“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
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.
Let me start by saying that I was hesitant to start this series, I read Shiver and was not a fan, so my expectations were not high. Gladly though, Stiefvater proved me wrong. Though it’s a bit slow, I hear that problem is solved in the following books, I ended up really enjoying this book.
The main complaint I have seen in reviews for this is one of the linchpins of the story line – if she kisses her true love he dies – so there is an instant love triangle. Some people are just saying to stay away from Gansey and find someone else. I get that, but I mean, it’s true love – haven’t you seen The Princess Bride, it’s not something you can ignore! And I think it’s done really well, the romance is never a main conflict in the books, it’s just a side item to keep us intrigued, the main story revolves around the hunt for this Welsh king, and the relationships between the four boys and Blue.
I really appreciate how complex all the characters are. Their magical adventure is so intriguing and interesting. I love Gansey, he has so many sides and it’s clear he’s the truest to himself when he’s indulging in this adventure, and when he is looking out for his friends. However, though he’s always surrounded by these three boys, I feel like he’s a pretty lonely guy.
I don’t really like Adam. I get why Blue picks him to be her love interest in the group – they are the most similar when it comes to life background. And I understand that Adam has a terrible home life. but there is nothing wrong with asking for help, and I don’t think all the anger/resentment he throws at Gansey is fair or deserved.
Blue is interesting. She’s very independent and sticks to her guns, which I appreciate. But she is also shallow and judgmental. There are references to how hard she tries to be different and quirky, but I don’t really ever feel that that’s who she genuinely is. She does let go of some of her stereotypes in the first book, and I think she will only grow in the following books.
The magical center of this story is still a mystery to me, but it is to the characters too. We have a defined goal, but it’s slow work to get to it. We shall see I suppose, I definitely plan to continue the series if for nothing more than the intense relationships between the boys.