Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

My thoughts..

This book took me a little while to get into, the way the author described things and revealed things was a bit jarring at first but soon after I was hooked. This book for me had all the nostalgia of the school summer holidays but with a darker edge. I loved how the elements of magic and witchcraft are grounded in a realistic narrative of the characters personal lives and relationships. Reading this book felt exactly like when I played make-believe when I was little. When trees became houses and I brewed potions out of plants and leaves.

Blue is the main protagonist, I loved Blue and her house crammed full of her psychic mother’s family and friends. Blue has no psychic ability, her ability is that she makes magic and psychic power stronger for those who have it. Blue is kind of an outsider, even in her own home, she is sensible but stubborn and has a great relationship with her mother. Blue eventually meets The Raven Boys, who are made up of Gansey who is very rich and old before his time, he likes to help people even when they don’t want his help and is a kind of modern day treasure hunter. Ronan who uses his words like weapons, he’s the darker moody character with a tragic past he is still dealing with. There’s Adam who feels like he doesn’t fit in due to him being a lot poorer than the other two and he wants to make his own way in the world. Then finally we have Noah who is the most mysterious. He likes to pats Blue’s hair and doesn’t eat much.

I loved reading the characters interactions both between Blue and her family and The Raven Boys (Ronan in particular is very funny). I liked how the characters were dealing with real problems and issues and not just on a family friendly magical quest. I loved even more how even though there was a sense of a love story and brewing love triangle this was not the focus of the book. The only thing I can think of as a negative would be the power that Gansey had. It seems fruitless to complain about a lack of realism in a fantasy but it was slightly annoying what Gansey and his family money could do. I felt like at times his age could have got in the way when dealing with adults but that wasn’t the case.

Overall this for me was more what a young adult fantasy is supposed to be. The world of The Raven Cycle series is beautifully written, it is eccentric and unique and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

 

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