*Warning, this is sort of a backward review. It may contain some slight spoilers for Ballad, but I promise to make those very small*
I couldn't wait to start this book and quickly started reading after I got it. I had to read this one because I was so enamored with "Ballad" which is actually the second book in this series. I had to know more about Deirdre and James. Plus, I had to find out who the heck Luke was. As I started reading, the worst thing happened to me. I got sick. Had a fever. Now, this wouldn't have been so bad but it also accompanied a bad headache. So, I couldn't read. Of course, I did read in-between headaches, but the story was so good, it was torture to have it dragged out for me!
Enough of that, and back to the book. I was thrown back into the world of James and Deirdre when they were first aware that "They" were real. I also found out who exactly Luke was and why she fell so hard for him. All characters are deliciously flawed which perfectly counters the fantastic world to which they are thrown. The secrets revealed are mixed with a good dose of faerie (oops, I mean, "Their") lore. The lore is more of what had come out after Christianity took over Ireland. Yes, it is a character driven book but there is still plenty of plot within the twists and turns thrown at Deirdre and Luke. I know that others have said that the beginning of the book is a bit slow. Perhaps I did not see this because of my special circumstance in reading the book, but it did not seem slow at all to me.
For those that have read this series backwards like me might be disappointed that there is very little of James in this story. However, you will be satisfied that you have a better picture of Deirdre perhaps forgive her a bit more for her role in "Ballad". Unfortunately, I was left with more questions than answers. I would love to know what happened specifically to Deirdre in "Ballad" and I also want to know more of the story as it continues. I want to know what happened to Luke. I want to know more!
I gave this story 5 stars. The biggest flaw in this series is that there are so many loose ends and not all are tied up in the next book. However, that in itself is more likely intentional and one can hope that as the series continues you aren't left totally hanging and questions formed are answered. Yes, I do recommend this book.
Mary, Young and Fair (traditional tune, arranged by Maggie Stiefvater) Thought I'd include this since so much of the book talked about traditional folk music.