Free eBook Ballad: The Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2) By Maggie Stiefvater –

In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians James' musical talent attracts Nuala, a soulsnatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die Composing beautiful music together unexpectedly leads to mutual admiration and love Haunted by fiery visions of 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

10 thoughts on “Ballad: The Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2)

  1. C.G. Drews C.G. Drews says:

    2nd Read | 2018

    Ohhh it's been TOO LONG since I had the absolute marvellous pleasure of a book narrated by James. I seriously can't even with how much I love him. He is so complicated and damaged, but such a cocky smartass. I also feel like he had a lot of super severe anxiety traits (maybe OCD?) that he's suppressing by being so glib. But like...James. 😭I want the best for my musical genius faerie captivating piper brokenhearted son. I can't even.

    Also I so permanently love the way Maggie Stiefvater does faeries! I mean that's like obvious (I am SUCH a fan of everything she writes afjdksla) but they're so gorgeous and ethereal and vicious here. My only thing is: there was a lot of shit going down in the faerie realms, but we mostly only see James' POV of it (and he's trying to stay out of it.) I want mooooore. So I can know what's going on.

    I actually read somewhere that Maggie Stiefvater's #1 goal for readers is: to make them want more. I FEEL THIS SO MUCH. More of her words, more out of life , asking more questions, just feeling the weight of being more. It's so beautifully tied around every page. And holy wow I jUST WANT A THIRD BOOK. PLEASE, UNIVERSE?

    (Also Dee freaking annoys me. I get that she was struggling, but that's never an excuse to treat people badly. ffs)

    Basically yes I am Stiefvater trash and this reread has left me so messily inspired and emotional.

    PS. Quick note on the audiobook? Do not recommend. Nuala's narrator was utterly awful and made James' voice so hard to listen to without wanting to eat glass. James' narrator was excellent! Why couldn't he have narrated the whole book?!?


    1st Read | 2012
    Maggie Stiefvater’s Lament and Ballad are probably the closest I’ve read to Paranormal. I must say, no matter the genre, I'm a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing voice. She could write about a puppy going on a holiday and I’d still read it. Reading Ballad, I had an intensely hilarious time with the characters. First off, they are real. They humour is brilliant, the quirks are fresh, the character development is flawless. In Ballad, we move into James’ head and the most we see of Dee’s thoughts are text messages she never sends. The story alternates between James and Nuala. James is a remarkable character, written so well you can’t decide whether to laugh or cry at his personality. I particularly love his obsession of writing notes to himself all over his hands. Dee is a jerk. At the end of the book I liked her marginally better.

    While there aren’t action scenes on every page, the plot moves at a comfortably zinging pace. No dull moments. I love the banter between characters, the progression of school life, and the character development that flows through the pages. And, as always, I love the musical theme. It still astounds me how an author can write about music and have the reader…well, hear it. Talent.

    The ending, as always, left me hurt and angry and sad at the sweetness – and totally unresolved. Sources tell me there’s a third book. I want it. Now. I would have to say Ballad is my favourite. Purely because James is a more interesting character then Dee. The plot of book one wins more points than book two, but the way the story wound out in Ballad wins over its predecessor. I am a fan of the writing. The books are filled with their own brilliance.

  2. Krystle Krystle says:

    Ballad is the sequel to Lament, which I reviewed earlier. It’s got a bit of everything; romance, devious faeries, magic, and teen drama.

    Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is much the same as in the previous book; pretty descriptions and a definite knowledge of mythology. There were a whole lot of new characters too and I just did not connect to any of them. Nuala while intriguing on her own with a spitfire personality, inner turmoil, and her own conflict with the fey, just did not grab me.

    Seeing as how this book was from James’s pov, I was a bit disappointed we didn’t have Deidre front and center. Instead, she was barely visible and hardly appeared, not to mention she was a pretty soft, weak, and weepy character compared to her older herself which had a touch more spine than this one did. The romance and attraction between James and Nuala never clicked with me, and I was hoping they’d just both find someone else or off themselves.

    The pacing of the book was pretty slow compared to Lament and things didn’t pick up until about the halfway mark. When you near the ending there’s this thought of: “Oh man, this is just going to be exactly the same as the first book” but then there’s a slight twist that doesn’t really make you think twice about anything.

    Eh. The cover is pretty-ish though!

