Of course, Ballad was everything I expected and more.
I loved Luke in Lament. I loved Sam in Shiver. But I have to say, hands down, James is my most favorite and crush-worthy Stiefvater creation. Hes cocky. Hes arrogant. Hes flawed and real and leaps off the page. Just how I like em. Nualas layers, mysteries and complexities make for an intriguing heroine. I rooted for her and James to succeed from the first chapter.
Also, there is kissing. Hot. Kissing.
Dee, from the first book in the series, reappears. She did several things that made me not like her as much as I did in Lament. So, with the unresolved issues and all that, I really need a book three. (Did you hear me, Flux? Maggie? Dont make me write fan fiction.)
While the storyline is flawless, its Maggies subtext that always grabs me and sticks around in my brain for days (and its already crowded in there). Shes done a gorgeous job with it in Ballad, this time addressing the wanting, the burning, the desire for MORE so many artists struggle with. Im not sure Maggie gives the reader a resolution, but the concept sure makes you ask yourself some hard questions.
I know Ill see more in the next go around. Maggies books always warrant a second (third, fourth) read either because I missed some details and want to feel smart when I catch them or because I want to immerse myself in the beauty of her writing again.
Go get Ballad now. You know you want to, just like you know it comes with my highest recommendation. 5/5
As an added bonus, here are some short stories by Maggie at Merry Sisters of Fate about characters from the faerie series: