Stiefvater M., Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception, Scholastic 2011
Although Lament weaves its story around the impossible love affair between sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan and a young man with one foot in the faery world, the real heart of the book is the progressive unveiling of the world of Fey through the eyes of Deirdre. And it is here that lies the magic of Maggie Stiefvater‘s writing. And I say writing not story. With her craft, the author manages to invest the mundane with an alarming otherness: a dog that crosses the road; an aunt reading over Deirdre’s shoulder;… They say that the world of Fey lies cheek to cheek with ours and a blink is enough to pass from one to the other, for those who have the sight. It is in shifting the mundane by that tiny, almost imperceptible leap to the magic that Maggie Stiefvater excels.
Another facet of the author’s writing that struck me is her changes of rhythm. Out of the threatening storm, the unexpected surges into the story, heralded by a sound or action, then revealed and almost immediately gone again leaving our hearts beating wildly and our minds wondering what the hell happened.
As with Ballad, the follow-on from Lament, the ending left me unsatisfied, or should that be bereft. That final cadence, when the tensions resolve, at least partly, and the magic dissolves leaving only a faint whiff in the air and a deeper yearning, the reader is dumped back into the everyday world that lies beyond the covers of the book.