  3. oliviasbooks oliviasbooks says:

    *** On re-reading it in 2017 ***: I still liked it, but I don't need to read it a third time.
    *** Read first and reviewed in December 2010 ***
    4 stars!! I am quite overwelmed by how much I liked Ballad, since after reading Lament I expected a sequel that would also barely make it into the It-was-enjoyable-but-didn't-touch-me category. In most cases sequels even take a slight - or not so slight - drop for me. Surprisingly Ballad turned out to be what I wished Lament had been: A beautiful but eerie story in which humans meet dangerous, but alluring and likable faeries. Both worlds are shaken up. Both main characters change because of the encounter. James was the character I liked best in Lament, anyway. And his story told in turns with faerie muse Nuala tucked at my heart strings in a way Deidre's narration would not and could not. (Oh, how I wished for a miracle in the end! A sure sign of success of the author's efforts to engage the reader.) I was so very afraid of Nuala hurting James in the beginning, but after a few chapters she started to grow on me, which is how it should be in my opinion. Ballad, which was featuring Deidre, too, in the form of unsent text messages, confirmed my slight dislike of the cloverhand and opened my eyes to why Lament and I could not and did not really click. A short comment on the cover: It fits like a fist on an eye as we would say in German.

    P.S.: I am sorry, Jessi, for stowing Ballad away on my keepers shelf after having set up your hope. Borrowing is certainly possible ;-).

  4. kari kari says:

    Wow, really didn't care for this one and I'm disappointed.
    I was hoping this sequel was a continuation of Deirdre's story but this one is all about James and Nuala, a muse faerie who sucks the life from her sexual partners to live. Yeah, nice, huh?
    James doesn't like her, isn't interested in what she has to offer until suddenly, for no apparent reason, other than it would seem he wants to make Dee unhappy, he is interested. Even though James has told Nuala he isn't interested and to leave him alone, she doesn't do that. Instead she sends him dreams that bother him and constantly tries to convince him to do what she wants.
    The story is told in the voices of James and Nuala with the occasional unsent text message from Dee, giving some small clues, very small, to what's happening with her. I was interested in Dee and, to a lesser degree, James, and Nuala, not at all. She wasn't a character that I liked, wanted to know more about, or wanted her to have a happily ever after.
    Why should Nuala get to have a human life when Luke wasn't allowed to do so? She is an assassin just as much and no better than Luke. That really bothers me. Luke was at least forced to be the queen's gallowglass. Nuala just was who she was, not feeling any guilt or trouble by doing what she did as Luke did. I don't care for Nuala, didn't like her attitude toward Dee or James. Did she really care for him or just want to rub Dee's nose in it which was how it seemed to me.
    The one thing I did enjoy was James' voice. He's wonderfully sarcastic and funny and I think he deserves better that Nuala.
    Can't recommend this one.

  5. Tara Tara says:

    Dear Maggie Stiefvater,

    You torture me.
    I love your writing, I love your ideas, I love your books. I DO NOT love the way you leave me hanging. I get that you have your Mercy Falls books to finish, though I think that Shiver ended fine, and I am certainly excited about those. . . BUT I NEED RESOLUTION TO THIS STORY! There is just so much story in Lament/Ballad that needs to be told, so many questions that need answering.

    Just in case you haven't heard this from thousands of other readers, let me give you a brief list of mysteries that I need solved: Where has Luke been and why was he AWOL when all this almost-kill-Dee stuff went down? What are the details of Dee's experiences in Ballad, because it seems she went through some freaky-deeky stuff. What is Sullivan's story? And Paul's, since he kind of saved the day. Will Dee always be the most powerful cloverhand? Will she ever be HAPPY again?

    These answers are kind of important to me. I would really, REALLY appreciate you dropping what you're doing RIGHT NOW and write another follow-up book. The third of the trilogy, if you will.

    Best regards,

  6. Kristi Kristi says:

    Three words; addictive, magical, & wicked.

    I've been eagerly awaiting this novel since the last pages of Lament. Eagerly awaiting to fulfill my craving of James, I mean! Ballad, although could be considered a sequel to Lament, is more of a companion novel. Let me just say that Ballad finally (finally!) satisfies that insatiable hunger for James, after that enticing, all to short, glimpse during Lament. And can I say, that I only love him more. His witty retorts, his one line smart ass comments, his idiotic t-shirts.... they only add to his charm.

    Ballad is a completely different story than it's predecessor. And I don't mean that in a negative way, but it's apparent from page one, that James' story is deep. He is so much more than his humorous exterior, it's heartbreaking. The beautiful complexity of his character is unbelievable. I was in awe of that alone.

    However, I cannot fail to mention the extremely talented Maggie Steifvater. I can't explain her writing. It's addictive, it almost has it's own melody, the chorus from a song that gets stuck in your head. It is absolutely beautiful, which is a completely simplistic depiction, yet there is no other word for it. It. Is. Beautiful! And the thing is, the writing for this series feels totally different than it does for Shiver. (Another one of Maggie's novels) And Shiver is beautifully written as well, but it's a different kind of beauty, am I the only one that feels this way? Maybe I'm crazy.

