Review: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Page Count: 408
Format: ebook
Published by: Scholastic Press
Source: eARC from publisher

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Synopsis From 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.

My Thoughts:

I adore The Raven Boys! This is the first book in a series and it is chilling, haunting, and very intriguing. Stiefvater's unique writing style really makes the story and characters so wonderful. The writing is so beautiful and descriptive it really draws the reader in. I found it difficult to put this book down because I just HAD to find out what happened next! The adventure and mystery are completely captivating. The storyline is truly imaginative and I found it to be unpredictable. The book is dark and atmospheric, and has an overall gothic feel to it.

So you know there is going to be a romance involved (because the synopsis tells us so!) but what really surprised me is the almost complete lack of a romantic element at all. For years Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. But I mistakenly assumed that once she met the raven boys we would get some form of insta-love with Gansey (and a doomed relationship). Thankfully, that is not the case, and I am beyond thrilled that the romance takes a backseat to the adventure!

I simply adored the characters. Loved them all! I wish I could add some sparkly hearts right here to show just how much. Blue is smart and adventurous and capable of taking care of herself. She comes from an eccentric family full of women psychics and she blends right in with the raven boys and soon becomes one of the guys. It was interesting how the boys accepted her immediately into the group, and came to expect her presence. They included her in all of their antics and investigations.

The friendships between the raven boys is my absolute favorite thing about this book. Gansey is the unwitting leader. Growing up rich and privileged, he is used to things going his way. He has a skewed perception of money - he has plenty of it and has never had to go without. His careless attitude towards money causes tons of problems between himself and the other boys. They refuse to be 'bought', and they have a lot of pride in themselves and don't want Gansey's money making things easier for them. Ronan, who is in self-destruct mode, is a bit of a loner and is difficult to figure out. He is very interesting and I really want to know him better. Adam is the proverbial good-guy. But he has a troubled home life and is desperate to become independent and prove himself. Shy, sweet Noah tends to hang in the background, and he seems to always be in need of a big hug. At least I wanted to give him hugs, and if I were there, I would have.

This first book has a lot of character introduction and world building. We learn about Blue and her 'curse', Gansey and his quest, and the other raven boys and their eccentricities. Each of the boys is distinct, yet they have Gansey in common - he is the thread that ties them all together, and their friendships are very important.

I highly recommend reading The Raven Boys. It is full of fantastical elements that the reader gets to experience while following Gansey on his search for a long sleeping Welsh king. It's a truly magical story that is full of mystery and suspense. I really enjoyed reading it and I can't wait for the next book in this series.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Easy to read, interesting characters that you care about what happens to. Really well written, fluid and strong, sweet and intriguing.

    Maycee Greene (Cowboy boots for men)


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