My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater, completely drew me in. It was a fascinating, interesting read, and I can honestly say I haven’t read anything quite like it before.
Blue is the daughter of a psychic, though she herself does not have psychic powers. The blurb reads, “Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them – until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.” Either Blue is his true love, or she killed him.
First of all, this is an intriguing premise. Second of all, “Blue” is a pretty great name.
The spirit who speaks to Blue on the corpse road is named Gansey, and he is a Raven Boy, because he attends the private school Aglionby and is very, very wealthy. Gansey is on a quest to find a Welsh king, aided by his good friends Adam, Ronan, and Noah. With this legend Gansey is completely obsessed. His research into magic and powerful ley lines running through their town brings Gansey to Blue’s doorstep. Once their paths cross, there is no going back.
I loved the juxtaposition between Blue’s family of women with Gansey’s group of boys. I love the way Stiefvater purposefully keeps secrets from her readers, but which are all revealed in due time. Take Gansey’s reason for the quest, Adam’s insecurities, Ronan’s anger, and Noah’s quietness, for example. And then, of course, there are the many interrelationships between her characters. The four boys are as close as brothers. And then there’s their interaction with Blue, who is the first female they’ve allowed to join their quest. Though it’s possible Gansey is Blue’s true love, she can hardly stand him at times and the tension is often very thick.
Throughout the book the author alternates perspectives, which is interesting because the reader gets a glimpse into the minds of many of the leading characters and is able to keep up with the story even when not all of the characters are present in a scene. There are even a few scenes told from the perspective of the villain, which allows the reader to begin piecing together certain mysteries as the story moves forward.
Each character is beautifully developed. The plot is intricate and captivating. The ending was not so predictable, and the very last line has you clamoring for book 2. If you’re into magic and clairvoyance and mystery, this book is a must-read.