15 July 2016

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: 2012
# of Pages: 409
Source: Owned Copy 

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 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 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 so sure anymore.

Set in an old Southern town, the Raven Boys illustrates a dynamic relationship between four boys and a girl named Blue. Exploring the paranormal, these characters unite to help fulfill the desire of Gansey to seek the powers of an old legend.

Let me start off by saying that this book is definitely focused on character development more so than plot development. What should have been a quick read took me almost a month to accomplish. The beginning of the novel is relatively slow as Steifvater takes her time building not only the characters, but the world in which they reside. While I didn’t appreciate this tactic at first, I began to understand why she did this at the end of the novel. Completing the task (finding this old legend in the form of a king) takes a strong group of characters; ones that take time to develop. Steifvater is complete in giving the readers a well-rounded image of each character from their background stories to their personalities. Although I am more geared towards books that focus on plot driven storylines, I did find comfort in getting to know each character on a personal basis.

What I loved most about this novel was the mythological intrigue and how all the characters are interwoven. If you did not know, I have the greatest appreciation for novels that include or are based on myths, legends, and/or folklore. As a result of this novel containing one of these elements, I instantly became interested in how it would be woven into the framework of the novel. Steifvater carefully utilizes this mythological legend to tie the entire story together leading to a creative and rather interesting conclusion. 

Although the novel took a while to get into, it did turn out to be rather interesting and the writing was beautiful. I think I will learn to appreciate this series more now that I understand the manner in which Stiefvater is writing these books. If you are looking for wonderful character development and beautiful writing I would definitely check out this book. 



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