This book was an impulse buy based solely on the cover - perhaps that's because I love scary birds.
At first I struggled to get into it, largely due to the shifting POV. The POV wanders through Blue, Gansey, Adam and Welck's minds, and at times I thought it was too much. But once I'd figured out who was whom, Blue and the Raven Boys and I got on just fine.
The story is simple. Blue lives with her psychic mom and a bunch of 'seeing' aunts. Since she was little she's been told she will cause the death of her true love by kissing him. The threat didn't have much menace until she meets Gansey under some rather strange circumstances. Her Aunt Neeve informs her casually that Gansey will be dead within the year - either murdered in anger by Blue, or by Blue’s kiss of love. Their relationship seems doomed, but like all teenagers, they find away to get together. But the romance – such as it is in this book – is definitely not typical, or obvious.
That was one of my comments . . . the blurb sells the book as a love story, but the love was definitely secondary to the story. That didn’t worry me overly, but I do think that someone looking for a romance could be justifiably ticked off.
The main plot is that Gansey is searching for an ancient Welsh king. Although supposedly dead, Gansey and his friends - the Raven Boys - believe he’s merely sleeping on a magical ley line in Virginia, US. The person who finds and wakes this venerable monarch will be rewarded with a special favour. All the characters have heir own compelling reasons for wanting to be the one to break the old boy’s slumbers.
What did I like about the book?
The Characters. Maggie Stiefvater knows each of them intimately, like they’re living-breathing people. Through her writing, she brings them alive for the reader. My favourites are two of Gancey’s friends, Adam and Noah. Both tortured in their own way, they are really fascinating people whom I was sorry to say goodbye to. I’m really looking forward to the sequel to pick up on their stories again.
What I didn’t like:
There are too many POVs. I can see why Maggie Stiefvater did that, but it still made it confusing at times.
Would I recommend it?
You bet! If you like your magic mixed with mythology, carried off by strong characters, then this one is for you.
I give it 4 stars.