Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

RavenBoysThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic Inc. on July 30, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Pages: 409 Format: Paperback Source: Gift

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

“‘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 the Shiver 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.

Yet another book I heard so much about and finally got around to reading, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater did not disappoint. There is a lone girl in a family of psychics without the sight, a group of boys on a quest to discover a Welsh prince, and mysterious powers beyond their control. What more could I ask for? Stiefvater has crafted a fantastic start to this series with the right amount of history, myth, magic, and mystery to keep the reader fascinated for the long haul.

Right from the beginning, an ominous journey fraught with peril is rolled out before us with the perfect teasing set up: Blue Sargent sees a boy on the Corpse Road. I knew going into this series that I was probably going to suffer but I realized quickly while reading that I was definitely doomed. I fell in love with the mystery of it all: ley lines, Glendower, psychics, fate. Their journey of discovery and danger is just so compelling. The use of real life and fantastical elements needs just the right amount of both to succeed and Stiefvater nails it!

I have a feeling that the characters of The Raven Cycle will be holding a special place in my heart for a good long while. All of them connect in this strange mix of family, friendship, and magic. Blue Sargent, feisty, with a drive to find her own place in the world. An eclectic family of women at 300 Fox Way, each unique, but all with the sight. Then there are my raven boys: Gansey, all prep but with the burning desire for his quest, Ronan, sharp and dangerous, but hurting, Adam, suffering yet striving for greatness, and Noah, my quiet wisp of a boy. They are mine just as much as they are Blue’s.

Overall, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was a wonderful start to a series that I think will end up being a new favorite. This book has a nicely rounded plot of mystery and real life struggles with a little underlying romance and some excellent characters to entice readers in. I had to jump right into The Dream Thieves so I could know what happens next. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone especially those who love a mix of mystery and fantasy!

Favorite Quotes

  1. “You are being self-pitying.”
    “I’m nearly done. You don’t have much more of this to bear.”
    “I like you better this way.”
    “Crushed and broken,” Gansey said. “Just the way women like ’em.”
  2. “Fate,” Blue replied, glowering at her mother, “is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast.”
  3. Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.
  4. “How do you feel about helicopters?”
    There was a long pause. “How do you mean? Ethically?”
    “As a mode of transportation.”
    “Faster than camels, but less sustainable.”
  5. Blue tried not to look at Gansey’s boat shoes; she felt better about him as a person if she pretended he wasn’t wearing them.

So, have you read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater? Do you have a favorite raven boy? Is this series going to crush me as much as I think it will? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. Love, love, love this series. So glad to hear you enjoyed this first installment. I’ve got such a special place in my heart for Blue and her Raven boys. Stiefvater really knows how to write a character-driven story. I’m partial to Gansey, I think it’s those boat shoes, so hard to resist 😉 Great review!


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