The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater

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Quoth the raven …. “I’ve got to stop letting bandwagons influence the quality I expect from novels…. squawk”

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them

The premise seems interesting; not wholly unique, but a new trick on an old pony. There are some interesting ideas tucked away in here: Welsh kings, fortune-telling, secret societies, but it doesn’t come nearly quick enough.

Unfortunately, this falls into my abandoned books section. The reason I don’t disregard it completely is because I genuinely did think the plot was intriguing. The prologue was especially likeable. The writing style however, for me, left a lot to be desired. Stiefvater’s paragraphs are heavy and often clumsy, and she utilises the omniscient narrator as an excuse to tell rather than show; her character descriptions are infodump, and she adds lines that are made to sound profound, but are actually just distracting and often nonsense.   “He’d chosen his weapon well: only the truth, untempted by kindness” for example.

The characters didn’t interest me enough within the first few chapters to keep me going, and too many of them are clustered together during their introductions. Every other chapter the p.o.v switches, without establishing a real coherent tone between them.

I recognise I’m in a very small minority, but I couldn’t push past the style. Still, I think it’s a shame.


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