Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic, 2011. ISBN 978 1 407121 12 3.
This is an excellent sequel to Lament and continues the relationship between James and Deirdre as they both embark on life at Thornking-Ash School of Music.
Each chapter is a reflection from one of three main characters - Nuala, a faerie obsessed with James, James or Deirdre (Dee). Although Deirdre is part of the main story it is text messages she writes but doesn't send to James that give us an insight in to the concerns she has and her ongoing relationship with the faeries. James is trying to deal with the constant presence of Nuala, the concerns he has for Dee and day-to-day life at school and his interactions with Mr Sullivan his English teacher.
In the chapters that contain Nuala's reflections an extract of a poem titled 'Golden Tongue: Poems of Steven Slaughter' is given providing a link with the faerie world and insight into her thinking.
As the characters lives intertwine and the influence and effect of the faeries becomes greater so does the danger for James and the people around him. Interestingly the involvement of minor characters initially proves to be important and significant as the story develops. James is forced to make a difficult choice between Nuala and Dee and the reader is kept guessing as to the final outcome until almost the last page of the story.