Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Raven Boys review

The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater
September 18th 2012

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

The Raven Boys was a lot better than I thought it would be. Maggie's books are great, but they can be a bit hit and miss for me, and The Scorpio Races is still one of my favourite books ever and The Raven Boys just didn't sound like it could top it for me. It didn't, I'll be honest, but it's also a completely different book to anything else that Maggie has written and I think that that's one of the things that I like most about her. All of her books are paranormal and they have hints of romance, but none of them feel the same.

Before I read The Raven Boys, I thought Blue was the main character and the only main character, but I really should've learned  by now  that Maggie doesn't really like sticking to one narrator, so we also get to see the story from Gansey and Adam's points of view too (though the whole book is in third person so it's not really confusing or anything). I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would, because I didn't think the actual raven boys would be as important as they were, but it was really important for being able to understand them, because if the whole thing had been from Blue's POV, the first half of the book would've been pretty short and we would've spent the whole time thinking Gansey was a huge douche when really he's just a bit careless.

I will admit, though, that Blue was probably my favourite character. She wasn't the most interesting character, though, it's just that personally I loved her because she was so sensible even though she tried really hard to be eccentric. And I loved getting to read the chapters where she was at home and getting to spend time with her mother and her mother's friends who all live in the same house and are all psychics. It sounds a lot funnier than it is in the book, but I still think it should be a sitcom or something. I'd watch it. There's definitely more to find out about Blue's background, though, like who or what her father actually is and why she's some sort of psychic energy intensifier.

Although I did like both Gansey and Adam a lot too, and found their personal stories interesting as well as their contribution to the overall story, I enjoyed reading about Ronan and Noah slightly more. For one, they both have some really weird stuff going on with them, some of which is explained, but some of which is just like a bomb dropped at the end of the book. Besides that, even though Noah isn't in it a lot, he was very sweet. And Ronan was just like a ball of rage who hates everyone apart from Gansey, Adam, Noah and Blue (a little bit) and a raven called Chainsaw. I don't even know why I like him. I usually hate characters like him, but I have a soft spot for Ronan. Maybe it's the Latin.

I also just really found the plot so fascinating because it was so unlike anything else I've read. Like, it's about magic and energy and these things called Ley Lines, which isn't that weird by the standards of YA paranormalish fiction, but it was the whole search for Glendower, this old Welsh king who's supposedly sleeping in Virginia and will grant a favour to whomever wakes him. I had literally no idea that this was what the book was about. I thought it was about the whole Blue killing her true love stuff! Which it is, but definitely not to the degree that I thought that it would be. Like, I didn't even know who Glendower was before I read this book and I feel kind of ashamed about that as a history geek and half-Welsh person. However, Horrible Histories did a parody of Tom Jones song all about this Glendower fellow so now I'm basically all caught up. But seriously, when was the last time you read a book about mystical dead Welsh kings?!

The Raven Boys was a really great start to what I am certain will probably be a great series, and I am so excited about reading The Dream Thieves as soon as it comes out. There was a lot of stuff wrapped up in this book, but there's still a lot of loose threads and I'm excited about seeing how all of these things relate back to Gansey's quest to find Glendower as well as seeing what will happen about Blue's who 'if you kiss your true love he will die' business. Maggie does like to leave us hanging!


  1. Is now the time to admit that I haven't read The Scorpio Races yet? Maybe I'll have to now that you have said it's better than this one!

    I loved The Raven Boys so much. Maggie Stiefvater really is a genius!

  2. Great review! Like you, we had thought it would just be about/focused on Blue, so getting more of the Raven Boys' perspectives and stories in there was a nice touch. And haha we too developed a soft spot for Ronan. Who knows why. Not the kind of guy we'd be friends with in real life, but in the book, he makes sense.

    The ending has some issues for us, but hey, a novel doesn't have to be perfect to be lovable. Can't wait for DREAM THIEVES!


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