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Ballad (A Lament Novel) Paperback – October 8, 2009
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Brenna Yovanoff is is the author of The Replacement and has published in various journals. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Recently she sat down with Maggie Stiefvater to discuss Stiefvater's Ballad and The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Read the resulting interview below, or turn the tables to see what happened when Maggie interviewed Brenna.
Brenna: Even though we all know that characters are not authors, we also know that characters sort of are their authors (at least a little bit). Which of your characters would you say is most like you as a person?
Maggie: Well, most of my characters are delightfully single-minded, because that is what characters do. So if I were arguing a high-level thesis paper, I’d probably declare that, in fact, all of my characters are really me, just exaggerated, stripped of gray areas and less than crystal clear motivations. Even the evil ones. Maybe especially the evil ones. >br/>
That said, I’ve been told I’m quite like Isabel from the Shiver [Wolves of Mercy Falls] series and James from Ballad.
Brenna: If Cole from the Shiver trilogy and James from Ballad had to fight each other in a snark-off, who would win?
Maggie: James, I’m afraid. Cole has learned to rely far too much on his appearance to win these things and sometimes, my friends, a finely crafted chin will just not get you ahead in life.
Brenna: When your characters are romantically involved, they’re willing to fight desperately to be together, often against seemingly insurmountable odds. Like when their significant others turn into wolves and run away into the forest. Where do you stand on the topic of true love?
Maggie: I’m a fan/ believer/ proponent of true love. I think it’s worth waiting for, and I also think it’s worth fighting for once you’ve found it. I’m one of those madly in love people who just doesn’t understand why anyone would stand for anything less. I also find long-term dating confusing. I was engaged after a month and a half because, like Grace in Shiver, I am bad at shopping. I just see what I want, and then I go and get it.
Brenna: Cole St. Clair’s band Narkotika is, understandably, not a real band. However, if it were a real band, what would it sound like?
Maggie: Well, I think that Narkotika, like love, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s supposed to be an edgy, hard, slightly unsettling band, and that varies depending on what you listen to. Also, it was originally an electronica band (think Blaqk Audio). These days I go through life thinking that possibly they would sound like Ringside. Or Korn. Or Carolina Liar. Or Three Days Grace. I realize that these bands sound nothing like each other. I have no good explanation for that.
Brenna: What would you say to all the woefully optimistic girls out there (i.e., me) who want to know if Cole would date them? What if they said please?
Maggie: Oh, Cole would date you. I guarantee you he would date you. If by “date,” you mean “make out with you in a dark hallway, remove some of your clothing, completely avoid giving you his contact information, disappear, and make you have a resulting existential crisis about why you date boys who treat you badly.”
The please wouldn’t be necessary.
"Readers of Holly Black's Tithe (2002) or Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl (2004) will enjoy this rich foray into faerie. The book's backdrop, so firmly rooted in Celtic myth, is scary, mysterious, magical, and horrifying." --Booklist
"Ballad is giddy, intoxicating, and threatening all at once." --Tamora Pierce
-Readers of Holly Black's Tithe (2002) or Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl (2004) will enjoy this rich foray into faerie. The book's backdrop, so firmly rooted in Celtic myth, is scary, mysterious, magical, and horrifying.- --Booklist
-Ballad is giddy, intoxicating, and threatening all at once.- --Tamora Pierce
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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So when we start this book, they are changed. Dee may be shell of herself, but it didn't feel like a plot device as much as a real continuation of her story, only Ballad wasn't her story, it was James's story, so that shadow was cast against the light of his tale. Yes, it was sad that Dee lost so much of herself, but I think it made sense that after being so brutally used up by the fairies and then losing so much, she had lost so much of herself. So it was probably a good thing this wasn't her POV story, because she'd lost her fight.
James is a brilliant character and I loved being in his head for this book. The first person POV shifts between him and Nuala were distinct and engaging and the storyline kept me turning the pages. In addition to the beauty of this author's prose, I love the depth of emotion, the raw humanity of it, even as we're transported to a magical world-within-our-world of fairies.
This is a definite 5 star read, in a different way than Lament, but still extraordinary and beautiful.
That is indeed what I got here. A book that, okay it would have helped to read the first one - probably. Truth be told this is one of the few books that is part of a series (duo?) that doesn't recap the prior book in such obnoxious detail that you wonder why you read the prior one - but I did still get a good enough feel for what had happened that I wasn't lost.
I'm sure if you read any other review or synopsis of this book you don't need me telling you what it is but the short version = yes there are Faeries and humans that can see them. One in particular would like to get ahold of James as she needs to "feed" off of his life / talent to survive. He's not really into that idea, but is very much into his best friend who has a serious issue with the faeries. It's pretty much what you would expect of a teen supernatural story.
Is this the greatest book ever, of course not. Will I go back and read Lament? Not even sure about that. Maybe. But, I was left with a positive enough impression of the author that I'll probably read more of her books anyway as I could read this quickly, enjoy it enough, not regret having spent a day or two finishing it up, etc.
Most recent customer reviews
Wow! This is a FAR improved story from book one, LAMENT. I truly enjoyed James' character and his entanglement with a Leanan Sidhe named Nuala.Read more
I really enjoyed Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception. I thought it was the perfect mix of faerie mythology and Irish mythology that blended...Read more
It dragged a bit in the middle when nothing made sense yet and some parts of the plot seemed pointless.Read more