-A.M. Aguilar

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 

Fascinating & Absorbing, Plot-driven Story

If you follow me on bookstagram then you probably were part of the poll in my stories where you chose which review you’d like to see this week. This was the winner but don’t despair, I’ll be posting a review on “Red Queen” soon.

By the way, if you aren’t following me yet, check out @thebookssmuggler on Instagram. I’m very active on stories and interactions with fellow book lovers, I’d love to meet more of you 🙂 .

Now, I know I’ve been talking non-stop about this book and I bet I’ve got many of you intrigued too, so today I bring you The Raven Boys review.

Book One in The Raven Cycle series, “The Raven Boys” is an impressive story that follows the life of Blue Sargent, a psychic’s daughter. This book is full of charming and relatable characters, magic and supernatural events, a quest to find a lost king and unexpected plot twists that leaves you hanging for Book Two.

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

Set in Henrietta, Virginia, we begin with the story of Blue Sargent. Blue had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love, if she kisses him, which is definitely one way to keep your kid from ever going on a date, right?  😉

So Blue is the daughter of a psychic, but she herself does not have psychic powers, she works more as an amplifier for those who possess them; that’s why she accompanies her mother every year to a church during St. Mark’s Eve, where the spirits of those who will die in the next twelve months come through.

And because of Blue not having any ability, she’s astounded to see a spirit that year, while accompanying her aunt; the spirit of a boy named Gansey—and Neeve tells her that this is because he is either her true love, or she will kill him. Interesting twist, right?

After this turn of events we meet The Raven Boys, students from Aglionby Academy, the rich all-boys school, which Blue makes an effort not to cross paths with because she sees them as a bunch of condescending snobs.

But slowly she starts to develop a friendship with them, especially Richard Gansey the III, Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish and Noah Czerny; and she joins them on a quest of their own to find the ley lines, also called spiritual energy lines, in Henrietta, where an old, Welsh king is supposedly buried. 

This quest leads them to magical encounters with creatures that live in Cabeswater, a magical forest that hides a dark secret and speaks to them in Latin. At the same time, Barrington Whelk, is also trying to locate the ley lines to wake up Glendower.

In this dangerous mission that Blue and the Raven Boys have to accomplish in order to receive a granted wish, they will risk and sacrifice everything and anything to save their friends, even if that means offering their life to Cabeswater.

“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.”

As you probably read on my Instagram posts when I talked about this book, one of the things that impressed me the most was Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. She writes with confidence and emotion that you are transported to the places she describes; Maggie also focuses on the characters in a wonderful way that show us their true sides, weaknesses and strengths. It’s an amazingly well-written story.  

You can’t avoid not falling for all the characters and their interesting, charming friendship. Blue and her three boys definitely captivate the reader. Their interactions are so relatable and fun to read about, especially when they are meeting this new and magical places: it will definitely get a chuckle out of you 😉 .

Adam was actually one of the characters that captivated me the most, his backstory and life outside of Aglionby Academy felt so real and emotional. Adam is going through some family issues. At the same time that he needs to work hard for the scholarship from Aglionby Academy, he gets to live with an abusive father. This moves him to take some dangerous decisions that will affect the ongoing quest with the rest of his friends and the important sacrifice Cabeswater needs.

You probably saw a small description I did on the post “5 Books with the Best Opening Lines,” where I mentioned this book. It truly captured me with the original plot and that first line, I could not bring myself to stop once I started 😀 . You can check out that post here too!

“She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.”

If you are a fan of YA Fiction and Fantasy Fiction like me, then this is a must read! Believe me you won’t regret it. All the characters are so raw and relatable, you not only see them worrying about their fantasy quest, but also spending time like teenagers who just discovered a strange magic 🙂 . Plus, this teaches you lessons on friendship, love and bravery, that you will definitely treasure.

The Raven Boys is honestly super fun and intriguing to read. You won’t stop reading once you begin, Maggie’s writing style is perfect for this! And I promise you’ll be hooked to begin Book 2, “The Dream Thieves,” once you’re done.

Have you read The Raven Boys? What are your thoughts on it? Or are you planning on reading it? I hope that’s a solid yes 😉

Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments. Stay safe and have an amazing week, dear book lovers!

“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, they 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.
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.”

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