Ballad by Maggie Steifvater

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Flux
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 360
From: ALA
Interest: author
Other Titles in the Series: Lament

In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians. James’ musical talent attracts Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together unexpectedly leads to mutual admiration and love. Haunted by fiery visions of death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soul-scorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.

Three words; addictive, magical, & wicked.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this novel since the last pages of Lament. Eagerly awaiting to fulfill my craving of James, I mean! Ballad, although could be considered a sequel to Lament, is more of a companion novel. Let me just say that Ballad finally (finally!) satisfies that insatiable hunger for James, after that enticing, all to short, glimpse during Lament. And can I say, that I only love him more. His witty retorts, his one line smart ass comments, his idiotic t-shirts…. they only add to his charm.

Ballad is a completely different story than it’s predecessor. And I don’t mean that in a negative way, but it’s apparent from page one, that James’ story is deep. He is so much more than his humorous exterior, it’s heartbreaking. The beautiful complexity of his character is unbelievable. I was in awe of that alone.

However, I cannot fail to mention the extremely talented Maggie Steifvater. I can’t explain her writing. It’s addictive, it almost has it’s own melody, the chorus from a song that gets stuck in your head. It is absolutely beautiful, which is a completely simplistic depiction, yet there is no other word for it. It. Is. Beautiful! And the thing is, the writing for this series feels totally different than it does for Shiver. (Another one of Maggie’s novels) And Shiver is beautifully written as well, but it’s a different kind of beauty, am I the only one that feels this way? Maybe I’m crazy.

The story was fantastic. It alternates between James and Nuala. There are a few texts from Dee thrown in there (which I thought were crucial to the plot), but really she’s sort of background music in this novel. It was fast paced, but never felt rushed. Twists and turns that I never saw coming. Entertaining as well as enjoyable.

And I’m just going to stop right there, because I could keep going, but I’m not one for a long review, and this is like the longest in my history. Needless to say, I love this series. And I loved Ballad even more. I knew there would be great things to come when I read Lament. I’m so very glad to see it a reality.