Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: October 1st, 2009
Synopsis:In this mesmerizing sequel to "Lament", music prodigy James Morgan has joined his best friend, Deirdre, at a private conservatory for musicians. James' almost unearthly gift for music has attracted the dangerous attentions of Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together leads James and Nuala down an unexpected road of mutual admiration ...and love. Haunted by a vision of raging fire and death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soulscorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.
My Thoughts: If you are sick of reading about how much I love Maggie Stiefvater and all her books, then you probably don't want to read this review. But if you are curious to know more about yet another incredible book by this extremely talented author, then by all means, read on.
Ballad is the sequel to Lament, which you can find my review of here. In this installment we are taken to the school that we heard about in Lament, that is just for musicians. Well it turns out that the school is more than just a place for the musically talented to further their skills. As I said in the last review about music and Faeires going hand in hand, it remains true in this book. You'll have to read it yourself to discover the details and secrets.
The major difference in this book is that it is not told by Dee, it's told by James. If you haven't read the first book, James is her best friend who is also crazily in love with her. Unfortunately for him, the feelings are not returned. But his feelings for Dee come under major conflict when a Faerie named Nuala steps onto the scene. She's a faerie that gives musicians obscene amounts of talent in turn for years off of their life. Her plan is to perform this contract with James. We still get little glimpses of what is going on with Dee, but for the most part we focus on James and I found myself liking him a lot more than I did in the first book and maybe even liking Dee a little less than I did in the first book. It's funny how changing the perspective of characters and change how you feel about them. Seeing them through someone else's eyes can definitely change your opinion. But maybe that's just Maggie's awesome character portrayal abilities. She just never fails to make me become so attached and in love with her characters.
From the ending of Lament, we would think things would turn out alright for everyone. That line of thinking is horribly wrong. If anything the dangerous involvement with Faeries only gets deeper and much worse. I found this book to be a lot scarier than the first one, a lot darker, and it carried a lot more sadness. But for all that I still loved it so much. As I said in my last review, this is definitely favorite Faerie related series. I just love the Faeries created in this story. So scary and enchanting and wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. That's how I imagine faeries to be, and Stiefvater knocks it out of the ball park as per her usual. I can't freaking wait for the next book in the series. Unfortunately I'll be waiting till some time in 2013. You can bet your buns though that I'll be getting it as soon as possible!
Get out there and read some Steifvater books if you haven't. I mean it. Do it now haha. :)