maggie stiefvater

The Raven Boys


“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

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.


If you haven’t decided to put this book after reading the synopsis STOP! Go back. Open your TBR list and put this on there. Trust me… you won’t be disappointed.

I started up this series before the third book was published, thinking it was a trilogy. It was one of the very first book series that I read. Therefore, I wasn’t quite used to the high-fantasy note it has but came to love its complicated weaving of storylines and mythologies anyway. Back then, the switching of the POVs gave me a minor headache but now that I’ve read it again (after reading books such as ACOTAR, Throne of Glass, The Mortal Instruments etc. etc.) I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Raven Boys begins with Blue. A teenage girl who’s the only child in a house full of psychics. Also, she’s the only one who doesn’t have any sixth sense or ability to see the future. The only thing she can do is amplify others when it comes to energy.
Right off the bat, I fell in love with this character. She’s a feisty child who isn’t afraid to bark back at those who are taller than her and she takes no shit. Blue knows what she wants and takes it. She can be a little annoying at times. A spoiled brat, even, but it works. It becomes funny whenever she’s with the boys.
Her story too, is a very interesting one. It’s not overly lovey-dovey but she does struggle with the fact she will come to kill her true love. Especially when she comes to know who her true love will be, according to her family’s prophecies and The Corpse Road.

Meeting her true love, Gansey, gives another witty edge to the dense,  information-packed story. He’s everything Blue despises. Rich. Arrogant. Seemingly powerful. Loaded with money… Sounds like a prick, right? But he’s not. He’s oblivious to his condescending ways but he tries to be different. That is what makes it so funny. In every way, Gansey’s appearance screams money but he’s so incredibly oblivious to it which causes for a nice back-and-forth banter between him and Blue.

But the story does not only revolve around them. It’s about much more. Gansey is obsessed with finding an ancient Welsh King, who’s rumored to be buried underneath a Ley Line in Henrietta, Virginia. During his search for the King, things get more and more dangerous for the three boys and Blue. Other people are searching too. Rumor has it, wake the King and earn a favor. Meaning, ask anything and you’ll be granted your wish.
In their search, the group comes across magical places where time seems to have no meaning, trees that conjure up halucinations (or maybe predictions, which may lead to my heart shattering) and the truth behind a corpse.

Maggie Stiefvater is truly an artist. You can see how she’s matured since she’s written The Wolves of Mercy Fall. The amount of research she did for this series has been tremendous and it goes to show. The depth to the lines, the heapes of information behind the myths and legends… it makes this book such an amazing masterpiece. Maggie is so detailed and descriptive that it’s so easy to imagine the places where they go. The character development, too, is noteworthy. There are loads of characters in this books and yet, Maggie manages to give them all a background. In other words, she rounds her characters with precision.

I recommend this book to everyone who’s interested in Welsh folklore or is simply looking for a great read. It’s a little heavy at times since there’s a lot to process as a reader, so be prepared to really sit down with this book. Don’t let this scare you away, though. It takes a little getting into but I promise you, it’s funny, thrilling and easy to read yet thought-provoking.

With love,
Leanne.

 

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