The Raven Boys – by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue’s always been odd because she’s not psychic. This is only strange because the rest of the women in her household all are. Instead, Blue’s presence seems to intensify their readings and encounters. One thing all the psychics in Blue’s family have agreed on is that one day, Blue will cause her true love to die. Vowing that this won’t happen, Blue happily steers clear of boys altogether – no boyfriend, no true love, no problem – right?
Until one evening she sees a spirit for the first time: the spirit of a boy called Gansey, who’s not even dead. It seems that she was meant to meet Gansey and his friends, Adam, Ronan and Noah. Despite the warning that Gansey is destined to die this year, and despite her best intentions, Blue is inexorably drawn into the Raven boys’ quest, and closer to two of the boys than she has ever allowed herself to get before.
This book was great! Stiefvater’s plot rested on some fascinating mythology: that of ley lines, intangible lines of power that can be traced over continents. A near death experience in Gansey’s childhood set him on a path to find the ancient resting place of a Welsh King, Glendower, chasing an old tale alleging that whoever first finds the ancient King will be granted a wish. The book lore is well detailed and felt so authentic that I kind of want to know if there are any ley lines lurking around southern Tasmania.
Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah were all beautifully fleshed out, with complicated personal histories which indelibly formed their characters. I really appreciated that none of the Raven boys were ever left as simply rich, entitled kids without a care in the world. Blue’s family were more enigmatic than the boys, which I’d expect from a family of psychics. The world, and Stiefvater’s characters, were exceptionally well-built, making this a satisfying and hugely addictive read.
The central plot was also fantastic – in both senses of the word! I loved the quest the Raven boys and Blue were so invested in, and my brain yelled KING ARTHUR and HOLY GRAIL a lot when Gansey was on the page – something that the book also referenced at one point: glee!
Suffice to say that I was completely obsessed by this book, and I’m so angry that I’ll have to wait for three sequels. (Three sequels is amazing: waiting is decidedly not.)
In the meantime, I’ll definitely be seeking out more by Stiefvater. Have you read any of her novels before? Is she always this good?!