Friday, 7 January 2011
Review: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Books of Faerie
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Flux (not yet published in the UK)
Publication: 1 Nov 2009
Source: Borrowed from Lyndsey at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
Synopsis: From Amazon
In this mesmerizing sequel to "Lament", music prodigy James Morgan has joined his best friend, Deirdre, at a private conservatory for musicians. James' almost unearthly gift for music has attracted the dangerous attentions of Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together leads James and Nuala down an unexpected road of mutual admiration ...and love. Haunted by a vision of raging fire and death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soulscorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.
In the sequel to Lament the first person narrative has been taken over by James in place of Dierdre (Dee). It was really interesting to see James' personality develop, enabling additional understanding of his actions/emotions. His wonderfully snarky witticisms captured my heart.We catch up with them a few months after the explosive finale to Lament now enrolled into a private school for the musically gifted.
We are introduced to a whole array of new characters both human and Fey, expanding the plot and adding dimension to the relationship interactions already established. The musical references virtually flowed off the pages. Alternating chapters between James and Nuala provided both sides of the story; showing how easy interactions are misinterpreted.
All the characters were three dimensional, James development in particular was astounding. The 'support' cast of characters were a pleasant surprise in their use within the narrative. Yet I could not reconcile Dee's transformation from Lament into what I could only visualise as a 'wet lettuce', where had all her 'powers' gone and why wasn't she using them.
The plot developed seamlessly from Lament, making it necessary to have read the book to fully understand the nuances of the storyline.
I adore Maggie's writing style and descriptions, I devour them as quickly as possible and feel as if I have generally been hit by a tidal wave of emotion by the end of the book. I can completely immerse myself in the worlds she creates, sometimes to my detriment when I am sobbing in the early hours of the morning.
I do have one complaint about this book.......there are still unanswered questions I have and I need another book to reconcile them. *BEGS/PLEADS/GROVELS/BRIBES*