* strength and self-reliance to be bothered when they ultimately have to be rescued by the male love interest, but not quite enough to get out of trouble without his help. Too many authors lack the skill to create dramatic...
Published on February 18, 2009 by Rowan Badger

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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, But Beautiful
I was highly anticipating this novel from before it was even released. Then, once the reviews started coming out, I was even more excited. After reading this book, however, I did not feel it was entirely worth the hype.

The cover is beautiful, the title grabs my attention, too, and the description piqued my interest, but the book itself falls short. While...
Published on February 25, 2009 by Tiffany


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159 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicately Crafted and Brutally Beautiful, February 18, 2009
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This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
As a rule, I generally find the fiction directed at young women frustrating. So often, it's populated by Kicky Young Heroines with *just enough* strength and self-reliance to be bothered when they ultimately have to be rescued by the male love interest, but not quite enough to get out of trouble without his help. Too many authors lack the skill to create dramatic tension without placing the main character in a danger she just can't escape on her own, and the most dramatically convenient means of rescue is usually her love interest. The underlying message of, "no matter how strong you are, you're still a girl and girls get rescued by men who think they're pretty," is pervasive.

So, it was with certain reservations that I picked up Maggie Stiefvater's "Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception" on the recommendation of a friend. In my head I was already trying to think of diplomatic ways to compliment a Young Adult Faerie Book without having to point out Kicky Ineffectual Heroines and overly perky and harmless (or unreasonably malicious and evil) fae.

"Lament" blew all that right out of the water.

First, the core of the story is about women. Deirdre's relationship with her mother and grandmother, her relationship with her aunt, her relationship with the Faerie Queen, all played out across the story of a young woman making the choices that will determine the course of her life. The love story, though woven through the tale, supports the focus on Deirdre instead of overwhelming it; this is a refreshing change from the languishing heroine waiting for life to start for her and bemoaning her singlehood (usually because 'normal guys' can't handle her Special Uniqueness) until magically the perfect guy comes along who just happens to be [insert dramatic and predictable otherworldly cliche].

Part of this comes from the fact that Stiefvater balances the love interest with a strong core friendship that it can't replace, and part of it comes from the fact that like many of us, Deirdre has to make most of her really hard decisions alone, and she's faced with a lot of very realistic complication in the way she has to balance the relationships in her life. Stiefvater places her protagonist in situations where she has to acknowledge and consider the very different sorts of love and relationships in her life, and can't simply let fear or infatuation guide her choices. It creates a much better dramatic tension and a much better read than simply placing her in an inescapable danger.

Stiefvater's fae were another pleasant surprise. Instead of the benign, ethereal beauties or the deliberately evil monsters I've come to expect from popular fiction (not to mention the giggly little winged flower sprites), the fae in "Lament" are complex and subtle. The word most appropriate to the faeries of the older tales is 'perilous', and these fae most certainly are. Are they good guys? Are they bad guys? Neither, really; they're somewhere outside of morality and bound to older, simpler, more brutal laws than human perception of right and wrong. Stiefvater *nails* the notion of the faerie bargain and the faerie favor perfectly, capturing the layers of gift, threat, and obligation. She manages to make them alien and familiar enough to be completely unsettling.

The book is a satisfying and well-crafted read. I finished it in a single sitting, and have read it again since. And having done so, I can recommend it without reservation or hesitiation. Read this book. Seriously.
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book!, September 7, 2008
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This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
It's About: Deirdre Monaghan, a sheltered teen and gifted harpist, who slowly discovers that she is strangely exceptional. Unfortunately for Dee, she's not the only one who's noticed she's strangely exceptional- the fey have taken notice, and they want to play with her. The problem is, fey playthings rarely survive the attention.

As a rule, I'm not real big on faerie stories. They just don't ring my bell on a visceral level, but Lament cuts down deep. Stiefvater is a gifted author who weaves a dangerous world, and sensual characters with ease, and balances the entire package with a wonderfully wry sense of humor. The strong voice and appealing characters are easy to love, and just like the fey's playthings that fall sway to their magic, you kind of- no, I found myself- completely entranced by the villains, as well.

Would I Give This Book To a Teen: Yes, absolutely. The impossible love that's impossible to deny is potent, and Dee is a fierce protagonist who refuses to be a victim to glamoured circumstances.

Would I Give This Book To an Adult: Oh, I am so giving this book to adults. I'm giving this book to my best friend so she can read it and squee with me; I'm going to tell my librarian friend Kyle to get this book, and hand it to kids who are on The Endless Breaking Dawn waiting list. I'm getting another copy and sending it to my bff's sisters- there is, in fact, an extraordinarily good chance I am going to get yet another copy so my husband can read it. This is an awesome book, for serious.

My 14 Year Old Son Says: Nothing, because I'm reading it again and won't give it to him. (I think he'll like it though- the action and humor will appeal to him, and as a musician himself, I'm pretty sure he'll love how important music is in this story.)
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71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, But Beautiful, February 25, 2009
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This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
I was highly anticipating this novel from before it was even released. Then, once the reviews started coming out, I was even more excited. After reading this book, however, I did not feel it was entirely worth the hype.

