Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)
Series: The Raven Cycle
Also in this series: The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, The Raven King
Released by Scholastic on 18 September 2012
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
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.
Back when I was still in my ‘I don’t want to read books about vampires or werewolves’ phase, the Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater came out. I vowed to myself that I would never pick up these books, though later on after I went through the phase, I added the first book to my TBR list. Then, I heard about her other book series, called The Raven Cycle, with The Raven Boys as first book. I was intrigued and added it to my TBR. Then, as I was at a friend’s house, we started talking about books, and she told me how she loved TRC. She lend me her copies of the series, and I promised her I would read them asap.
The Raven Boys tells the story of Blue Sargent, who lives in a house full of psychics, but isn’t one herself. She has also been told her entire life that she will kill the person she loves the moment she kisses him. Enter the Raven Boys, which is the collective nickname of boys that go to Aglionby, the local all-boys’ school for rich people. We meet four students from that school, who are on a special mission. Soon, the lives of Blue and the Raven Boys come together, and they find out that magic is, in fact, real.
I was very intrigued by this book because of the line ‘when you kiss your true love he will die’, which is the exact opposite of the whole true love’s first kiss part in fairy tales. At the beginning of this book, Blue is told she will meet her true love this year.
We meet a lot of characters in this book. The main character is of course Blue Sargent. I liked her, and the house she lives in. She lives with Maura, her mother, Orla, Calla, Persephone and Neeve in a big house. Everyone in the house is a psychic of some sort, apart from Blue, though she has a special power – she makes everything ‘louder’ for the psychics, which is why they love having her around during readings. Then there are the Raven boys, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah, who I didn’t really like much at the beginning. I liked Adam a bit, because he wasn’t one of the rich kids, but other than that I didn’t really like Gansey and Ronan. And I hardly knew anything about Noah so I didn’t really feel anything for him. That is until they met Blue. I honestly liked the boys much more after they’d met Blue and they started on their adventure together.
Gansey and his gang are looking for Glendower (or Glyndŵr in Welsh), and Gansey believes that he might be in Henrietta. I wasn’t really sure what to think about this whole search, and I honestly wasn’t that interested in it at the beginning of the story. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Gansey View Spoiler »because at the beginning of the book we find out he’s going to die within twelve months. « Hide Spoiler and though Glendower ended up being important to the plot of the book, I don’t know I just didn’t really care that much about it. Even if it’s a Welsh king and I honestly really love Wales.
I also didn’t care about Whelk at all, and I was annoyed by any chapters from his point of view. I didn’t know what he added to the story – until later on of course – but even after that I didn’t know why he had to have his own POV. I liked reading from Blue’s POV, and from Gansey and Adam (I believe those were the only ones?), but Whelk was just annoying imo. View Spoiler »When I found out Noah was actually dead and a ghost, and that it was Whelk’s old friend Czerny, THAT is when I started to really like this book. I had liked it before this part already, but when the group found out about Noah I didn’t want to put down the book anymore. I honestly think that – even though Noah had actually admitted he’d been dead for seven years in the first chapter or so – this reveal was so good, and I hadn’t seen it coming. « Hide Spoiler
The writing was really good, and I have nothing else to say about it. I hadn’t read a Maggie Stiefvater book before, but I had heard so many good things about them before, so I am happy to say that I am now hooked on Maggie Stiefvater. I will definitely pick up the rest of this series (obviously, since I have the other two books that are out as well and will obviously read the fourth one as well), and maybe I’ll even buy my own copies, because these covers are A-MA-ZING!
In the end, The Raven Boys, was a very thrilling story about magic and an ancient Welsh king (YAY WELSH). I can’t really compare it to any other books, but I guess if you love paranormal stories you should try this one out!
My opinion in one gif: