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Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Magical Writing

My thoughts...Ballad is the second book in this series and let me start by saying...read Lament first. The plot, the characters, the history of the story will make more sense if you do. I jumped right into this after finishing Lament and I was once again blow away by ...
My thoughts...Ballad is the second book in this series and let me start by saying...read Lament first. The plot, the characters, the history of the story will make more sense if you do. I jumped right into this after finishing Lament and I was once again blow away by the incredible writing of Maggie Stiefvater. She incorporates the perfect amounts of poetry, conversation, mood, and emotion into the story to draw readers into her magical world.

This book picks up several weeks after Lament ends. James and Dee are attending music school, living on the same campus, but separate lives. This story will please anyone who was a fan of James in the first book. Readers hear very little from Dee, except from the occasional text message. We do meet a new character, a lower-level faerie named Nuala. It took me a while to warm up to her, but once I did, she became one of my favorites. We also meet several other new characters such as a quirky English teacher, and Paul, who ends up rooming with James.

Like the first book, Ballad moves along at a perfect pace. This was one of those books that traveled around my house, because I did not want to put it down. James drew some attention, both good and bad, from the faeries for his musical ability. I don't want to give anything away, but readers should expect to experience heartbreak, fear, love, and friendship. I am hoping the story of these characters will continue for a long time. Stiefvater leaves us in a magical place that is full of possibilities. The ending of the story was satisfying, but left several unanswered questions. I look forward to the next installment in the Books of the Faerie series.

posted by EllzReadz on March 24, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I absolutely hated this book! i fell in love with Lament but Ballard is totally different! i hated how Deidre wasn't the one telling the story, i had no interest. i wouldn't recommend it especially if you loved lament and the romance.

posted by whaiting-to-be-read on June 23, 2010

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Magical Writing

    My thoughts...Ballad is the second book in this series and let me start by saying...read Lament first. The plot, the characters, the history of the story will make more sense if you do. I jumped right into this after finishing Lament and I was once again blow away by the incredible writing of Maggie Stiefvater. She incorporates the perfect amounts of poetry, conversation, mood, and emotion into the story to draw readers into her magical world.

    This book picks up several weeks after Lament ends. James and Dee are attending music school, living on the same campus, but separate lives. This story will please anyone who was a fan of James in the first book. Readers hear very little from Dee, except from the occasional text message. We do meet a new character, a lower-level faerie named Nuala. It took me a while to warm up to her, but once I did, she became one of my favorites. We also meet several other new characters such as a quirky English teacher, and Paul, who ends up rooming with James.

    Like the first book, Ballad moves along at a perfect pace. This was one of those books that traveled around my house, because I did not want to put it down. James drew some attention, both good and bad, from the faeries for his musical ability. I don't want to give anything away, but readers should expect to experience heartbreak, fear, love, and friendship. I am hoping the story of these characters will continue for a long time. Stiefvater leaves us in a magical place that is full of possibilities. The ending of the story was satisfying, but left several unanswered questions. I look forward to the next installment in the Books of the Faerie series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Angieville: BALLAD

    And right on the heels of SHIVER comes BALLAD--the sequel (perhaps companion novel would be a better term) to LAMENT. In a shift similar to the one in between Melissa Marr's WICKED LOVELY and INK EXCHANGE, BALLAD switches narrators from Dee to her best friend James Morgan. And James, like Marr's Leslie, is in rather a lot of trouble. The story follows his struggle to recover from narrowly escaping death at the hands of homicidal faeries in order to protect Dee, as well as his stuttering attempts to deal with life after telling his best friend he's in love with her and having her not return the sentiment.

    Even though James doesn't care much what happens to himself, he does still care about Dee (almost against his will). And so he follows her to Thornking-Ash Conservatory, enrolling in a school full of gifted musicians guaranteed to annoy the crap out of him, in order to be near her. And despite the fact that he's a piper and they have no program to suit his level of expertise. But Dee barely talks to him. And when she does their brief conversations are hideously awkward, full of meaningless banter and superficial smiles. Meanwhile the faeries are far from finished meddling in James' life. On his way back to school after a spectacularly failed piping lesson, James runs into an unusual faery named Nuala. Unbeknownst to James, Nuala is a faery muse who gifts her chosen humans with unmatched artistic ability only to feed on their souls until they burn up and die. Nuala has been without a human for too long and is intent on claiming James. All she needs is an invitation...

