Ballad is Maggie Stiefvater's follow-up to Lament. And if Lament was amazing then I'm not even sure how to describe Ballad. Out of all five books that I've read, Ballad is my favorite. James and Deirdre have left their homes to live at a school for talented musicians.
James' amazing bagpipe music attracts the attention of Nuala. She is a faery and a muse. While giving inspiration, she also feeds on the creative energies of humans. James' fondness for Deirdre lessens as he becomes more attracted to Nuala.
Nuala has been around for a long time, dying and being reborn. She has often caught the eye of a human, but not until James as the attraction truly gone both ways. Both Dee and Nuala are in danger. Which one will James save? Or can he save them both?
Ballad is my absolute favorite book by Maggie Stiefvater, and the last time I met her, she said this was her favorite as well. (Although, I think that has changed with The Scorpio Races.) There's really nothing I can say to express just how incredible I think it is. And if I tried it would probably come out in an unflattering, fangirly way. I loved James. He was sweet and charming, and I loved reading his romance with Nuala. I liked Nuala from the start, even when I was unsure if she should be trusted.
Both Lament and Ballad were beautifully written, and I can't wait for more faery books from Maggie Stiefvater.