The cover is beautiful, the title grabs my attention, too, and the description piqued my interest, but the book itself falls short. While the story is fairly original and very unique in parts, the main characters bring down the story. From the first moment when the two characters meet, the motivation behind the main protagonist's actions does not make sense. Later, when her character is explained a bit more, her actions still do not make sense. She is quite temperamental, which she explains by having a short temper. Having a short temper does not readily explain why she would act the way she does with a stranger, even one she saw in a dream. If it did, then her other actions of getting mad at him do not make sense, for she already "knows" him.

While the male main character is supposed to be mysterious, he does not really have too much else going for him. There is no depth to him, unless you lend your own imagination to the book.

The side characters, including her best friend (who I really enjoyed, though he was simply her funny, unique friend, and not really a fully developed person), were also flat.

The story was also burdened with random bits that were left unexplained and brought up to further the plot, and then dropped. If such an event caused the plot to move forward, wouldn't the characters even think about why or what happened instead of simply going with the flow? Much of the story seemed to count on the reader going with the flow, as well.

The thing about this book though, is that I WANTED to know more about the whole thing, characters and story. I wanted to know about the friend, and why things were happening. When events and actions were left unexplained, I would simply move on in the hope of discovering more of this world/story created by the author. I went along with it.

Another redeeming part of the novel is the writing style (which is quite lovely and easy to follow). Also, descriptions of the fairy world and two fairies in particular were marvelous. I loved them. The intertwining music and folklore was enjoyable, too.

So, while this book is flawed, I know I am eagerly looking forward to the author's next novel. I hope not only to get another taste of her delicious descriptions, but a chance to see her redeem the errors made in this one. If you are interested in reading a unique story with fairies mixing with the contemporary world, I would recommend it, but with the warning it is no where near as perfect as other novels out there. Then, again, there is nothing exactly like this book I have seen either.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lazy storytelling makes this bottom of the barrel for the genre, July 7, 2010
This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
I'm an avid reader of YA urban fantasy, and am frankly shocked that the reviews for this novel vary so dramatically from my own. This book was not only painfully derivative in its content, but the characters were given little to no dimension. It was a bit like following a blurry yet familiar path but with only impressions to guide the way--there were no details, little structure, and ultimately no heart to this novel. I suspect the author will develop in time, as there are the seeds of a better storyteller here--but this novel itself reads like the first attempt of a moderately talented novice with little idea of how to really craft a story. She sees the science of constructing a novel, but has yet to embrace the beating heart of the art involved. Frankly, I can't believe her editor didn't send this one back for major edits, including creating a plot that doesn't require the reader to fill in the blanks with ideas gleaned from knowing the genre. That's not progressive or artsy--it's lazy storytelling, plain and simple.

Do yourself a favor and check out Holly Black's Valiant series, Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, or Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange instead. You'll get not only the genre, but tight storytelling and vivid characters as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars could have been much better, April 26, 2009
This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
I really must agree with the points made by "Tiffany, 'book lover'" - for me, the characters were undeveloped, and their actions, at times, unbelievable and confusing. The meeting between the main character and her love interest in the beginning and their subsequent pursuit of each other, for instance, confounded me; it felt like the two of them had just been thrown together - their relationship did not have a certain richness. The other characters - Deirdre's mother, grandmother, aunt Delia, and best friend James - lacked depth as well, while Deirdre's father is so invisible and unimportant that you wonder why he's in the book at all. Several plot points also remained unresolved by the story's end (though perhaps they'll be addressed in the sequel). The only thing that kept me going was the sometimes beautiful prose and descriptions, and the burning question of what exactly the faerie queen's machinations were.

The author wields folklore well, incorporating the importance of music, bargains, and the hunt so that the story was occasionally very intriguing. The ending was satisfying, even though most of the rest of the book left me disappointed, because it could have been so much better with better characterization (and less annoying slang peppered in the heroine's dialogue). Despite the disappointment, I think that the author has a lot of potential, so I will read the sequel in the fall; maybe she'll have gotten better then, and we will find out about the unresolved issues left by the time "Lament" ends.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but the series is still not finished..., May 17, 2011
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This book was a really great read. I enjoy the fantasy type books and the tangled love stories and this book fits the bill!

However there are two things you should know before you start reading it: 1) This was the authors first "series" and it is not actually finished. I read on her site that she got the idea for her second series and was really excited about it and started it right away. She still has ideas of where this story line is going, but she hasn't actually written it (last time I checked). So it is a very good read, but there are a few unresolved parts of the story and it may be a long wait. AND 2) The second book is actually a compilation novel. It is still a good story and I enjoyed it as well, but don't be confused or disappointed because it follows a different main character. I don't want to say more and spoil it, so I'll just leave it at that. Just a little heads up for ya!

