Nuala is part muse, part psychic vampire. Her mark across history is unmistakable: a trail of brilliant poets, musicians, and artists who die tragically young.

James is the best bagpiper in the state, plus he’s young and good-looking: just Nuala’s type. But egotistical James becomes the first to ever reject Nuala. He’s preoccupied with something bigger: a deadly faerie game with the horned king of the dead and Dee, his girlfriend-who-isn’t, at its center. Slowly, though, James and Nuala form a cautious friendship. But even as James begins to realize his feelings for both Dee and Nuala have changed, Halloween descends with its bonfires and rituals for the dead, one deadly to Nuala and the other to Dee.

James can only save one.


  • Ballad: An Animated Storyboard Trailer

  • Behind the Scenes of the Ballad Trailer

  • Maggie Does Bagpipes


Hear What Others Say About Ballad...

  • Realms of Fantasy

    “Stiefvater weaves suspense, romance, and music together to deliver a thoroughly satisfying story. Give this one a shot.”


    “[James] snaps out witty repartee that teen readers will wish they could reproduce.”


    “Readers of Holly Black’s Tithe (2002) or Charles de Lint’s The Blue Girl (2004) will enjoy this rich foray into faerie. The book’s backdrop, so firmly rooted in Celtic myth, is scary, mysterious, magical, and horrifying.”

  • Carrie Ryan, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

    “Maggie Stiefvater excels at writing wonderfully complex characters who face wickedly impossible obstacles. Ballad had me hooked until the pulse-pounding end. Readers who loved Lament will devour Ballad and plead for more!”

    R. J. Anderson, author of Ultraviolet

    “With its razor wit, compelling characters, and deliriously beautiful prose, Ballad will make you laugh and gasp out loud even as it breaks your heart.”

    Tamora Pierce, New York Times Bestselling Author of Terrier & Trickster's Queen

    “Ballad is giddy, intoxicating, and threatening all at once . . . a sheer edge read.”


I have to have music playing non-stop while I write, or I can’t focus. All I can think about is doing laundry, taking a walk, making cookie dough, or laying on the floor. So I create focused playlists for each book, every song picked to reinforce the mood or help me through a scene. They tend to be hours long, but here’s a selection from each book. If you love a song, please buy the track and support the artists so they can keep making more music.

  • 1 Running Up That Hill Placebo
  • 2 Starts with One Shiny Toy Guns
  • 3 The Stone Ashes Divide
  • 4 Get Some Chevelle
  • 5 Map of the Problematique Muse
  • 6 Paralyzed Rock Kills Kid
  • 7 In My Hands Fuel
  • 8 Invasion Eisley
  • 9 Follow Breaking Benjamin
  • 10 Crushcrushcrush Paramore
  • 11 Start the Machine Angels & Airwaves
  • 12 Leslie's Tune Kila
  • 13 Aililiu Na Gamhna (Calling Home the Calves) Iarla Ó Lionáird
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