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Friday, December 4, 2009

Review: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater


where I got my copy: book depository
where else can you buy: bn, amazon, borders

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul.

I haven't read Lament and it bothered me at first that I don't know who is Luke and what happened with him Deidre and James. (aside from the obvious broken heart, physical and emotion pain) but I am willing to find out after this.

The story was narrated with James and Nuala's point of view. James Morgan a musical prodigy, cocky and uses beautiful sarcastic remarks that made me laugh. He also attends the Thornking-Ash school of music with his (supposedly) love Deidre. His choice of instrument (probably not the coolest in my book) is the Pipe. His tale in this book started when he started to hear a painfully beautiful song from an Antler King slash the Thorn King. I was intrigued on why he can hear it and what was the purpose of that music. James was also being stalked by Nuala- a leana sidhe better known as the mythological creature who gives her artist human lover his greatest dream on becoming the next Beethoven, Mozart and the likes in turn of madness that ultimately leads the to their death. But all this sounded petty when I found out that Eleanor (the Faery Queen) have more devious plan that involves all three of our main characters.

This is my first Maggie Stiefvater and I am very pleased with her writing style. Epigrammatic and captivating. Though some parts are slow paced, it was well thought and penned exquisitely. The sirenic yet haunting tale helped me in finishing the book. I was defiant because I am not really into faeries, but reading this book, was a big exemption.

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1. James is a flawed and heart broken character, do you find his mental peculiarities charming or annoying? Please do explain.

I love James. I don't ever want him to shut up. He was supposed to be this cocky kid and normally I hate those but he was different he choice of words made him attractive to me.

2. What did you think of James and Dee's kiss? This being a pivotal moment for their relationship, how do you think it changed James?
I am glad that happened it broke a the sad spell that James have towards her.

3. Whom do you prefer Dee or Nuala?
Well like I said I havent read Lament, so I would go to Nuala. Sure Dee sounds loving and all but I like the doom and gloom that is Nuala and I think her personality blends well with James'.

4. What's your verdict on the best way to read Ballad? Is it a stand alone book or do you need to read Lament first? If you read Lament, what did it add/not add to Ballad?
Reading Ballad was ok, but I get that nagging feeling that I should know what happened with Dee, James and that Luke person over the summer before Ballad.

5. We've been reading a lot of stories with fairies as the central paranormal creatures. What are your thoughts on the "Fair Folk". Do you believe in faires?
I love the idea of Faeries, but I cannot quite stand reading about them... Do I believe in them? I haven't really ponder on that part. But if I do, I wanted to believe that all of them are gracious, unharmful creatures who like to help human beings without death as a payment.


Tina said...

Splendid Review.......Glad you liked it, youshould read Lament it will give Ballad more meaning for you.....You should read Shiver too...because Maggie is just awesome!

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Great review! :) Maggie is um an amazing writer, I love all things from her - and you should pick up Lament sometime if you have a chance! It totally does give a whole new prospective on what happeneds in Ballad - Loved your review...Ballad is one of my new fav.s and James is a GEM!

PeaceLove&Pat said...

Thanks guy. Yes I think it is pressing that I read Lament, I bought one today and Shiver yesterday. I'm glad I read it because I really don't have the desire to pick up any of her books at first. pheeew good thing I got persuaded by BWB. hehe

Faye said...

I love Lament! i have this book, can't wait 2 start it :D

ParaJunkee said...

I am now a big Maggie Stiefvater fan after this book. I agree that it did drag in some places, but overall the book was excellent. And are you into fairies now?? I love me some faires, sometimes the politics gets to be a bit much - but there are so many different kind of fairies, which makes life interesting. - Parajunkee

PeaceLove&Pat said...

@Parajunkee - I know the politics is the one that gets me :( if Maggie ill write it then I'll read it. So far I haven't read any other book (faeries) that kept me interested.

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