So if you like YA fantasy love stories you will very much enjoy this book! Great characters, the plot is good and her writing style makes this book a page turner that is hard to put down!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is basically Twilight., March 8, 2012
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So this random guy (Luke) shows up in a bathroom while the main character (Deirdre) is barfing. Luke then proceeds to stalk Deirdre relentlessly: he shows up at her house when she never told him her address, he calls her cell phone when she didn't give him her phone number, he watches her sleeping at 2 in the morning, etc etc. Luke repeatedly says that he "can't" tell Deirdre ANYTHING about himself. Eventually, Deirdre finds out Luke is some sort of assassin serial killer.

These minor details hardly even faze Deirdre. Why? Because Luke is hot. So hot in fact that she ditches her best and only friend (James) in order to spend more time with Luke. She falls in "love" with him after about three days, despite knowing next to nothing about him. Obviously, there is no love here - it's just infatuation and obsession.

I can't believe a woman wrote this book. Was she trying to teach her fellow females to completely and unconditionally trust every hot blond guy who talks to you, regardless of the fact that you have literally been inside his brain and seen him murder people? Anyone with even a small amount of sensibility would have run the heck away the moment this creeper popped up out of nowhere in the bathroom.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I the only one confused here?, June 1, 2011
This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
This book, Lament, has been recommended to me by Amazon I don't know how many times. I was still skeptic of actually buying it, so I decided to check and see if the library had it so I could just borrow it. That idea was a lot better then actually spending money on it.

The story follows a young harpist who is very talented and starts to see the fey. She also meets a guy while throwing up in the girl's bathroom who helps out along the way. Or is the reason for all these strange things. She's not sure, but she doesn't care. She's in love.

I've seen a lot more four and five star reviews for this story, so I was assuming this was going to be good. After all, only six total reviews rated this a two or one star. However, it's not. It's just weird.

The story dragged on and on. So many things were not explained and just mentioned that it wasn't needed to know then or something like that. As many times as it was mentioned, it made me think that the author just didn't know anything and was just BSing it along the way, hoping to get somewhere. Because there were so many things left unexplained, there were so many plot holes. None of it made much sense. I found myself becoming more and more confused. And dreading reading it more and more.

The end, there was supposed to be this huge fight or something and it was just dull and stupid. It's leading up to something big and eventful, but it was just a huge disappointment. There was no fight. It was "Ah, you are me!" and "Ah, I am loved and you are not!" and end fight. Yep, that was pretty much it. Okay, so a few faeries came by and ended the Queen somehow... Which I'm still wondering why it took them so long to actually do something if they hated this Queen for so long.

Of course, like all clichéd teen stories, there was a triangle love story. The best friend is in love with the main character-big shocker there since that's all best friends are there for-and the new guy, who comes in to save the day while entering a girl's bathroom to help the main character throw up. Am I the only one who thought that was just plain weird and creepy? A guy goes in to a girl's bathroom is enough reason to think the guy is strange. Maybe I'm just the odd one here...

It was just all kinds of clichéd mess, the main character was spitting out Mary Sue fumes like crazy, and it was just a dull, confusing, incomplete story. I hated this story and I don't recommend it to anyone. And I will NOT be reading any more of this series.

However, I will say I did like the fact that it stayed more true to real faeries, that they're evil and not all pleasant folk that should be loved and adored. They can be scary. This was shown. But the thing is, I have read plenty of better faerie stories. I love faeries and faerie stories. There was nothing to make this stand out differently.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough info, January 29, 2012
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This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
I am huge fantasy fan and love anything about the Fae so I was very excited when I picked up this book. I enjoyed Stiefvater's other books, the Scorpio Races and the Shiver trilogy, so I had high hopes for this book. However, this book just left me wanting more. I wanted the characters to be more developed. I wanted Deirdre to actually spend some time with Luke before she was in love with him. I wanted more info in general, there seemed to be lots of holes in the story, the Aunt in the story is disliked by everyone and there is a back story to it but we are not told exactly what that story is. The ending even had me wanting more, it just seemed inconclusive. The next book is supposed to be from the perspective of her best friend so I don't think any of my questions will be answered. I guess it might just be her writing style, the third book of the Shiver trilogy was also kind of inconclusive.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Bitter Taste in my Mouth., April 20, 2012
This review is from: Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) (Paperback)
The "perfect", brainless female who grows quickly and completely dependant on a man she barely knows...a supernatural stranger who is flawless himself becomes the borderline abusive boyfriend...the loyal best friend who is secretly in love with the "heroine"... This story is a little too familiar for my taste, and the first round was bitter enough. I don't know which is worse, sparkling vampires or straight-up faeries. Although, when put that way, is there really a difference?
At least I bought this (the Kindle version) on the day it was on sale for .99, though I do consider it to be one of the worst dollars I ever spent.
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Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie)
Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie) by Maggie Stiefvater (Paperback - October 8, 2008)
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