Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie

4.0 136
by Maggie Stiefvater

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"Ballad is giddy, intoxicating, and threatening all at once. It is a sheer edge-read: you feel like you stand on a cliff through every scene, only barely clinging to the world, not knowing who is coming up behind you!"
—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of

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"Ballad is giddy, intoxicating, and threatening all at once. It is a sheer edge-read: you feel like you stand on a cliff through every scene, only barely clinging to the world, not knowing who is coming up behind you!"
—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of the
Protector of the Small Quartet

"With its razor wit, compelling characters, and deliriously beautiful prose, Ballad will make you laugh and gasp out loud even as it breaks your heart."
—R.J. Anderson, author of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter

"Maggie Stiefvater excels at writing wonderfully complex characters who face wickedly impossible obstacles. Ballad had me hooked until the pulse-pounding end. Readers who loved Lament will devour Ballad and plead for more!"
—Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

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.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Caitlin Augusta
Sequel to Lament (Flux/Llewellyn, 2008/VOYA December 2008), this novel transpires at the Thornking-Ash School of Music where James and Dee are new students. Dee's preference for the absent faerie Luke has made her relationship with James awkward. James would be entirely heartbroken were it not for Nuala, a solitary faerie whose existence depends on sucking human life in exchange for inspiration. James refuses the deal, but he and Nuala develop a mutual attraction. The appearance of the faerie court spells trouble for Dee, James, and Nuala as they face a supernatural Halloween showdown. Stiefvater's writing continues to mature. Her plot is more focused than in Lament, while her evocative language does the elusive subject matter justice. Celtic myth mingles with contemporary characters for an appealing teen romance told in three voices. James and Nuala alternate chapters in the first person while Dee expresses her growing dread in unsent text messages. Stiefvater realistically chronicles James's shift from obsessing over Dee to a relationship with Nuala. James's voice is especially clear. He snaps out witty repartee that teen readers will wish they could reproduce. Teen collections that do not have a Maggie Stiefvater shelf should begin one. Reviewer: Caitlin Augusta

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.81(d)
HL740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Ballad 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
EllzReadz More than 1 year ago
My thoughts...Ballad is the second book in this series and let me start by 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
ItsmeFaith More than 1 year ago
I read lament and was confused. I really couldn't understand who Dee was as a person, and Luke was just...there. BUT Ballad was catchy from the first word. The painful romance between Nuala (soul sucker) and James (comedy geek) is touching. James has always made me laugh out loud, and when Nuala came in they fit together so perfectly! Maggie Stiefvater continuously makes me cry in all of her books, and I am hoping for more.
LoonyMoonyy More than 1 year ago
i loved lament but Ballad was like looking into James' soul and finding a rare diamond necklace. it was beautifully written and fast paced when it needs to be and slow when it needs to just an over all amazing book that i highly recommend to anyone who likes faeries or enjoyed Shiver
Angieville More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will there be another book???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maggie Stiefvater is one of my all-time favorite authors, and Ballad is my all-time favorite book. I read and reread Ballad, and every time I do I am impressed by how poetic, intriguing, and dark the book is while still managing to incorporate tons of humor and plenty of not-overly-squishy romance. Keep up the good work!
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BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
James, a teen with a remarkable gift for music, is surrounded by other students with artistic talents at Thornking-Ash School of Music, a boarding school in the mountains of Virginia. His long-time best friend, Dee, is also a student there but they are estranged, torn apart by earlier events involving the faerie world and a text message James sent to Dee that changed everything between them. Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse, is attracted to James and, as they work together on a musical piece, she begins to fall in love with him. Unfortunately, her time is limited as she is being hunted by the fey while other solitary fey near the school are being murdered. A battle with the Queen of the Fey is inevitable. Maggie Stiefvater’s first book in the series, Lament, focused on Dee and her growing awareness that she is a cloverhand, one who sees faeries. Dark faerie stories are not so common and this author herself has a special talent and an obvious love for music, Irish lore and all things fey. By making James the central character of the second book, she has greatly expanded the breadth of her storytelling. Very highly recommended for teens and adults.
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BooksOverPeople More than 1 year ago
Such an improvment from Lament. Maggie's writing is beautiful as always, if not more sturn in this series then Shiver and Scorpio Races. Wonderful none the less. As a musician in training, I could relate. Wonderful concept.
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Peter Pluwak More than 1 year ago
The first book is better cuz there is way more kissing
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