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Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater(1981- )
Maggie Stiefvater is an artist, musician, and writer. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two kids, neurotic dogs and an insane cat. She’s an avid reader, an award-winning colored pencil artist, and she plays several musical instruments, including the Celtic harp, the piano, and the bagpipes. Learn more at Maggie Stiefvater’s website and be sure to check out Kelly’s interview with Ms Stiefvater.

Kelly Chats With Maggie Stiefvater

Kelly interviewed Maggie Stiefvater about her Young Adult fantasy novel Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception. Be sure to also read Kelly's review of Lament. Learn more about Ms Stiefvater at her website.

Lament hearkens back to the old faerie legends, which were often tragic and often frightening, and not at all sugar-coated. How did you become interested in faerie lore, especially the darker stuff?

When you write about things like homicidal faeries, you get asked "why faeries?" a lot. And once I valiantly fight back the urge to answer, "Why not?," I realized that I don't really remember when my fasci... Read More

Lament: Excellent YA fantasy

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

First love: it's scary and confusing enough even when there aren't homicidal faeries involved. Add in the homicidal faeries, and a girl can get in over her head before she can say "cold iron."

Maggie Stiefvater's Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception is an excellent YA fantasy that will appeal to anyone who likes stories of the fae as they appear in the oldest legends: dangerous, seductive, and sometimes deadly. Let me say right up front: Lament is downright frightening in places. These are not your fluffy, sparkly faeries. Getting mixed up with them can mean stark terror and heartbreaking choices.

The heroine, Deirdre, is one of Lament's treasures. She is sought after by the Fair Folk because of her uncanny musical and psychic talents, and in less capable hands, thi... Read More

Ballad: Now is a good time to read Stiefvater’s Ballad

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
"James Antioch Morgan," the king of the dead said, and when he sang out James' name, it sounded like music. "You will be called to make a choice. Make the right one.”

James' eyes glittered in the darkness. "Which is the right one?"

"The one that hurts," Cernunnos said.
No one walked away unscathed from the events of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception. James bears physical scars, along with a persistent torch for Deirdre, who only sees him as a friend. Dee, meanwhile, is pining for Luke and spiraling into depression. James and Dee think the faerie folk are through with them, but when they begin classes at Thornking-Ash, a residential fine-arts high school, trouble follows them there.

James finds himself tangled up with the faery Nuala. Nuala is a leanan sidhe, a type of faerie that inspires men to artistic genius but drains them of their... Read More

Shiver: Twilight with werewolves, but better

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Forget everything you thought you knew about werewolves.

Forget the full moon and silver bullets. Maggie Stiefvater's werewolves are different from any you've seen before. After being bitten, a werewolf changes erratically for a while, then settles into a seasonal cycle. Cold weather brings on a change to wolf form; warm weather returns the werewolf to human form. However, this cycle doesn't last forever. As the years pass, it takes more and more heat to trigger the change back to human, until one year the werewolf remains a wolf forever.

Our heroine, Grace, was attacked by wolves as a child. Just before she was about to become lunch, one of the wolves intervened and saved her. Ever since, Grace has watched for "her" wolf in the woods each winter. And every summer, a golden-eyed boy named Sam watches Grace from afar, too shy to approach her. Then, when one of Grace's high school classmate... Read More

Linger: Loose ends unravel further

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Warning: This review will contain spoilers for the previous book, Shiver. There's simply no good way to discuss Linger without them.

You could stop with Shiver. You really could. It ends on a tentative note of happiness, and it's easy to imagine that everything worked out OK after that. Sure, there are a few loose ends: Isabel's dad is still itching to shoot some wolves, the lycanthropy cure is incredibly dangerous and might have unintended consequences, and Grace and Sam have developed a relationship that they're still considered too young to have. But you could turn the last page of Shiver and be satisfied, and hopeful for Grace and Sam's future.

In Linger, Maggie Stiefvater takes all those loose ends and unravels them further. This is a d... Read More

The Raven Boys: A challenging urban fantasy with a dash of everything

Reposting to include Rebecca's new review.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue is the only non-psychic in a large extended family of psychics in Henrietta, Virginia. Her only unusual ability is that her presence amplifies the psychic powers of others around her, but she herself cannot use these abilities. So it’s a shock when, while sitting vigil in a graveyard with her aunt Neeve, Blue sees the spirit of a boy about her age who is destined to die in the next year. She learns that there are only two possible reasons she was able to see him: either he’s her true love, or she’s going to kill him.

The Raven Boys follows two groups of characters whose stories weave together: Blue and her eccentric family, and a clique of four boys from the posh Aglionby Academy, whose students are nicknamed “raven boys” for the emblem on their uniforms. The leader of this clique is Ganse... Read More

The Dream Thieves: Second book delves deeper into plot and character

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The second in Maggie Stiefvater's THE RAVEN CYCLE, and a direct sequel to The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves (2013) focuses on the character of Ronan Lynch, a teenage boy who — in the last sentence of the previous book's final chapter — reveals to his friends that he can pull real objects out of his dreams.

But that's getting ahead of myself. The gist of this four-part series is that four students of the prestigious Aglionby Academy are on a quest to find the resting place of Welsh king Owen Glendower. Their de-facto leader Gansey believes that he's buried somewhere in the small town of Henrietta, Virginia, built on one of the powerful ley-lines that criss-cross the countryside. Gansey has devoted much of his young life to findin... Read More

Blue Lily, Lily Blue: Events complicate themselves in the third instalment

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

I'll admit that the last book in this four-part series, The Dream Thieves, was difficult for me to get through — it wasn't that I disliked the characters or the storyline, but the pacing was glacially slow and Maggie Stiefvater's prose is definitely an acquired taste. However, Blue Lily, Lily Blue (2014) was an improvement; I could tell because after each reading session I was surprised by just how many chapters I'd churned through.

Here's the gist of THE RAVEN CYCLE: Blue Sargent is a psychic’s daughter who has no gift of her own except the ability to amplify the gifts of others. Her whole life, she's lived under the shadow of a prediction that states she'll kill her own true love, one that she's managed to avoid un... Read More

The Raven King: The fourth and final in THE RAVEN CYCLE

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Here it is, The Raven King (2016), the fourth and final book in Maggie Stiefvater's THE RAVEN CYCLE, which began with The Raven Boys and continued with The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue. And ... it's hard to know what to say. I've had mixed feelings throughout all four of the books, liking certain ideas and characters, but often getting a little fed up with the prose and dialogue, which sometimes felt too witty and/or flourished for its own good.

In the small Virginian town of Henrietta, a young private school boy called Richard Gansey has been searching for the lost burial place of Owen Glendower, a Welsh king, in the hopes that he might be granted a life-changing wish. Othe... Read More