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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Friday, May 06, 2016
That novel is the first one I´ve ever read by the author. No clue why it took me so long to start showing any interest in her books. But a little while ago, when I saw the cover of her newest book (I am a fan of blue and silver) I felt some kind of fascination and bought it.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic Press on September 18, 2012
ISBN 978-0-5454-2492-9  
Pages 416
Format Hardcover
Source Library
Goodreads


Every year Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them – until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a richt student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, the can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can´t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn´t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she´s not sure anymore.


My Review

Yes, I know, it is an unusual way to start with a series. And I have to admit, that I haven´t read it yet. Instead I got the first one as well and started reading almost immediately.
Sure, I was curious how her style would be and if it would be readable for me; as it turns out – it was. The Raven Boys is the perfect combination of mystery, magic and fantasy. Maggie Stiefvater created a fantastic plot along with some beautiful characters and together they give its reader pure reading pleasure.

I can´t say that I read a lot of mystery books and I for sure can´t say why that is. It´s not the first time that I heard about The Raven Cycle or the author itself; and what I heard was only good. But for some reasons I am the kind of reader who gets attracted by the cover in the first place, and to be honest, the cover of the German edition doesn´t look that good – so it took me some years to get the first part of this cycle (but I bought the English version – that cover looks much more appealing) and only a few hours to read it.


Blue Sargent isn´t like any other teenager, not with the gift her mother has and not with what her family is doing. Or better said: what the women in her mother´s life are doing. But every April she walks with her mother to the nearby graveyard and puts the names of the ghosts down, her mother is telling her. Only this time it is different. She actually can see one of those ghosts. From that moment on her life is about to change. The ghosts name is Gansey and Blue knows that he will be dead within the next twelve months. Something she can´t just let happen, not after she met him alive and for real.


Maggie Stiefvater has a very unique writing style. She uses words like a weapon (in a good way), and the plot she created is very, very thrilling. The Ley-Lines are something very powerful and for Gansey they are everything. Around him and Blue the author created a novel that gives you everything a fantastic book needs: great characters, a haunting story and some evil that brings the right amount of danger and tension into the lines.

Written is The Raven Boys in the third person perspective mainly from Blue. But from Gansey and Adam you get their thoughts too – among others. Together with the wonderful colorful language, the sometimes poetic lines and her pictographic way of describing scenes and landscapes this novel is quite an adventure for any reader who doesn´t know the author yet – like me.

At the beginning of the book it took me a while to get really into the story, to understand how Blue is but then it hit me and it was very thrilling to follow all those theories about the Ley-Lines, to read how Blues mother tries to hide whatever from her daughter and that she isn´t raised like other children.


At first I wasn´t sure if I could come to terms with all those different but weird characters – at least they seemed weird to me, but that changed. Blue seems to be the only normal woman in the Sargent household. Yes, she likes to wear edgy things and she has a gift that others wouldn´t call it as such, but if you put her in comparison to the rest of the women living under the same roof with her, she is as normal as you can define normal.

Blue´s mother is a fortune-teller. But unlike others who only claim to be one, she is a real one. And when she figures out, that her daughter is capable to intensify her skills, she starts to involve her as much as possible.

Gansey is a young rich man who fulfills every bad thing Blue thinks when it comes to the Aglionby-Academy. Rich, spoiled and with no manners at all. How wrong she was is one of the first things she learns after she got closer with him and his friends. Because Gansey is not only rich, he also cares deeply about his friends. Money means nothing to him, but true loyal friends do. And when he sees Blue for the first time, he falls for her and wants to do everything in his power to have her near him.



What an extraordinary novel. After I´ve finished it I was actually baffled and a bit poignant at the same time. Still I am not sure how to feel about it – but in a good way. I highly recommend it.










©Robert Severi


All of Maggie Stiefvater´s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you´re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she´s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She´s made her living in one or the other since she was twenty-two. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.


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Vi@Inkvotary

I am Vi, forty-something, avid reader, blogger and painter who loves to talk and write about books. A day without one in my hands is a wasted one. Skilled florist with a degree in writing - oh yes, that works.

2 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you enjoyed The Raven Boys, Vi! I read that one last year, and I just binge-read the three next books in the series last week - I loved them all!
    Stiefvater does have a unique style, but one that really grabs my attention, and that immerses me into the stories so that I feel like I'm right there, next to the characters.
    Great review :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you are absolutely right - and I am so happy that I finally took the time to read a book by her. The next one of her Raven Cycle is already on my night stand I will read it as soon as I am done with my current reading.
      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your compliment - means a lot!

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