Being a lover of fairytales and anything with a hint of magic, LAMENT sounded like the perfect book for me. But, rather than being yet another book about humans and the fey clashing, LAMENT also offers an original take on the genre.
The story is about Deirdre, a sixteen year old who has an amazing musical talent. Her everyday life changes forever when, just before a musical competition, a mysterious man called Luke Dillon comes into her life as if from nowhere.
Instantly she is attracted to him. And he seems to be attracted to her. But as she gets caught up in the whirlwind romance, she soon realises that she cannot deny that there is something strange about Luke, something almost otherworldly.
Even her everyday life seems to be getting stranger, as four-leaf clovers continually turn up wherever she is. And her grandmother gives her an ugly iron ring, whilst insisting that she wear it.
Things begin falling into place when Deirdre discovers that she is a cloverhand - someone who can see faeries. And Luke, her new romance, is a gallowglass; a soulless faerie assassin. On a mission from the Faerie Queen, it seems that his interest in Deirdre may be more sinister than love.
That is a brief synopsis. While there are echoes of other books - WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr is one and even the TWILIGHT saga by Stephenie Meyer is another, because of the doomed romance, LAMENT manages to hold its own and create another original voice within the genre. Stiefvater is a very talented writer. There are moments of pure beauty within this novel and the way that she uses music as a backdrop adds yet another element to the story as a whole. There are enough darker moments to make the story interesting, but there are also lighter moments to lift the mood.
So, why only 4 stars? Well, I do think this was quite a slow starter. I very nearly gave up with it, because the beginning of the book is heavily about the romance between Deirdre and Luke, and I rarely read books that are purely about romance. However, I stuck with it and I am glad that I did. As the story comes out about Luke's past and how he ended up as a gallowglass, the pace quickens and the story is taken to a whole new level. While the end may have been slightly rushed, as another has suggested, there is indeed a sequel coming out next autumn, BALLAD. I shall definitely check it out.