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Review: The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

28 Jan

13449693““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.”

I’ve got to be honest, I had absolutely no idea YA could this THIS good. The Raven Boys was a revelation! It’s intelligent, compelling, and I’d even go as far as to say Spellbinding. I adored this book. It’s single-handedly given me a new respect for the YA genre.

The Raven Boys reads like a mix of Donna Tartt, James Treadwell and Charles de Lint. And I think I could probably end this review right here as that should tell you everything you need to know. It’s a thing of beauty.

The romance angle, which sounded worryingly prominent from the tagline on the front cover, is in fact blissfully minimal, so much so as to be hardly even there, which is a complete joy for a reader like me who’s not excited by the teen romance angle (for I am Old!). It was so refreshing, this one is all about the magic and the mystery, and wastes no time with hormones. God love it.

It’s a beautifully self-contained novel, even though it’s obviously the beginning of a series. There’s more than enough left over at the end of this one to leave you wanting more, but at the same time enough threads are tied up to make you feel satisfied, and keep the frustration that a ‘Book One’ ending can so often incur safely at bay.

Stiefvater’s characters are beautifully realised and the plot is intricate and expertly revealed. I can’t fault this one, I genuinely can’t.

Beautiful! (Yes, I know, a lot of ‘beautifuls’ in this review but I can’t bloody help it! it just IS)

 

5A PhoenixFantasy Five Star Read

 

[The Raven Boys is published by Scholastic and is available in Paperback and Electronic format]

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3 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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3 responses to “Review: The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

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