‘”M’dear” I said in a cordial way, “your butt’s blocking my bumper. Do you think you might move your loitering a metre to the south and let me leave?”‘ – p28.
Ballad is sequel to Lament by Maggie Stiefvater and follows James Morgan, Deirdre’s best friend. While this review shouldn’t have any spoilers for Ballad it may have some for Lament and you can read the spoiler free review for Lament here.
So after discovering Deirdre‘s cloverhand abilities and James‘s psychic abilities in Lament, Ballad closely follows James as he and Deirdre join a private conservatory for musicians. Nuala, a soul-snatching faeire muse is attracted to James’s musical talent but gets more than she bargained for when she realises James is quite different to her past victims. The events surrounding James, Deirdre and Nuala’s lives in this book lead up to a final fiery finale where they are forced to fight the Queen of the Fey to save not only their lives, but the lives of countless others.
‘”My harp teacher is an ogre. How is your piping person?”
“I killed him and ate him. They’re making me learn piano to punish me for it.”‘ – p 75.
Things I liked:
- Again, I love Stiefvater’s writing. The witty lines James threw out on a regular basis were fantastic and his internal monologue also examined a darker side to him and his many internal struggles.
- I really didn’t like Nuala at first but came to like her as the book progressed (I liked her more than Deirdre by the end).
- I really liked the teacher Sullivan, he was important to the plot but was also one of the only people who got James and actively tried to help.
- The plot was fairly well paced and there was definitely no instalove.
“I think you might go to hell for making out with a faerie.
I kissed her back.” – p251.
Things I disliked:
- Deirdre… *sigh*. I really liked her in Lament but struggled with her in this book. While she only made an appearance occasionally she was needy and whiny each time. I’m hoping Stiefvater will finally get around to writing that third book so she can redeem Deirdre… plus I want more Luke!
- On that note Luke wasn’t in this book… waaaah 😦
- The world building was pretty much contained within their school the whole book. I don’t know why this bothered me but I just felt like maybe Stiefvater needed to use a few other characters point of view or something to freshen things up since it was almost all based at the conservatory.
- An almost rape sort of cropped up out of no where… I didn’t really feel it was integral to the plot and personally think it could have been left out.
Overall I did enjoy this book but it was mostly due to James (and sometimes Nuala). Every time Deirdre appeared I wasn’t really interested in what she was doing but I do hope Stiefvater gets around to writing that third book. If you’ve read Lament and enjoyed/ somewhat enjoyed it I would still give Ballad a go.
Also pretty sure I need this bumper sticker… just saying.
Thanks for reading!