Plot: Blue grew up in a house full of psychics and all her life she had been told that she has a tragic fate: one day she will kiss her true love and he will die. On Saint-Marc’s Eve, while keeping vigil over the soon-to-be-deceased with her aunt, she sees the spirit of a boy who identifies himself only as Gansey. This can mean only one of two things: he is her true love or she will kill him. Or, given the fate hanging over her, both. Against all reason, she soon finds herself caught up with the ill-fated Gansey, his friends and their quest to awaken a mythical king.
This review is based on an ARC received at BEA 2012.
Last year The Scorpio Races was one of my favorite books, so it’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve been desperate to get my hands on the beginning of Stiefvater’s new series. And if anything, she exceeded my expectations. I’ll apologize ahead of time: I’m going to gush a little.
First of all, I love Blue. She unique in style and in upbringing. She is intelligent and creative, not afraid to stand up for herself and as eager for adventure as the boys. Honestly, I wish I was Blue (except for that whole killing her true love thing). And like Blue, I kind of want to be a pygmy tyrant because “for a 5-foot-tall girl, pygmy tyrant sounded like a career” (p. 59). 😉
All the characters are complex and fascinating starting with the psychics and ending with the villain (who is all the more interesting because he does not see himself as such). But I cannot ignore the raven boys who give this book its title. Despite Blue’s initial dislike of the rich, arrogant boys from Aglionby, the four who star alongside her are hard to resist. Gansey is unintentionally condescending (and makes a terrible first impression on Blue) but he is also a charismatic, natural leader with a passion equal to King Arthur’s for the grail. Adam is charming in his own quiet way, and like Blue, I found myself falling a bit for him. He has a hard life but he is driven above all by the need to be a self-made man. Noah has a lot of secrets that I won’t reveal here but I’m captivated by the sweet image of him petting Blue’s spiky hair. Finally, Ronan is… well, he’s the polar opposite of charming. He’s like a wild animal: impossible to tame, brutally honest and just plain brutal. He is difficult to like and harder to impress but somehow that makes you want to work harder at it.
All that and I haven’t even talked about the mysteries or the quest that drives most of the characters! The Raven Boys has murder mysteries, mysterious/tragic pasts, town secrets generations old and a mythic quest worthy of Arthur himself (the boys don’t live in a building called Monmouth for nothing). Like Blue, you get caught up in the boys’ passion. I promise, you will not be able to put this book down.
The Raven Boys will be released in September 2012 and it is the first book in the Raven Cycle. At the end of this brilliant, exciting book, Stiefvater leaves us on one more mysterious revelation. It was quite cruel. I’m already dying to read the second book.
Below is Stiefvater’s animated trailer for the book: