Deirdre Monaghan is sick with nerves before a harp competition when she meets Luke Dillon. He calms her down, accompanies her on the flute in an impromptu warm-up, and then pushes her toward the best performance of her life. She is immediately smitten.
But there’s some weird stuff going on. Four leaf clovers everywhere. Strangers in the shadows. And so on. It turns out the Deirdre has caught the attention of the faerie world.
This is Maggie Stiefvater’s first book, and it’s a fun read, although it’s not nearly as good at the Raven Cycle or The Scorpio Races. Deirdre is a likable character, although sometimes she comes across as a little too special and much too disdainful of other girls. Some people’s behavior seemed strange in a way that I couldn’t entirely attribute to the influence of faerie. But the main faerie story is enjoyably sinister and eerie, just as a faerie story could be.
I even found myself interested in Deirdre and Luke’s relationship, despite the many, many alarm bells around it. The book does a good job of acknowledging all the alarm bells while also capturing sense of just being swept away by feelings and unable to think rationally. Again and again, I thought Deirdre was doing something ridiculous (and she was), but I understood that she was guided by something other than good sense.
Good sense, by the way, appears mostly in the form of James, Deirdre’s best friend. He’s absolutely the most likable character in the book. Their relationship does get complicated in the book, but I appreciated the way everything developed there. It honors friendship as a true and real thing, while acknowledging that relationships and complicated, and I always like that.
I wouldn’t particularly recommend this as an introduction to Maggie Stiefvater’s books. But if you’ve read and enjoyed her other books and if you’re as much a fan of faerie stories as I tend to be, this is worth a read. I expect I’ll read the sequel, too, pretty soon.