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review: “ballad” March 1, 2010

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater.
Flux // Paperback // 360 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

After the events of “Lament,” James and Dee begin their school year at the prestigious Thornking-Ash Conservatory — a school for only the most talented musicians. While Dee is struggling to make sense of recent events — James is trying to get over Dee. But the faeries aren’t ready to leave James alone. When Nuala arrives, attracted to James’s musical gift, James is in danger all his own — especially when he begins to care for Nuala.

First of all, I will not call this book a sequel — it is a companion novel. Think “Ink Exchange” to Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely.” Dee is there, but this is not her story — it is James’s.

I really enjoyed this novel, but I enjoyed “Lament” more.

Don’t get me wrong, I love James. I think he is absolutely fabulous as a character and I would *definitely* read more books about him.

Part of the reason that I didn’t enjoy “Ballad” as much is because I was expecting a direct sequel instead of a companion novel. (Which is my fault, and not the book’s.) But, the other reason is because I never connected with Nuala. It makes sense that I would difficultly connecting to Nuala because she is a faerie, but I didn’t have nearly as good as a grip on her character as I did with Luke in “Lament.”

Other highlights: James’s roommate and teacher. I loved the new supporting characters we were introduced to and I hope to see more of them. I absolutely loved how Stiefvater explained why the faeries were drawn to the students because of their musical talent. (I don’t remember if this was explained in “Lament” or “Ballad,” honestly, but I still love it.)

Nuala’s history and faerie destiny were simply fabulous and I love the way that the book ended. It left me with a wide smile on my face and fingers crossed that Stiefvater would be writing another faerie tale after finishing up the “Wolves of Mercy Falls.”

Definitely recommended, but make sure you realize this is a companion novel and not a direct sequel.

SWAN catalog
Maggie Stiefvater




1. Pam - March 3, 2010

Loved Lament and Ballad. Were you kinda upset with Dee in Ballad?

readwhatyouknow - March 3, 2010

Honestly? I either wanted all of Dee (as in a direct sequel) or none of Dee. She did make me mad in Ballad.

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