SUMMARY (from Goodreads): In this mesmerizing sequel to Lament, music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians. James' musical talent attracts Nuala, a soul-snatching 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 soul-scorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.
Ballad is not the usual type of a sequel. Though connected to Lament and Dee’s story, it does not continue it in a straightforward manner, but rather focuses on Dee’s friend James and his story, which is a refreshing approach.
In Ballad, Stiefvater continues to rely upon the faerie mythology, which is pretty new and intriguing to me. The student life and dealing with supernatural occurrences are well balanced and the book is beautifully written. James’s and Nuala’s relationship is more down-to-earth than Dee’s and Luke’s in Lament – it is a beauty-in-sadness kind of story. I was a little surprised by the ending which seems, though I like it, somewhat artificial.
Still, I enjoyed Ballad very much and I am looking forward to the third part of the trilogy, as I expect there is still something left to be revealed about James and Nuala, and also Sullivan. In addition, I hope the last book in the series tells a few more things about Dee and brings her storyline to some sort of a conclusion.
RECOMMENDATION: Any YA reader would enjoy this story of love and magic. Its beautiful language makes the book an easy and fast read.