Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Pre-order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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.

Quote: "The king sleeps still, underneath a mountain, and around him is assembled his warriors and his herds and his riches. By his right hand is his cup, filled with possibility. On his breast nestles his sword waiting too, to wake. Fortunate is the soul who finds the king and is brave enough to call him to wakefulness, for the king will grant him a favor, as wondrous as can be imagined by a mortal man."

My Thoughts:
Maggie Stiefvater has truly outdone herself with her latest novel The Raven Boys. I, for one, can clearly see how this author has continued to master her craft of storytelling. I’ve said this before with her Shiver series and recently The Scorpio Races, Stiefvator has this unique ability to meticulously create a setting where her audience feels submerged in the surroundings she’s chosen to weave. Where in Shiver I felt the sharp winter coldness and in The Scorpio Races I experienced the misty seaside - The Raven Boys takes us to a whole new time and place where you can’t help but feel a part of the dark hollow night. Her atmospheric skill is truly her token ability.

The Raven Boys is probably one of the more character driven novels Stiefvater has created. There are about ten characters that each play a distinct role in this novel, and to meet them is to be impressed by their performance. There was something odd yet complicated about the “Raven Boys” including Ronan, Gansey, Adam and Noah. At first glance you want to dismiss then as typical academy boys, but granting them a moment to share their story, you’ll soon discover that every one of them is more than their surface portrays. They each struggle with a past or present conflict and they stick together as they journey through their challenges.

Blue, who can easily position herself as the protag of this book, is undoubtedly my favorite in this novel. She comes from a family of psychics that include her mother Maura and a few other gals - Calla, Persephone and the ever ambiguous Neeve. When Blue comes across the Raven Boys, she’s never intimidated but rather always ready to stand her ground and her courage cannot be ignored. This tale is a perfect blend of contemporary and fantasy that leaves me wondering where Stiefvater plans to take us to next.

So if raven cuts in the ground, creaks that lead into the woods, fish that change colors, hallucination trees, wrinkles in time and space, trees that are sentient beings, or dousing rods strike any sort of interest as you layer that will an intriguing legend, I’d highly suggest you give The Raven Boys a try. As you read this story, discover the legend and unfold the mystery you’ll be awed by Maggie Stiefvater’s ability to create fictional magic. Well done!

4 Snowflakes

Thank you to The Readers Den for allowing us to read their ARC.

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4 comments:

  1. Wow, what a fantastic review! I haven't read anything by Maggie Stiefvater before even though she's written many novels, so I'm excited to give this one a try. I think it's wonderful that this a character-driven novel with an intriguing plot, so I'm thrilled about its release! Wonderful review!(:

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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    1. Thank you so much Keertana! It really is a great story. I hope you enjoy it. :) Off to check out your blog. XD

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  2. Yay! I'm so glad you liked this, Arlene. I really loved how she combined the lives of all these characters. I found her writing in this one to be a little more accessible than the Shiver series. People who aren't a fan of her lyrical writing will probably like this story more. I happen to love her writing in any form. Lovely review. :)

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    1. I agree 1000% Rachel! :) Thank you so much for lending me your copy. Thanks, I had fun reviewing this one. XD

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