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Ballad : a gathering of faerie (edition 2009)

by Maggie Stiefvater

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6794714,070 (3.92)34
Member:bluesalamanders
Title:Ballad : a gathering of faerie
Authors:Maggie Stiefvater
Info:Woodbury, Minn. : Flux, 2009.
Collections:Your library, Reviewed
Rating:****
Tags:genre: fantasy, type: trade paperback, read 2010, strong women, age: young adult

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Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater

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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie is the sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception; together these books fit perfectly into the increasingly popular young adult genre but, unlike most of the other books sprouting up everywhere, these books don't contain fangs, they contain Fey. Ballad picks up a couple of months after the events of Lament, placing James, the unrequited best friend, as the main character.

The depth of research Stiefvater attained is increasingly obvious with the turn of each page. Ballad is chock full of amazing traditional Celtic faerie folklore and even a thoroughly researched Deity. "The Good Folk" have been an inspiration to thousands of writers throughout history; much of the folklore and faerie tales have remained consistent with each passing decade, and Stiefvater remains true to that tradition while adding her own flavor by revealing some folklore that is not popularly known. Her addition of Cernunnos, a traditional Celtic Deity usually depicted as representing for the dead, is what in my opinion pulled Stiefvater from researched well, to absolutely amazing. The plot was fast paced, action packed, and perfectly braided with the folklore and the characters.

The characters in this book were also, in my opinion, spot on. It has long been a belief from children's fables that faeries are a benevolent race of magical beings, but in this book, they are depicted as they originally were written, as a warning against the evils of magic. James is a typical teenage guy, with the addition of a genius musical talent and a smattering of psychic ability. Nuala is a not so typical faerie who trades musical inspiration in exchange for years of one's life. James's ability to recognize the faerie is the only thing that saved his life and brought these two characters together. The relationship that forms between Nuala is completely honest from the beginning and so different from the love that Dee and Luke shares in Lament. It was amazing that James could fall in love with Nuala even after everything that happens to him Lament; his ability to forgive and adapt is hopefully what will save the friendship that was destroyed by Dee being a selfish idiot.

At some points throughout the book Stiefvater could have let the reader into some of the secrets she was harboring earlier, it got a bit confusing in some areas due to what the reader is unaware of. Things of course become clearer at the end but, for a little while in the middle, the reader spends time trying to figure out the reasons for some of the inserted passages when there really is no need. It is suspect that they were written in an effort to foreshadow but as a young adult reader, it may have been too much. Overall this book was enjoyable, not as imaginatively pleasing as Lament but definitely not bad at all. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
Didn't intrigue me as I thought it would. ( )
  ku. | Sep 20, 2014 |
Didn't intrigue me as I thought it would. ( )
  ku. | Sep 20, 2014 |
This was entertaining, and kept me reading, but I didn't like it as much as [b:Lament|3112850|Lament The Faerie Queen's Deception|Maggie Stiefvater|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41R67UplhtL._SL75_.jpg|3144132], while I didn't enjoy Lament as much as I did [b:Shiver|6068551|Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)|Maggie Stiefvater|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1257962751s/6068551.jpg|6244926] (definitely my favorite of Stiefvater's works). After reading so much about Dee and Luke, I was disappointed to find that we really don't get much about them, except through Dee's unsent text messages to James. I know this is supposed to be his story, and more of a companion novel than a sequel, but I found myself wondering about them quite a bit. Also, although I really liked Dee in Lament, I found myself disliking her a bit here - from James' point of view she seems incredibly selfish.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t a huge fan of reading from James’ POV – I’m not really sure why, since I love him as a character. I have a tendency toward the bad boy rather than nice guy characters, but Luke (although I did like him) just seems so superficial in comparison to the depth and character that James has. Nuala’s POV was always entertaining, especially as I watched her go from thinking about James as a victim to thinking about him as someone she cares about.

It also seemed like all of the action and all of the big reveals were clumped together at the end - there were some great scenes, but they might have been a little more effective if they were spread out. I do love the world she's created, as well as her characters - Mr. Sullivan in particular. I'll be interested to see where James and Dee's relationship goes from here - it seems to be left a bit open for another book featuring them (perhaps the events of Ballad from Dee's point of view?), and if there is another, I can't wait to read it. As it stands, Dee's entanglement with Faerie as the cloverhand doesn't seem like it will be over anytime soon.

Overall, an enjoyable read. Great ending, too. If you like Steifvater’s style, you won’t be disappointed with this one. It just seems to be missing that something that made Shiver so great. ( )
  ashleyk44 | Jul 8, 2014 |
I liked this second book of the "Gathering of Faerie" series better than the first. Though, I have to say that I grew a little annoyed with James. In [b:Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception|3112850|Lament The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)|Maggie Stiefvater|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1265410418s/3112850.jpg|3144132], Dee literally gives up everything - including Luke - to save James. In this book, when faced with the same situation, James is nearly petulant about the choice. He even tells Dee to save herself (thus allowing him to get back to Nuala) because she "owes him." But what about what James owes Dee? I get it; James told Dee that he loved her and she didn't respond in the way that he wanted and, yes, some decisions that she made really weren't great for James, but that's life. You don't always get what you want when or how you want it. It felt like James turning his back on Dee - his best friend of nine years - to be with Nuala. That doesn't seem like real friendship to me. It feels like him making the choice to follow after his desire for Nuala instead of staying true to his friend.

That said, I'm thoroughly enchanted by Maggie Stiefvater and very eager for the next book in this series. Not to mention that I'm eager to read more by her, as well!
  Jenna.Czaplewski | Jul 3, 2014 |
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To my mom, who showed me faeries in the woods.
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I was used to being the hunter.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this sequel to Lament, faeries follow James and Dee to Thornking-Ash, where James struggles with his feelings for Dee and for the dangerous faerie muse, Nuala. When Halloween plunges both Dee and Nuala into danger, James finds he can only save o
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When music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians, his talent attracts Nuala, a faerie muse who fosters and feeds on creative energies, but soon he finds himself battling the Queen of the Fey for the very lives of Deirdre and Nuala.… (more)

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