Friday, March 25, 2011

Review of Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: In this sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, 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.

Review: Let me start by saying I love Maggie Stievater’s writing. I am a fan of her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and really enjoyed Lament, so I was excited to read the sequel and see what happened with the characters.

In Lament, we met Dierdre, or Dee, had the unfortunate distinction of being a cloverhand, one who can see faeries, and this earned her a spot on the faerie queen’s hit list at the hand of Luke, the queen’s assassin. A bit of a love triangle developed with Dee, Luke and James, Dee’s best friend who had been in love with her. I loved Dee’s character in Lament. She was strong, resourceful and grew so much throughout the story. James was an awesome character, handsome, smart, snarky and totally deserving of his own story, especially since (SPOILER) he did not get the girl at the end of the first book.

Ballad is James’ story and it’s great to hear from him. I still love him but I just could not connect with his love interest Nuala or their romance. Dee was virtually unrecognizable, floating through the story every now and again, heartbroken and depressed, her butt-kicking days somewhere behind her.

Stiefvater’s storytelling and knowledge of Celtic lore are solid. Her descriptions of the faeries, the music and the poetry are beautiful. I really do feel like this series needs a third book to redeem Dee and develop Nuala’s character, but I am not sure if another book is in the works.

Content: Language, violence, sexual content, a character is assaulted (I am still not sure if she was raped or not)


Cait said...

Thanks for the review! I loved Lament, and I've got Ballad, but I never really got into it. I should give it another shot. Have a great weekend

Amber @ Awesomesauce said...

Great review and I felt the same. I was upset at how Dee turned out. I honestly can not remember too much, I read this a long time ago. I know I liked it though.


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