Maggie Stiefvater once again creates a setting that you can see, hear and smell for her characters to inhabit. The burning of incense, colors of the surrounding countryside and descriptions of the music students at practice all bring the setting to life.
Ballad is the second title in the Books of Faerie series. Ballad picks up with Dee and James headed off to private school for teens gifted in music. They still haven’t come to terms with what happened over the summer (read the Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception for that story) and though they need each other’s friendship they are awkward around each other. James is also being followed by an attractive female fae that can increase his musical ability but at a price. And why is the school located in an area known for the King of the Dead and other magical creatures? Why is James’roommate hearing voices?