    The story was fantastic. It alternates between James and Nuala. There are a few texts from Dee thrown in there (which I thought were crucial to the plot), but really she's sort of background music in this novel. It was fast paced, but never felt rushed. Twists and turns that I never saw coming. Entertaining as well as enjoyable.

    And I'm just going to stop right there, because I could keep going, but I'm not one for a long review, and this is like the longest in my history. Needless to say, I love this series. And I loved Ballad even more. I knew there would be great things to come when I read Lament. I'm so very glad to see it a reality.

  7. Kayla Kayla says:

    A really good spin off novel following an other character which I loved a lot.

  8. nova ryder ☼ nova ryder ☼ says:

    “I stared at the stars and wanted more than what I was and more than what the world was and just—wanted.”

    why isn’t james real? i want him to be my best friend.

    this book focuses on james while also giving you a rare look into life after a young adult fantasy novel ends less than happily ever after. which is interesting and also really fucking mopey. but, i mean, if the love of my teen-life had to run off and join the fairies so he wouldn’t die and i couldn’t ever see him again, i’d be pretty mopey, too.

    “If it had been Dee, I’d have needed to comfort her or make a joke, but with Nuala, I didn’t have to pretend.”

    i love james. i love nuala. i love james & nuala. i also like dee, but - as mentioned - she’s really mopey in this book. i forgive her for it, though. i enjoy this one more the the first book, as much as i liked dee & luke’s relationship, nuala & james’s felt more genuine and less insta-love. james is trying to work through his feelings for his best friend and nuala is trying to not die. all good fun.

    honestly, i think this series is worth a shot just for james’s witty one-liners, but i also know this series isn’t for everyone. it’s an interesting spin on the usual fae paranormal young adult romance, but it’s also very... paranormal young adult romance.

  9. Alexandra (Books-In-A-Storm) Alexandra (Books-In-A-Storm) says:

    So I really try to love this book. But sadly I could not.
    It's a good book don't get me wrong but it's not my cup of tea.
    I mean I've been reading this book for almost two years. I wasn't going to give up on it. I just took forever to read it. But the first book was so much better.

  10. Heather Heather says:

    Maggie Stiefvater ranks as one of my best newly discovered authors of 2009 (right up there with Patrick Ness). And it's saying something, for me, that I read two books about faeries -- never my favorite topic, especially after my Melissa Marr experience gone bad -- just to read more of her stuff, even though Lament, and Ballad are not, in some ways, as tightly written as Shiver, my hands-down favorite of hers.

    But Ballad still contains her lyric prose, and better yet, a truly unique narrative voice. If you liked James in Lament, Ballad is a tribute to him. And his sarcastic, sometimes crude, commentary is a strange juxtaposition to the dreamy, bittersweet descriptions she peppered throughout Lament, and in Ballad to a lesser degree. But he works. Even if he's chasing after a killer-muse (wha??), which was only slightly less weird to me than all the harp-playing Dee did in Lament, he still works. From his commentary t-shirts to his compulsive writing-on-skin habit, this guy is someone you enjoy hearing from. Her narrative claims that he's unique, super-talented and unusually intelligent never struck me as swagger, because his own voice supports the claims.

    I've heard criticism about this novel on a number of points -- Nuala's not likeable, Dee and James interact too woodenly, where the heck is Luke (spoiler alert: he makes no appearances), etc -- but I'd argue against them all. Although the plot dragged a bit in the first 100 or so pages, there's no question that Stiefvater's character interactions are planned and deliberate. In Ballad we see Dee and James coping with the trauma they experienced in Lament, and the silences and gaps develop into a telling display of just how broken the two of them have been by these events. Luke's profound absence means he's never far from your mind, and all the unanswered questions have me wondering if he'll show up in book 3. Readers are constantly directed to James' ugly scar, but much more subtly, we hear him talk about the accident and his attempts to reconcile Dee's sacrifice with the arms' length she now puts between them.

    I'll agree that Nuala was, in some ways, underdeveloped. She was so similar to James that her voice was not as distinctly apart from him as some may have preferred, and I could have done with hearing a little more from her. And it was troubling to think that the strongest female character in this novel claimed she was created to be so based on what James desired. Feminism takes a small step back . . . nevertheless, Stiefvater is always about the individual making the right choice, even when it's the hardest, and in Ballad Nuala shows a fair amount of pluck and verve. In another author's hands, I'd have hated her. In Stiefvater's, she grew on me.