Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater
Flux (October 1, 2009)
360 pages, Young Adult
$9.95 (Amazon.com, 09/30/09)
Overall: 26/30 = 86% = B
Cover/Title Bonus: 4
I won an ARC of Ballad on Maggie’s blog.
Remember us, so sing the dead, lest we remember you
James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala’s life and his soul.
More details are on Maggi’e’s Website.
I posted one.
Maggie posted one.
This story follows James and his adventure at his new school Thornking-Ash, where Dee transferred to as well. He meets a faerie girl, Nuala and they become friends in quite a roundabout way.
I really enjoyed the story. I LOVED learning about James. He’s a sweet guy! There’s lots of references to music and instruments but it’s nothing too extreme to confuse the reader.
The only thing I didn’t like about the plot is that I missed Dee’s POV. I have no idea what she was doing in this book and it kinda ticked me off to the point that I was hating her character. I would have loved her POV. The text messages just were not enough for me.
The setting is the school Thornking-Ash. There’s lots of scenes around a large round fountain, which was cool. The school is also very cool with forgotten buildings overgrown with ivy and such. There’s a quick journey to “somewhere” else that was cool too.
It’s set in present day.
Amazing. I love Maggie’s writing. She chose to write in alternating POVs between James and Nuala. There are also glimpses of unsent text messages from Dee to James that I honestly found confusing and ended up loathing to read them half way through the book. I would have rather heard from Dee than seen those texts. It was a cool idea but it made me hate Dee and I didn’t like hating Dee.
The idea of the King of the Dead was pretty cool. Nuala was also very awesome. She’s supposed to “steal” James’s soul so she can keep living, which would make her the villain but things evolve quite well for both Nuala and James.
The main character is James. He’s a very cool guy. He has an enormous ego, which was incredibly funny at times. He’s a very strong character, which was overlooked in Lament.
Nuala was refreshing. She comes out initially as overbearing but she quickly acclimates to James and then she transforms from faerie to something else entirely. Maybe a woman? She does mature a great deal.
Mr. Sullivan is James’s teacher. He’s a very cool character too. He’s like an older version of James. He ends up tutoring James to teach him the piano because he’s already mastered the pipes. He ends up helping James and Nuala.
Paul is James’s roommate and he’s freaking hilarious! The scene with the (non)beer is amazing.
Dee is there but so not there. I really missed her POV as already stated. She played such a role in Lament that I wanted her to be included in Ballad too.
I missed Dee and Luke in this addition.
James and Nuala’s relationship grows and matures really well. I really enjoyed their story.
James and Dee have an episode of confusion, which I could have slapped the shit out of Dee for, but, alas, it’s just a book.
A great read and follow up to Lament. I still wish there was more Dee to love rather than hate. I loved James and Nuala was a nice partner for him. The King of the Dead was super cool. I’m wondering if Maggie will continue with the series sometime? I’d love to know what happened to Luke and where Dee will find happiness.
I love both! They are both impossibly perfect.
Connect with Maggie Stiefvater
Did you review Ballad too? Put the link in comments and I’ll add it!
Author Interview by The Story Siren
Author Interview by Wondrous Reads
Author Interview by YAReads
Author Interview by Fangs, Fur & Fey
Win Ballad on Free Book Friday. Ends 10/02
Win Ballad on Book Reviews by Jess. Ends 10/08
I’ll be giving away a copy of Ballad! See the next post.