James survived his near death experiences with the faeries and is almost back to normal. He's bored at his new school. He and Dee aren't talking much these days. James meets someone new. She calls herself Nuala and she wants to make a deal with him. James is wary, but can't help being drawn to her. Once he learns her story, there's no going back. The faeries are back again. What (or who) do they want?
What I thought: Love, love, loved having the book from James's point-of-view. Kinda makes up for just having Dee's in Lament. Stiefvater is utterly original in her story/plot. (At least, I think so--I'm not as well read in faery books as I should be.) Dee met her match in Luke Dillon. Only seems fair to have James meet his in Nuala. The ending was great--reminded me of Beautiful Creatures--epic-ness with violence and even death. I will note that Ballad was published a couple of months before Beautiful Creatures. I just happened to read them in reverse publication order. So I guess the ending of Beautiful Creatures reminds me of Ballad in all fairness. Will there be another book? I don't think so, but I wouldn't mind reading more about James, Dee, and their otherworldly significant others.
(Woodbury, MN: Flux, 2009)