08/01/2014

Review: The Raven Boys {Maggie Stiefvater}



 
There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve. Either you're his true love . . . or you killed him. 

Every year Blue Sargent stands beside her clairvoyant family as the soon-to-be-dead walk past. Blue never sees them, until this year, when the future ghost of a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey and he's a Raven Boy; a student at the local private school. He's on a quest to find the lost king Glendower, which has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, who resents their privilege; Ronan, who is filled with anger and despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four.

For as long as she can remember Blue has been warned she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem, but after seeing Gansey's soon-to-be spirit she is inexplicably drawn to him and the rest of the Raven Boys, caught up in their strange and sinister world, and their hunt for a dead king.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21 

 
When I finished this book, I was overcome with an kind of melancholy that only comes from reading a book so strangely wonderful, I knew it would stay a favourite for the rest of my life

This is the most compelling and enticing book I've ever read and is so different from anything I've seen in YA before. Though the synopsis might lead some to think that this is a love story, the plot unfolds into something far more adventurous and mystical. The true heart of this book is not based in romance, but in mystery and fantasy and friendship. The romantic aspects are actually not fully explored (and I mean this as a compliment) and left me perfectly anxious.

The relationship between the Raven Boys: Gansey, Ronan, Noah and Adam was easily one of my favourite aspects of this novel. Each boy was impossibly unique and well-thought-out and it made their bond both complex and heart-warmingly sincere. Their differences, in a way, make them four parts of a whole and you can see how much they're willing to sacrifice for one another.

Blue's family are also wonderfully diverse characters, each so rich in personality and quirkiness that I found myself mesmerised by not only their interactions, but just in the way they went about every day life. As clairvoyants they walk in a world of past and future, and magic is part of their everyday life, which makes them such compelling characters.

Once Blue meets the Raven Boys and joins their quest, exploring Ley Lines and hunting for a lost king and the promise of a wish, she becomes the fifth member of their team. This is when things really start to gain pace. The plot, already inexplicably wonderful, becomes a fascinating and addicting story woven with mystery and an eerie beauty. Their hunt for Glendower is inspired by legend, haunted by ghosts and charged by magic.

Blue is the only non-psychic in her family, but her sharp-tongue more than makes up for her lack of mystical prowess. And Gansey, who sees people as so much more than money, is both the self-deprecating black sheep of his family and friends, yet also the thread that holds them together. People can't help but being devoted to Gansey; he has a presence that just demands it.

The narration in this book is stunningly done, the prose so haunting, the dialogue natural. I've read book two (The Dream Thieves), which was more from Ronan's perspective, and Maggie Stiefvater has once again managed to pull me in and make her characters that much more hilarious and realistic, and her plot that much more mesmerising
 
The Raven Cycle series is so well written that it's only when plot-twists shatter around you, that you notice all of the hidden breadcrumbs and truly realise how astoundingly intricate it all is. I'll be forever grateful that I stumbled upon this book, because it's a story that will inspire me for years to come.

"In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her Raven Boys."

 
 
 
 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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14 comments:

  1. Wow, nice review! I do really want to read this one. It's great the first two books are out though, so maybe I can keep up with things. Sounds fantastic. I love that the romance isn't that much of a focus.

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  2. The only book I read from Maggie Stiefvater was The Scorpio Races, but I liked that book so I think I might check this one out. I love that there's a group of boys who all seem to be close friends. I'm hoping there's not major love triangle in this series...?

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    1. Oh no, no love triangle! I hate love triangles with a passion :) none of that nonsense here lol

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  3. Allie, this is probably my favourite review for this book, and I have to say, I've read A LOT of them. You've perfectly captured every single thing that I love about this series! The writing, the mesmerising plot, the subtleness and intricacy of it all. I absolutely adore the characters here, and agree that they're all incredibly unique and have the most engaging relationships. Ronan and Gansey's bond - actually, EVERYONE'S bond with Gansey - is so well-written, and it's hard not to appreciate the dynamics between them. MS makes it seem so easy. :) Let's hope the third book is just as stunning! Though I have a feeling that it will be.

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    1. Exactly! Everyone's bond with Gansey is glorious to read about and there's something about his character, heck, EVERY character that just resonates.

      I know the third book won't let us down :) it isn't possible for it to be bad lol!

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  4. Love this series SO much! I thought Dream Thieves was even better :)
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Same! I wasn't sure I'd like it as much but I actually enjoyed it even more. Ronan and Kavinsky were amazing.

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  5. A 1000 cupcakes? Dang! *grabs pen and chants* I MUST WRITE A GREAT NOVEL! DO IT FOR THE CUPCAKES.

    hehe ;p who am I kidding? Maggie Stiefvater is one the greats. And deserves 1001 cupcakes

    Great review. I have this book sitting in a dark corner of my kindle. I think it's time to dust it off and give it a try.

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    1. That's the only reason I try my hand of writing; the promise of endless cupcakes and chocolate. What other reason is there? ;)

      Scare off those dust bunnies and get to it so we can discuss :D

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  6. I also am a pretty big fan of this series! I have Dream Thieves on my end table so it's great to hear that the second book is just as good! The character relationships are the best :) Great review!

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    1. Honestly you'll love the second book. Everything is even more developed and you'll laugh so hard at Kavinsky's douchey banter.

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  7. I've read mixed reviews about the Raven Boys but when I read in your review that it is so different from other YA romances that really caught my attention! Her Wolves of Mercy Falls series was also written beautifully and combined with clairvoyance, awesome characters and the fantasy, I think I will love this too. Brilliant review Allie, and Happy new year!

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  8. A lot of my friends really liked this one and I have not read it yet. Great review :D the plot and the writing sounds kind of amazing.

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  9. I'm so glad you liked this book too! This is definitely one my favorites books of all times too! The friendship and the magical element in this book is so unique, I don't know how Stiefvater could write something that good but I'm definetly with you on the 1000 cupcakes for her lol
    Deyse @ http://deysesays.wordpress.com/

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