Rhiannon Ryder's Reviews > Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Aug 05, 2012

it was amazing

It nearly killed me waiting for the slow re-release of Lament and Ballad in their new re-prints by Scholastic. But the gorgeous new art work was well worth it. So this past Tuesday, the first mega release day of May, among my many purchases was Ballad. And even though Insurgent was in that pile of new books, I had to catch up with Dee and James first. I can't say no to a new-to-me Maggie Stiefvater read.

From the back jacket:
When his best friend, Dee, fell in love with a faerie, James realized she'd never feel the same way about him.

Tying to escape into music, James finds himself surrounded by more faeries than ever. Before he knows it, James is trapped in a dangerous game. One where the only way to win is to betray the one you love...

Everything I loved about Lament I adored even more in Ballad. The feeling of wrongness encompassing everything going on, the dialogue, the surprising and impossible romance, it was delicious in the way that could only compete with, say, luscious caramel cheesecake. Or, you know, something else divine.

James was such an enchanting character in Lament, to be in his head this time around was such a treat. To see the faeries, Dee and the music from his perspective shone so much light on Lament it made me want to read it again, even though I only read it a couple of months ago. And of course, James was a amusing and smart-assed as ever.

"Call me," Mom said. "Later. When you're not so glib."...
"Right. I'll schedule a call when I'm thirty, then, shall I"
"Shut up." Mom's voice was fond, and for a moment I felt a tremendous, childish sensation of homesickness. "We miss you. Be careful. And call me later. Not when you're thirty."
Of all her characters he reminds me the most of Cole, who I adore, but he has his own thing as well, and I may be hard-pressed to pick a favourite. Though I am leaning towards James at the moment.

The new secondary characters were also fantastic, and it was especially interesting to see things from Nuala's perspective intermittently. The Faeries are such a huge force in this series, to be inside one of their heads, even an outsider like Nuala, added a bit of depth to the darker moments. It also gave me a bit more sympathy for their particular brand of difficulties, which will be interesting come Requiem. At least from some of the hints and reveals at the end of Ballad.

A fantastic book that totally swept me away, as per usual with Stiefvater. She's my favourite kind of bookish cheesecake, and she just proves the point a little more with everything I read of hers.


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