Friday, November 6, 2009

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater - Review

I loved Lament and thus was eagerly awaiting the publication of the sequel, Ballad. And make no mistake; it is every bit as wonderful as Lament.

Do you remember James, Dee's talented musician friend? Of course you do - funny, quirky, in love with Dee - he was my favorite character in Lament. Ballad focuses on James as he follows Dee to a private conservatory for gifted musicians. It's not really a good choice for him as he's a piper and they have no real program for him but he wants to be near Dee, even though she doesn't reciprocate his feelings and doesn't have much to do with him once they get to school. She's still mourning Luke, seems changed, and despite the new setting, still sees the Fae.

Despite making new friends James is lonely, sad, and ultimately catches the attention of a faerie muse called Nuala who mentors and brings out the best in artists while feeding on their creativity, until they burn out and die. But this is James - charming and handsome, clever, funny but complicated, - and Nuala begins to fall in love with him as they compose music together. Did I mention that James hears songs of the dead at night and that Nuala ultimately has to decide where her allegiances lie?

When I say that I liked Ballad even more than Lament, can you now see why? James and Nuala both tell the story in alternating chapters - with a few text messages from Dee sprinkled here and there. I couldn't read quickly enough this beautifully written story of unrequited love, doomed romance, heartless Fae, and gorgeous music. Maggie is a wonderful writer and yes, I admit, I'm a fan. There's a haunting lyricism to her writing that just sucks me into the narrative and leaves me asking for just one more glimpse into this wonderful world she's created. Please.


Frankie Diane Mallis said...

All I do is gush about this book! I love both but I think I love Ballad more. I wish that we could have had Luke's POV too in Lament. But wow LOVE LOVE LOVE!

elizabethfais said...

Love Maggie's work! Any chance you can get her to Kepler's for a signing? Also, Becca Fitzpatrick just posted on FB that her publisher is arranging a tour for her. It would be soooo great if you could get her to come to Kepler's too!
~Elizabeth Fais

Bookgeek said...

We, at Kepler's, adore both Maggie and Becca's books and would LOVE to host both of them. Of course.