Saturday, 13 July 2013

Review - The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

 The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

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“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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver 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.

This is an utterly compelling young adult read, which manages to put a new spin on familiar tropes, blending myth, superstition and fantasy into a unique tale.

Blue comes from a family of psychics, although her only gift is that she can amplify the abilities of others. The only prediction for her own future is that she will kill her true love. She thinks nothing of this until she sees a strange boy when watching for ghosts at the cemetery. He isn’t a ghost, but one of the ‘Raven Boys’ who attend the local private school. And because Blue can see him, it either means he’s her true love, or she’ll kill him.

Meanwhile, the Raven Boy in question, Gansey, is obsessed with the idea of finding the tomb of the ancient Welsh King Glendower, which he is convinced is buried somewhere near Henrietta. But he’s not the only one on a quest, and it soon becomes clear that the lives of certain individuals - including himself; his best friends Adam and Ronan; and Blue – are inextricable bound.

The blurb made this sound a lot like a love story, but it really isn’t. It’s a highly imaginative, gripping quest tale with a refreshingly different spin on the supernatural involving psychics, ley lines and long-dead kings. The characters are all well-developed and I like the dynamic between the central group of Aglionby boys, as well as Blue’s endearingly bizarre psychic family. I especially felt sympathetic towards Adam and his desire to be something more than his circumstances allow, and there was one particular twist surrounding one of the characters which I most definitely did not see coming!

I loved the gradually unravelling mystery and I’m a sucker for all things supernatural and mythology-based so I didn’t mind the slow pacing, even though I didn’t realise this was the first in a series. It’s beautifully written, and every detail fits wonderfully into place. This deserves a definite five stars from me! 

Rating: *****


  1. I love this book so much. The characters are all very near and dear to my heart, especially Gansey, and I am so excited to get my hands on the next one. I'm glad you liked it.

    1. I can't wait for The Dream Thieves either! :D

  2. I'll likely check this book out someday, since I absolutely adore Lament and Ballad from this author. Need to get around to reading The Scorpio Races first, though, which is hidden somewhere in my TBR pile!

    1. The Scorpio Races is awesome, definitely read it. :)

  3. I adored this book as well and cannot wait for the sequel! Great review :)