Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater
Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie is the sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception. (my review here) The book picks up where Lament left off. James and Dee are at the music school Thornking-Ash, and it seems as if they cannot escape the devious and murderous fey that nearly killed James in Lament.
Ballad is told from the point of view of James, and I think Maggie Stiefvater made a smart choice in doing this because get an up-close-and-personal look into the mind of a wonderful character. Not only is James being tormented by his near-death experience and love for Dee, but he can't help but feel himself getting attracted to Nuala, a homicidal faerie who can only gain strength by sucking the life out of talented humans, and James is her target. But something is different this time. Nuala develops feelings for James, and as Halloween approaches, James is forced to choose between the lives of Nuala and Dee.
As I've come to expect with Maggie Stiefvater's works, Ballad is beautifully written. The plot is fast-paced and heart-pounding up to the end, and Stiefvater has a way for making you truly care for all of the characters you're supposed to care for, even the minor characters like James' roommate Paul and the English teacher Mr. Sullivan. Dee is more of a minor character in this book, and we mostly see how she is dealing with the absence of Luke (the homicidal faerie SHE fell in love with in Lament) through unsent text messages to James that are scattered throughout the book.
I especially loved Nuala's character and loved the sections that were told from her point of view. She's lovable, feisty, and of course, a little evil, and Stiefvater did an exceptional job of illustrating the change in Nuala throughout the book.
Fans of Lament will NOT be disappointed with Ballad.
Check out the book trailer Maggie Stiefvater created.
What Other Bloggers Are Saying:
Charlotte's Library: "A fantastic, fun read, told in the alternating viewpoints of Nuala and James, interspersed with text messages from Dee that she never sends...Even if you think the faerie thing has been done to death, this might well change your mind." (read more...)
The Crooked Shelf: "Stunning does not do this book justice." (read more...)
Age Range: Young Adult | Flux, October 1, 2009 | Source of book: Review copy from publisher.