Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: September 18th 2012My rating: 4 stars
Wow! I just now finished this and I'm sort of speechless, in a good way, but now somehow I have to form a coherent review.
Every April 24th, St. Mark's Eve, Blue Sargent and her psychic mother wait in an old church yard to see the spirits of anyone who will die in the next twelve months. When Blue shows up to write down the locals names, it's the first time she actually sees one of the spirits, a boy that is clearly a student of Aglionby, the local private school of Henrietta's privileged. When Blue asks, he tells her his name is Gansey. Her aunt tells her 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. Blue Sargent has always been told that she would kill her true love with a kiss. So is this boy who she's never met, the one she falls in love with? Is she the reason he is to die? Blue can hardly believe that she could ever fall in love with a "Ravens Boy," the nick-name used for the rich, arrogant, entitled boys who attend Alionby Academy.
Richard Campbell "Gansey" III, is a senior at Alionby Academy. For several years his passion has been to locate the burial place of Owain Glendower, a medieval Welsh noble who disappeared right before the English could capture him. Legend has it that Glendower is still alive, but sleeping for centuries, and whoever finds and awakens him would be granted a favor. Through his investigations, he has been led to Henrietta, Virginia as a probable place for Glendower's final resting place. Gansey and his circle of friends, Adam, Ronan, and Noah are all part of this mystery that will collide with Blue's world.
These are the two main mysteries in this story, but really there is a third mystery, one that doesn't become apparent until half-way through the book. I literally gasped when it was revealed! There are some great revelations you may or may not see coming, but it's thrilling when you start to piece everything together. The story starts out as separate threads that gradually start to knit together as the plots unfold. Because this is the start of a series, it took about a hundred pages to get the lay of the land and start to make sense of what is going on. But don't let this discourage you at all, you'll find yourself slowly sucked into the story, riveted by how things are coming together.
I've been a fan of Ms. Stiefvater's writing for quite some time. She is truly the master of setting a mood, making you feel a scene, in showing, not telling. This story is no exception. You feel her characters feelings as they were your own, so it's easy to connect to each and every one of them. Blue was a strong "sensible" girl in spite of being in a house full of anything but the usual. Her mother, Maura, Calla, and Persephone are the eccentric and fun characters that make up her family. You can't help but love every one of the "Raven Boys," each of them with a sad background that is gradually revealed.
I have to say I was a little nervous that I wouldn't love this story as much as Maggie's other series. But it turns out I had nothing to fear. The Raven Boys is an excellent start to what I feel will be an amazing series. The first installment ends solving some of the mysteries, but left so many unresolved. It didn't leave off on a cliffhanger, but the story is far from finished. I'm now eagerly awaiting the next book!
I'm so excited because I attended the ALA a couple of weeks ago and was able to get an extra SIGNED COPY to giveaway! This is an uncorrected proof, Advanced Readers Copy. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and runs for two weeks. The only requirement is that you follow the blog via GFC. Just fill out the rafflecopter below. Thanks for visiting and good luck!
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