Friday, October 26, 2012

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.

"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." 

The plot description doesn't really do justice to this amazing story. I read The Scorpio Races in February, but The Raven Boys is a bit better, I think. It's much easier to get into, and I really loved the characters, especially Gansey. Basically, Gansey and two of his friends from Aglionby are searching for Glendover, this Welsh king who is "asleep", but if awoken, will grant you a wish. Also, these ley lines, lines of energy criss-crossing the globe are connected to him too. 

Stiefvater has a talent for interesting prose, when she's not writing YA girly books, like Shiver (do we really need more werewolf type things? Admittedly, I haven't read it but still...) The Raven Boys is definitely aimed at teenage girls, but less so I think.  Her dialogue is really great, and she portrays the supernatural elements of the story well, without going into too much detail. I think the writing in this one was better than The Scorpio Races, though the plot was perhaps a bit less original. There's definitely going to be a sequel, because there were a lot of unresolved things in the book. At any rate, this is a great new fantasy from Maggie Stiefvater.

The last thing that I want to mention is the cover. It's a bit misleading, as there's only one or two actual ravens in the story, but I think it's amazingly beautiful. You can actually see that it's an (I think) acrylic painting; you can see and almost feel the texture and the brush strokes, especially on the pink part under the raven's wing. I always love it when a great book has a lovely cover. Thanks to Scholastic for providing me with a review copy. 

Read The Raven Boys:

  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like Maggie Stiefvater
416 pages.

Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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