Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is an exceptionally gifted musician who turns out to have another ability as well – she is a cloverhand, which means she can see members of the supernatural faerie world as they cross over into our world. Her abilities become manifest just as she falls in love with a mysterious young man named Luke, who is not what he seems. In Lament, Maggie Stiefvater updates elements of fairy tales like “Tam Lin” and “Thomas the Rhymer” in a story set in the present.
I first read Lament in March 2009; upon re-reading a year later, I have to say that I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this. Stiefvater’s premise is utterly cliched: the plain girl who thinks she’s nothing special until a mysterious (and of course, beautiful) man comes along to tell her that she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. The teenagers don’t sound much like teenagers, and, in contrast, the thousand-year-old gallowglass sounds like he’s been watching a lot of “Buffy” reruns which is also jarring and odd. I still like the novel because I’m such a sucker for any version of the Tam Lin story, but I probably shouldn’t have re-read this one!
(Read March 7-8, 2010)