Google+ Reading Teen: Today is Tragedy Tuesday... Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today is Tragedy Tuesday... Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

by amy
Ballad: A Gathering of FaerieNuala is part muse, part psychic vampire. While the freedom to sing or write or create is denied her, her mark across history is unmistakable; a trail of brilliant poets, musicians, and artists who have died tragically young. She had no sympathy for their abbreviated life spans; every thirteen Halloweens she burns in a bonfire and rises from her ashes with no memories of what has come before other than the knowledge of how her end will come.

James is the best bagpiper in the state of Virginia - maybe in the country - plus he's young and good looking: just Nuala's thing. But James, extremely confident in his own abilities and in love with another girl, becomes the first to ever reject Nuala's offer. He's preoccupied with bigger things than Nuala: An enigmatic horned figure who appears at dusk and the downward spiral of Dee, his girlfriend-who-isn't.

It becomes obvious to James that Nuala's presence, the horned king of the dead, and Dee's slow self-destruction are all related, and that Dee is in the center of a very deadly faerie game. While James struggles to unwind the tangled threads of the story, Nuala shadows him, seeing her conflicted, dual nature reflected back at her in him. She finds herself lending him inspiration for nothing - for the hope of requited affection. But even as James begins to realize his feelings for both Dee and Nuala have changed, the thirteenth Halloween descends, with it's bonfires and rituals for the dead, one deadly for Nuala and the other for Dee. James can only save one.

I know there have got to be better faerie books out there. This book did not satisfy my desire for something faerie. First, I would like to say, not reading Ballad before reading Lament (even though many people/critics say it's a stand-alone). I read Lament and liked it (read my review). Thinking this was a sequel, it obviously bugged me when the main characters of Lament got very lost in translation. This may have been the most disappointing thing about this book. The main female character Dee and her love for Luke was very enticing in Lament. So, naturally, I was sad when Dee was hardly mention and Luke was nowhere to be found. Luke was my favorite in Lament - strong, good looking and Dee's rescuer. So, yes, I wanted to read about him again. Now, I would not have read these books back-to-back considering they really weren't a sequel (even though you couldn't read the second book first and fully understand it. Crazy, huh?) obviously I was disappointed.

If you must read the sequel to Lament (it is worth reading, if you like faerie books) - be open to new main characters, forget about the perfectly good ones from before, know enough about faeries to get by, cross your fingers and maybe if you don't have an impatient personality like I do, you might just like it.



*Word to the parents- there is some kissing, crude behavior and moderate language in this book.  If you want more information about content, go to Ballad on Parental Book Reviews.

1 comment:

  1. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that is seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.


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