Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Book Review: Ballad

  A Gathering of Faerie

by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 9/10

Nuala is part muse, part psychic vampire. While the freedom to sing or write or create is denied her, her mark across history is unmistakable: a trail of brilliant poets, musicians, and artists who have died tragically young. She has no sympathy for their abbreviated life spans; every sixteen Halloweens she burns in a bonfire and rises from her ashes with no memories of what has come before other than the knowledge of how her end will come.
James is the best bagpiper in the state of Virginia—maybe in the country—plus he's young and good-looking: just Nuala's thing. But James, supremely confident in his own abilities and in love with another girl, becomes the first to ever reject Nuala's offer. He's preoccupied with bigger things than Nuala: an enigmatic horned figure who appears at dusk and the downward spiral of Dee, his girlfriend-who-isn't.
It becomes obvious to James that Nuala's presence, the horned king of the dead, and Dee's slow self-destruction are all related, and that Dee is the center of a deadly faerie game. While James struggles to unwind the tangled threads of the story, Nuala shadows him, seeing her conflicted, dual nature reflected back at her in him. She finds herself lending him inspiration for nothing. Not quite for nothing—for the hope of requited affection. But even as James begins to realize his feelings for both Dee and Nuala have changed, the sixteenth Halloween descends, with its bonfires and rituals for the dead, one deadly to Nuala and the other to Dee. James can only save one.

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie is the second book of faerie by Maggie Stiefvater.

Ballad follows on from Lament, James, Deidre’s best friend from Lament and Dee are at Thornking-Ash a school for musically gifted. James is a bagpiper of the finest degree; however when he got to be the best, he quit competing.

Deidre is in a downward spiral after the events of Lament and misses Luke, James however is being trailed by Nuala who is fascinated by the only musician who ever says no; in part because he knows about faerie and in part because he knows the deal is not a good one.

Deidre is out of the picture in this book and when we finally get to really see her again, she is completely wrecked; the loss of Luke and James pulling away from her have destroyed her. That disappointed me.

However the story of James and Nuala is great, I found their love story adorable. James’ sarcasm and treatment of those around him, even Peter who he initially found annoying, was great. This really saved the story and in fact made it much better than Lament, but try to read Lament first

Currently listening: Don’t Trust Me – 3OH!3

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Book Review: Lament

  The Faerie Queen's Deception

by Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 6/10
lamentSixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. When a mysterious boy enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of nowhere, Deirdre finds herself infatuated.
Trouble is, the enigmatic and conflicted Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin—and Deirdre is meant to be his next mark. Deirdre has to decide if Luke's feelings towards her are real, or only a way to lure her deeper into the world of Faerie.

Lament: The Faerie Queens’ Deception is the first novel by the bestselling author of Shiver and Linger. The novel is about Deidre, a gifted harpist.

Lament opens with Deidre totally wrecked with nerves and thinking that it’ll be better if she can just get to throw up.

Deidre is about to perform in a competition and she is going to play the Faerie Queen’s Lament. Luke Dillon who is totally cute shows up as Deidre is upchucking and he holds her back, which is what her best friend James usually does.

Luke challenges Deidre to perform differently and she ends up performing a duet with him (Luke is a flautist). Deidre is given an iron ring by her Granna, a key on a chain to wear by Luke as they both notice Deidre finding four-leaf clovers.

The fey in Lament are the typical, insanely beautiful kind, and they are cruel in a creepy uncaring way. They want to play with Deidre so They send her the clovers, because with some people the clovers just teach them how to see Them. Four-leaf clovers are used to see the fey, (you’re not supposed to say Faeries because it calls Their notice).

Deidre discovers she has telekinesis and a strange form of telepathy that causes her to gain Luke’s memories, in which she discovers he is the Faerie Queen’s assassin; he can touch iron so he can use it to kill Them.

Deidre is a cloverhand, which means she has energy (the telekinesis is a symptom) and this draws the fey to her. The Faerie Queen isn’t actually one of Them, she is the previous cloverhand and she uses Luke to kill off those who threaten her reign.

The Faerie Queen holds Luke’s soul and Deidre’s best friend over Deidre and she must fight to save her love and her life.

This is a good and sucks you in but it does end quickly and more reassurance that Luke and Deidre will be together would be nice.

Currently listening: Real Thing – Boys Like Girls