The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


“Aglionby Academy was the number one reason Blue had developed her two rules: One, stay away from boys because they were trouble. And two, stay away from Aglionby boys, because they were bastards.”

Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

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. His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

– review

I absolutely love this book!  The first time I tried to read The Raven Boys, however, I had a hard time getting through the first couple of chapters.  To be fair, I waited a few days and tried again. That time something clicked and I couldn’t put the book down. The characters are so crisp and well-rounded that suspension of disbelief is easy. Like CS Lewis in The Narnia Series and Susan Cooper in the Dark is Rising Series, Ms Steifvater has created a real world effortlessly connected to another, ancient, world of myth and magic.

Richard Gansey is searching for an ancient Welsh king, positive he is destined to awaken the king from his ancient slumber.  At the same time, he and his friends are simply boys at school, Gansey walking a fine line to keep Ronin from being expelled, Adam from being abused and Noah from fading away.  The contrast between the real world and the fantasy world deepens and expands as the story unfolds.

This book is a keeper, one that will forever have a place on my bookshelf.  The plot was so well-written that I never quite knew what was coming next.  Many questions are not answered in Book I so I am eager to start Book II, The Dream Thieves.  This is the kind of book that makes me fall in love with a writer and her world.  Before the end, I was a little in love with Gansey myself.

“In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year.”
Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

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