Once I got to chapter two in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, I could not stop reading until I got to the end. The heroine, Blue, is the daughter of a psychic who lives in a house full of women—some related, some not— who are psychics, witches, or just extremely strange. Blue has no such power, but seems to be an amplifier for other people’s powers. Blue goes to public school in a town with a very upper-crust boy’s prep school, Aglionby. She never mixes with boys, though, since it has long been foretold that when she kisses her first love, he will die.
Blue’s life becomes entangled in the lives of the boys at Aglionby when she sits out on St. Mark’s Eve with one of her aunts to see the ghosts of those who will die in the next year walk by. One of the ghosts is an Aglionby boy named Gansey. Days later, she meets the living Gansey and his friends in the pizza restaurant where she works. His shy friend, Adam, wants to talk to her, but she doesn’t want to know him better—what if he is doomed to be her first love? Then Adam and his friends show up at her mother’s house for a psychic reading, and it doesn’t go well. Gansey’s obsession is finding the tomb of an ancient Welsh king, Glendower, who will come back to life and grant the one who finds him one wish. What would a handsome, wealthy young man like Gansey have to wish for? And why would he die within the next year?
There are four Aglionby boys in the story: Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah. Each of them has deep secrets in his life, some dark and some shameful. The story is fascinating, although quite frightening in some parts, but the brilliant action of the story was secondary to me. Getting to know the characters better was the driving force that kept me turning the pages. Stiefvater skillfully exposes and conceals the complex layers of each boy’s story. You may love them or hate them— or maybe just be horrified by them— but you will not want to leave them alone. Thank goodness this is the first of a series.
Disclaimer: This book will be released in September. I read an advance reader copy supplied by the publisher. Views expressed are, as always, solely my own and not those of my employer.