Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie

6076413by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
sequel to Lament

This trilogy remains incomplete, and after finishing this book I’ll join the ranks of fans awaiting Requiem. I actually enjoyed this book more than the first, partially because James is a more decisive character and it didn’t feel like the plot kept me in the dark for so long. This has the same dark magic and dangerous fey as the first book, which I loved! If you’re worried about being caught in the middle of a trilogy for a currently undetermined period of time, don’t be. The ending ties up just enough to stave off most of a book hangover.

Unlike Lament, we alternate POVs between James, the muse fey Nuala, and some text messages from Dee. This actually worked for me – I felt like all the characters brought something interesting to the plot, and the voices were all different enough (my other pet peeve with multiple narrators) that I enjoyed it. We follow James at the musical school Thornking-Ash, in the few months leading up to Halloween. Nuala marks James for her next musician to inspire–in exchange for stealing his life energy to feed herself–but the two end up discovering they are similar assholes who might actually like each other.

The descriptions are beautiful, and while the dialogue could use work in places, this is a fun read. I’d recommend it, especially if you’re already a fan of Stiefvater’s work.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Ballad is available on Goodreads and on Llewellyn’s store website, here. This bookstore sponsors Flux, Stiefvater’s publisher for the Books of Faerie. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Valiant by Holly Black – Valerie runs away to New York City for a fresh start. She makes friends with some teenagers living in the forgotten parts of the subway system, and quickly learns they have dealings with the fey and their powers. What she does with this knowledge will determine her fate in her new life.
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – Hazel has grown up in the shadow of the forest housing dangerous fey and magic. She wants to become a knight and protect her town and the tourists from faery mischief, but what she doesn’t know is they want her to be a knight too. See my review here.
  • Old Magic by Marianne Curley – Kate knows Jerrod has a secret, but she when she learns what it is, they have to race against time to break his family’s curse before it kills him next. Luckily, Kate is a rather gifted witch. This is a fun YA story with time-travel and magic.
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – Trade mischievous faeries for charming, cunning vampires, and you might like this whirlwind journey. Tana wakes up in a house full of her friends’ corpses, with nobody but her infected ex-boyfriend and a mysterious boy. She has to save them before anyone finds out what happened, which means going to the one place everyone in their right mind avoids: Coldtown. I don’t normally go for vampire novels but I loved this one!
  • The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – Jumping from urban fantasy to actual fantasy, these 5 prequel novellas follow Celaena as she explores all corners of her world and the fascinating people in between as she completes her assassin training and marches toward her destiny in the Throne of Glass series. See my review here.
  • Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon – Princess Margrethe watches a mermaid pull a half-drowned man to shore on the cold beach. She nurses him back to health, discovering he’s a prince that could make a useful alliance. The mermaid hasn’t forgotten the handsome man either, and will do anything to become human for a chance to win his heart. The characters could have more depth, but this is a reasonably enjoyable fairy tale retelling.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Shadow Hour | To Live a Thousand Lives

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