Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
"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."- summary from Amazon
I apologize for the review not being up until now, 8 hours after it posted. I got home from Maggie's signing after midnight and was just done, lol. So anyway, here's my review:
I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. As mentioned in my Lament review, I loved James' character and was excited to see a book written from his point of view. I still enjoyed reading from James' perspective and we got a much deeper characterization of him than what we saw from Dierdre's viewpoint, which was just a carefree, funny guy. In this book, he is still funny, but there's a lot more going on inside his head than we ever thought. I really enjoyed seeing that shift between the two novels.
But anyway, the plot wasn't very action-y. If I hadn't been rushing through this to get it ready for review today, it might have been a book that I put down and wander away from. It wasn't as compelling for me as Lament was. There's stuff happening throughout, but it doesn't seem to have as big of an effect on the main characters and through that, makes the reader not care as much. The main draw here is the romance between James and Nuala, which is still sweet and worth reading, but just wasn't as compelling as Lament's romance.
One thing I forgot to mention in the Lament review that still applies here that I love is the emphasis on music. Both Deirdre and James play obscure instruments (harp and bagpipes, respectively) and it was nice to see just how much music affected their lives. The descriptions also when it comes to that aspect shows how much music affects Stiefvater's life too, which makes sense as she plays a variety of instruments, including the harp. The way she describes how her characters feel when they hear or play music are some of the best passages in the book because you can how deeply she and her characters feel for it.
All in all, Ballad is a good book, just not extraordinary like Lament was. But you should all buy it just for the awesome cover. :D
FTC: Bought book at Maggie's launch for the book. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.