The Raven Boys

by Maggie Stiefvater

Reading Age: 14+

Interest level: 14+

by Maggie Stiefvater

Growing up in an oddball family of clairvoyants, 16-year-old Blue is used to taking the supernatural in her stride - including the long-standing prediction that she will one day cause her true love to die. But Blue is shaken on St Mark's Eve, when, following tradition, she goes to the freezing graveyard where the soon-to-be-dead will pass by. Usually it's just her clairvoyant mother who can see them, but this year, a boy emerges from the dark and falls at Blue's feet. 

 

It doesn't take Blue long to discover that his name is Gansey, and that he's a rich student from exclusive local private school Aligonby. Blue has always gone out of her way to avoid the spoilt, privileged Aligonby boys, known as the Raven Boys, but in spite of what she has seen, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, charismatic Gansey and his obsessive quest to discover the sleeping Owen Glendower, a Welsh King who disappeared in the early 15th century.

 

Also drawn into Gansey's quest are three other Raven Boys: Adam, a gentle scholarship student who quietly resents the privilege of those around him, yearning for a different life; Ronan, plunging from fierce anger to despair following the death of his father; and the enigmatic, watchful Noah, a troubled soul. Together, the boys and Blue find themselves tangled in a strange adventure that takes in ley lines, ghosts, psychics and forests that whisper Latin words - but what will be the ultimate consequences of Gansey's obsession with Glendower?

 

Popular author Maggie Stiefvater is in top form in what is arguably her most complex and ambitious book to date, and the first in a magical new series. In Stiefvater's usual style, The Raven Boys draws on legend and folklore and recasts it in a contemporary setting to create a dark and intriguing mystery - but here, the love plot takes something of a back seat to a story predominantly about the complexities of friendship. With a collegiate feel and shades of Donna Tarrt's The Secret History, this is an intense and compelling young adult novel, with strong characters, convincing relationships, and plenty of twists and turns, as well as a cryptic cliffhanger of an ending that will keep readers guessing until the next instalment. 

 

Publisher: Scholastic

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