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Ballad Paperback – May 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Scorpio Races

"Stiefvater has created a thrilling backdrop ... a book with cross-appeal to lovers of fantasy, horse stories, romance, and action-adventure, this has a shot at being the next YA blockbuster."
Booklist, starred review

Praise for Shiver Trilogy

"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."
School Library Journal, starred review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Shiver, Linger, and Forever. She is also the author of the standalone novel The Scorpio Races, as well as Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception and Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140712112X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407121123
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,132,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello. After a tumultuous past as a history major, calligraphy instructor, wedding musician, technical editor, and equestrian artist, I'm now a full-time writer living in the middle of nowhere, Virginia, with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, four neurotic dogs who fart recreationally, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

I'm also an award-winning colored pencil artist, play several musical instruments (most infamously, the bagpipes), and recently acquired a race car.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#85 in Books > Teens
#85 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
BALLAD is the sequel (perhaps companion novel would be a better term) to Maggie Stiefvater's debut novel Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception. In a shift similar to the one in between Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely), BALLAD switches narrators from Dee to her best friend James Morgan. And James, like Marr's Leslie, is in rather a lot of trouble. The story follows his struggle to recover from narrowly escaping death at the hands of homicidal faeries in order to protect Dee, as well as his stuttering attempts to deal with life after telling his best friend he's in love with her and having her not return the sentiment.

Even though James doesn't care much what happens to himself, he does still care about Dee (almost against his will). And so he follows her to Thornking-Ash Conservatory, enrolling in a school full of gifted musicians guaranteed to annoy the crap out of him, in order to be near her. And despite the fact that he's a piper and they have no program to suit his level of expertise. But Dee barely talks to him. And when she does their brief conversations are hideously awkward, full of meaningless banter and superficial smiles. Meanwhile the faeries are far from finished meddling in James' life. On his way back to school after a spectacularly failed piping lesson, James runs into an unusual faery named Nuala.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
It doesn't happen nearly often enough which, of course, only makes it that much more special when it does. That delicious glow starts deep inside - sometimes only a few pages into a book. It's golden and warm and magical and it's telling you that you're going to love the book in your hands, that you've found one of those rare stories that is perfect for you and that is destined to linger in your mind long after you've read the last page.

Maggie Stiefvater's Lament, with its beautiful language and angsty, romantic story of seemingly doomed love, was one of those books for me. When her second novel, Shiver, failed to touch me in the same way, I felt sad, wondering if Lament would prove to be a one off. But then I read Ballad and the magic was there again.

*Happy sigh.*

Ballad isn't a fast paced, action-packed adventure. If that's what you're in the mood to read, look elsewhere. Instead, Ballad is slow and lush and gut-wrenching, with gorgeous writing that paints a detailed picture of the emotional devastation of loving someone who truly loves you in return but not in a romantic way. The guy in love is James Morgan; clever, complicated and brilliant. The girl he loves is Deirdre (Dee) Monaghan, his best friend who, in Ballad, is still mourning Luke, the tortured and tormented assassin from Lament who may no longer even be alive and is certainly beyond her reach.

Ballad picks up shortly after Lament. Musical prodigies James and Dee are both attending the Thornking-Ash School of Music. James knows the school has little to offer him, but he followed his heart, wanting to stay close to Dee. Unfortunately, Dee has been changed by the events of Lament and both she and their friendship seem broken.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kara Nicole on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First I would like to mention that I would not recommend reading Ballad without reading Lament first. I read Lament and liked it. So, naturally I wanted to read this book as well. Unfortunately, the marketing department behind this book was the source of my first disappointment. I was under the impression that this was book No. 2 of a series in progress. Nope. This is a companion novel. Companion novels are fine, in fact some of them are great, but I think there is an extremely important distinction to be made between a "sequel" and a "companion." Honestly, the expectation that Ballad would be a traditional sequel to Lament kind of ruined the first half of the book for me. I was fully prepared for more Deirdre and Luke. Again, nope. This book is told from the point of view of James (Deirdre's best friend in the first book) and a new character. It focuses on James so much that half of the time I forgot that Deirdre was even a character. Deep breath. Ok, I'm over the shock. Let us soldier on.

I felt like James was an archetypical character in Lament. Maybe that was just because we did not get to see enough of him though because I loved him and did not find him to be archetypical in Ballad. Once I realized he was to remain the main character of Ballad throughout its duration and that this was not just some sneaky trick, I really fell in love with James' character. He is quirky and fairly well developed. I am not so sure about the rest of the characters though. James is definitely the "glue" of this story. Some of the other characters come alive for me at points, but they lose their luster quickly.

I also very much liked the idea of musical savants being supernaturally connected to another world. I think the plot of the story is quite creative.
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