I truly loved Ballad, a lot more than it's predecessor, Lament. I was really suprised that I liked it so much as I didn't really care for the main character of Lament, Deirdre (Dee), who also happens to be the best friend of the protangonist of Ballad, James the bagpiper.
James stole my heart with his dry humour and sparkeling wit, and the other main character, Nuala the parasitic faerie, brought some difference in perspective that worked well.
The storyline I found less wishy-washy than Lament, and had more of a structure and purpose. In Ballad we find that, a few months after Lament, Dee and James are in a boarding school for the musically gifted, in an attempt to keep them safe from the world of faerie (as the musical geniuses often have psychic abilities). But there are strange goings on near the school, and can the mysterious horned king, the hoards of visiting faeries and Nuala be linked?
5/5 and a great read for all who like the mystical and stories from the Land of the Fey.