When his best friend, Dee, fell in love with a faerie, James realised she’d never feel the same way about him.
Trying to escape into music, James finds himself surrounded by more faeries than ever. Before he knows it, James is trapped in a dangerous game. One where the only way to win is to betray the one you love…
Ok, I’ll be up front. I LOVE Maggie Steifvater’s books and so far, am a big fan of all her works but honestly… this book didn’t really do much for me. Which is a shame, as I thoroughly enjoyed this books prequel, Lament, but with Ballad I just couldn’t get into the story. I think this was because I had gotten used to James being a secondary character and I didn’t like him as much as a main. Also I had been hoping this book would answer all the questions Lament had left unanswered but unfortunately, it didn’t. This book is James’ story and Dee didn’t play a big part in it.
The story begins with James and Dee’s move to music school. Yet due to recent past events – mostly psychotic killer fairies – their relationship has begun to fall apart and they are no longer the best friends they were. James soon replaces Dee’s companionship with Nualas, a fairy who can bring upon students fame and fortune in exchange for their life’s energy.
Naturally, James declines her offer but Nuala refuses to be ignored so easily. With persistence, she finally breaks through James defences and into his heart as well. She never expects to fall for him in return and intrigued by this human who shuns her, Nuala finds herself wanting to be around him more and more. Yet Nuala is more dangerous and darker than even she herself knows… and her darkness may just very cost James his life…
Despite not enjoying this story as much as I had hoped, there were many things about this book that I liked. Nuala for one is a very interesting character, with a fascinating story, and she certainly helped to make this book interesting.
James’ is also fun to read. I liked his sarcastic sense of humour and witty remarks but ultimately, I missed Dee. I felt like I wanted to know what was happening with her but her character in this book becomes very whinny and other than ‘unsent’ text messages, we don’t really find out much of what’s happening on her side of the story.
However while the plot wasn’t particularly action packed, it did hold my attention. And while I never felt like the characters were in any real danger, the romance between James and Nuala is very sweet to read and is one of the main things that I liked about this book.
All in all, I thought it was a rather average read – mostly I think because Lament gave me high expectations. For this reason, even though this is the second book of a trilogy, it reads well as a standalone and so I would suggest that anyone who hasn’t read the series begins with Ballad. I think you’ll enjoy this book a lot more by reading it first. Lament however is definitely one to check out and I’m still curious to see how the story will conclude in the last and final book. 3 stars!