Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie
by Maggie Stiefvater
The second book in the Books of Faerie series. I loved this more than the first book. Why? Because this one was all James all the time. I love him. I loved being in his head and on his side of the story for this one.
James and Dee have ... parted ways ... since the end of the last novel. There is a huge rift between them that neither one of them is ready to cross. Things were said and not said in the end of Lament that each would like to take back or fix, but they both believe it's not possible anymore.
James spends a good portion of the book lamenting (no pun intended) over his loss of friendship with Dee. And Dee keeps us posted on her life through a series of text messages that she never sends. It's quite heart breaking. They are starting their fist year at a Musical Prep School where a lot of crazy things happen. There are faeries about, and James hates them. However there is one faerie, named Nuala that he builds a bond with. There is a lot going on in this book there is the surface story of James and Nuala, the back ground stories of James and Dee and James and his roommate, and then there is the story about what's going on in the faerie world. They are all nicely intertwined and you find yourself really feeling for James and some of the choices he has to make. There were several places in this book where I cried. I wanted James to be happy, but some times he just sabotages himself (like we all do some times) and he is left with words unsaid. Dee is really frustrating in this one. On one hand you want to know more about what is going on with her and her cryptic messages, but on the other hand you just want to slap her for the words that come out of her mouth. And Nuala ... I don't even know what to say about her. I liked her, but I didn't. I wanted her to be happy, but not at the expense of Dee. I wanted the end to not be the way it was. But the end was good enough.
I'd love to read another novel about these characters, but according to Maggie there probably isn't going to be anymore novels in this series. That's oaky though. I guess what we got was good enough.
I don't think it would make a good stand alone read because there were a lot of references to things that happened in Lament. I recommend this book to those who loved Lament, those who wanted more for James.