Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Boys
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
My Review: 5/5*
I was a little sceptical when I requested this book from Net Galley a few months ago as to whether it would live up to its hype. Having read Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races and not having an entirely smooth beginning with the author’s work, I found myself hoping that this wouldn’t be the case with another of her books. With so many positive reviews for the rest of her books, I was beginning to wonder what it was that I was missing. Needless to say, a few pages into The Raven Boys and I was hooked. This book surpassed the likes of Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass, Abigail Gibbs Dinner with a Vampire and Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches for me. All books which I absolutely adored this year.
The novel introduces the eccentric, non-psychic (yet brimming with psychic energy) and brilliant protagonist, Blue. We soon discover that her life is anything but ordinary. She lives in a house full of psychics but does not possess the gift herself. Immediately we are thrust into Blue’s life and are displayed with the danger she possesses for one individual: that of her true love. Throughout her life, by family and other psychics, Blue has been told that if she is to kiss her true love, he will die. This haunts her throughout the novel as we see her visions of Gansey and her struggles with Adam. The novel is very cliché in this aspect, it encompasses the matter of head vs. Heart and Stiefvater successfully displays Blue’s battle between her well-known sensibility and the foreign feelings bestowed on her from the male that she becomes close to.
Despite the beginning of the book, it doesn’t play around too much on the aspect of love. The main focus is the journey of which the five key figures are on: the search for Glyndwr the former Welsh King and the ley lines which allow this. I will admit that upon seeing something which involved my very own culture I was incredibly excited to see how Ms. Stiefvater would develop this and I was not disappointed. She gives an incredibly inventive twist to the historical legend of Glyndwr a.k.a. Glendower and the book itself portrays Gansey’s journey – with the others in tow – in which he has to discover these lines. His preoccupation is explained to Blue, and through her, to us, as to why he must find this past King and its importance to him. I am not going to spoil the novel for any of you so get to reading!
The friendships developed within the novel are wonderful, they are full of the loyalty portrayed in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Maggie isn’t shy in her delving into uncomfortable family situations. The novel deals with many important aspects; the death of those held close, child abuse, capitalism and it makes for such an amazing read. Despite this being categorised as a Young Adult book I would urge any adult to pick this up. The first book of the series closes leaving so many questions unanswered and I am comfortable in saying, leaving many of us dying to know the answers. The Raven Boys completely blew The Scorpio Races out of the water and today I immediately went out and purchased another of her books to read!
With so many twists and turns and the progressively darkening of the tale, I really cannot wait to read the next book in the series, hurry up September 2013!