Book Reviews · Original Posts

Book Review: The Raven Boys

raven boys

I recently finished rereading The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater for at least the fifth time since I discovered the series last June. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite series of all time! Here’s the description from Goodreads:

“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.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!! Seriously, Maggie Stiefvater is one of my heroes because of this series. (Also, her Tumblr is pretty awesome.) I’m honestly not sure where to begin.

Okay: First off, the writing. HER WORDS ARE BEAUTIFUL!! The voice is so unique and wonderful, and within that unique wonderfulness each character’s point of view is differently wonderful.

Speaking of which- her characters! Oh, I love each and every one of them. They are so fully formed, I think they might jump off the page. And despite their many differences, they all love each other sooooooo much! It’s so pure and beautiful. Gansey rings especially true to me. I’ve never read myself represented on paper so accurately, before or since! When Gansey says:

“My words are unerring tools of
destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I feel his pain so much! Ah, I LOVE GANSEY! I could write about him all day. Every other character is equally awesome, Gansey just resonates for me. I can’t decide if I’m anxious or dreading the last book, which comes out on April 26th. Anyone who has read even the first chapter of The Raven Boys understands what I am dreading.

Descriptions of other characters: (Secretly an excuse to put Stiefvater’s beautiful words on my blog)

Ronan Lynch:

“Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent:

“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Adam Parrish:

“Adam had once told Gansey, ‘Rags to riches isn’t a story anyone wants to hear until after it’s done.'”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, I’ll stop now. This story is so ingeniously plotted. There are clues in the first book that lead all the way into books 3 and 4! The magic in this story is wonderfully unique as well, involving tarot cards, ley lines, and Welsh Kings. In that order.

My last note involves the setting of this novel: Henrietta, Virginia. While fictional, Henrietta is actually set within about an hour and a half of where I live. The Raven Cycle books are the most beautiful description of this area, encompassing everything good and everything bad about it and bound together with love and appreciation. I cannot thank Stiefvater enough for what she has done with this series, and I am anxious (that seems the best word for the mess I am feeling) for The Raven King.

Rating:  INFINITY STARS. ALL THE STARS.

Everyone, I STRONGLY recommend this book. I’ll review its sequel, The Dream Thieves, in the very near future. No spoilers, I promise!

I’ll leave you with more of the magic and humor of Stiefvater’s words:

“It’s a hard thing to hold a civil conversation after recalling that one party has used a Taser on the other, so both of them finished the walk in silence.”

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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20 thoughts on “Book Review: The Raven Boys

  1. Katherine, I’m glad to read that you are well! This has been a busy year for me too (sporadic poetry!) but I found my way here to tell you that I’ve ordered this as a Christmas gift, now that the whole series is out! Yes, my purchase is based solely on your enthusiastic and fascinating reviews : ) Thanks again! Be well & happy, Merry Christmas, and I do hope your writings will appear in the new year!
    Hugs,
    ~ Peri

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy New Year, Katherine! I hope that 2017 finds you well & happy, and writing, of course! A little bit of good news: the person for whom I got The Raven Boys for Christmas just texted that she so enjoyed it that she’s ordered the rest of the series! (This is someone who reads A Lot, and all sorts of things from classics to mysteries to fantasy…) Hurray! Thank you again for your recommendation! Hugs ~ Peri

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Katherine, your enthusiastic reviews compel me to add books to my TBR list that I don’t think would otherwise even be on my radar! I think Stiefvater should have you on her digital advertising team, seriously. I appreciate your inclusion of excerpts from the book as I too hang onto intriguing and noble dialogue and beautifully written prose (and poetry too, of course). Oh and, thank you also for including her Tumblr link, which was quite fascinating with the artwork and so on (I may have segued over to that). This review: 5 stars, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you! Reading and writing are my passion, and I’m always ready to share what I love with others. The quotes page on Goodreads is actually my favorite, and all my books are filled with highlights and scribbles as I find words that speak to me. Author tumblrs make me really happy, and Stiefvater has one of the best, so I’m glad you liked it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been intending to read this for ages as I’ve seen it around so many people’s blogs! I wasn’t too sure about the premise at first but ‘INFINITY STARS’ is a hefty rating to give. I’ll have to pick it up at some point, but I have so much to read! 😂 I love finding author’s social media accounts as well, Patrick Ness on Twitter is a delight.

    Liked by 1 person

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