    Ballad is a love letter to James fans. Period. If you liked yon lanky, loquacious lad before you will fall head over heels in love with him in this installment. Witty repartee and quirky t-shirts aside, BALLAD brings us infinitely farther into James' mind than the brief but enticing glimpse we got in LAMENT. And what's there is richer and more painful than one might expect from his humorous exterior. The sort of deal Nuala offers is the height of temptation for this troubled young man who is obsessed with music and excellence and who is so very alone. BALLAD is a tighter story than its predecessor and that fact was clear from page one. James and the cadre of disciples he gathers round him like a cloak at Thornking-Ash fairly leap off the page at you until all you want in life is to be chummy and sarcastic with them all day long. Nuala is a different story. The chapters alternate between James and Nuala's point of view (with a few text messages from Dee interspersed here and there). And as she gets to know and appreciate James, I came to like her more and more. But Nuala didn't ever quite come into focus for me as much as James did. Of course, he's a hard act to follow. For as he edges closer and closer to completely unravelling, his witty facade gets sharper, more honed, more irresistable. Both to the reader and the psychic vampire obsessed with him. I laughed and gasped and wrung my hands with worry for this boy. And I miss him now that it's over.

    BALLAD is due out October 1st.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Very good read

    I really enjoyed reading this book, I had a tough time putting it down, I wanted to keep reading until the book was done.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    I really enjoyed this book

    Ballad begins with James and Dee now attending Thorking-ash Music school. There are a few problems, 1) James and Dee haven't resolved the last text message he sent from Lament, 2) the school can't find a bags instructor better than James, 3) there is a Muse, Nuala, after James, 4) the fae are still drawn to Dee, the cloverhand, & seem to be all over campus, & 5) the Thorn-king is nearby & others can hear his death song.

    I really enjoyed this book. It was great watching James's character unfold and grow/change. I felt bad for Dee & his relationship problems.they don't seem to want to voice their problems (afraid of hurting their friendship) & that's just making things worse.

    Mr. Sullivan is a nice new character as well as James's new friend Paul. They help accentuate James's fun personality. Nuala is the best though. I love how she changes as she grows to like this new incarnation of herself. She's a perfect complement to James's personality. Their verbal sparing is entertaining.

    I loved the ending. I know Mrs. Stievater isn't sure when/if she'll finish the series. but I sure hope she does SOON. The Dee and Luke issues are no where near resolved and I'd like to see how she wraps that up and connects the new James to a hopefully new Dee.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Will There Be Another Book???

    Ballad is a good book, it is semi-connected to Lament, in that some of the characters are more developed, and other characters are merely mentioned. James is a great character, and it was good to see where his story went in this book. It left me wondering "what happens now?" as there were many opportunities left open for another book. I am glad I read Shiver (new series) first, she is a great writer. Looking forward to Linger's arrival.

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  • Posted December 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Faeries and a Musical prodigy

    I haven't read Lament and it bothered me at first that I don't know who is Luke and what happened with him Deidre and James. (aside from the obvious broken heart, physical and emotion pain) but I am willing to find out after this.

    The story was narrated with James and Nuala's point of view. James Morgan a musical prodigy, cocky and uses beautiful sarcastic remarks that made me laugh. He also attends the Thornking-Ash school of music with his (supposedly) love Deidre. His choice of instrument (probably not the coolest in my book) is the Pipe. His tale in this book started when he started to hear a painfully beautiful song from an Antler King slash the Thorn King. I was intrigued on why he can hear it and what was the purpose of that music. James was also being stalked by Nuala- a leana sidhe better known as the mythological creature who gives her artist human lover his greatest dream on becoming the next Beethoven, Mozart and the likes in turn of madness that ultimately leads the to their death. But all this sounded petty when I found out that Eleanor (the Faery Queen) have more devious plan that involves all three of our main characters.

    This is my first Maggie Stiefvater and I am very pleased with her writing style. Epigrammatic and captivating. Though some parts are slow paced, it was well thought and penned exquisitely. The sirenic yet haunting tale helped me in finishing the book. I was defiant because I am not really into faeries, but reading this book, was a big exemption.

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