Title: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (19th September 2012)
Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.
But this is the year everything will change for Blue.
This is the year she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.
This is the year she will fall in love.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
The Raven Boys is the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s new series The Raven Cycle. It tells the story of Blue Sargent who has been told again and again that if she kissed her true love, he would die. This is unusual as her family’s predictions are normal vague, but is a prediction that has shaped Blue.
The Raven Boys was a pleasant surprise, you see I have tried to read books by Maggie Stiefvater before because I have only heard good things about them and then ended up DNF-ing them because they just didn’t work for me. I have been curious about this book and Blue since I first heard whispers of it on Waiting on Wednesday, but it took me a while to be brave enough to buy it and then to read it. Honestly I’m glad I did, I would have missed a really interesting story otherwise.
One of the things I really liked about The Raven Boys was the way that Stiefvater split the narrative between Blue, the Raven Boys, and Whelk. It meant that I had a greater picture of what was going on, and I also liked the fact that she chose to tell the story in the third person. Narrating the story this way not only allowed her greater scope in terms of the plot of the story, but it also allows the reader to know something about the major players in the book.
I really liked Blue Sargent, and I thought she had an interesting life growing up with a group of psychics. I liked the way she seemed so normal both in her home when she interacted with her family, and outside it. I think the fact that Stiefvater chose to make her normal was an interesting decision, especially as there was a lot of potential for her to be considered an “outsider”. Stiefvater created some really interesting secondary characters with her family. I really enjoyed the four Raven Boys too. They all seemed very real and believable, although I did have a couple of issues with Adam who I found pretty selfish and petty.
If you are a fan of young adult urban fantasy then you should definitely give this book a try, even if you’re not a Stiefvater fan. There are quite a few Norse and Celtic undertones to the book, as well as mentions of Arthurian ones. I look forward to seeing what Stiefvater does with these threads in future books in The Raven Cycle.