The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater follows a group of teenagers who hope to discover the burial site of a dead Welsh king. However, the quest promises some problems for the characters when Blue, the female main character, sees that Gansey, the group’s leader will die in a year and is told her true love will die if they kiss her.
I’ve heard a lot of hype over the years for The Raven Boys series, but always put it off because it seems a little too dark for me and I didn’t really enjoy The Scorpio Races, another book that I read by Maggie Steifvater. While I don’t think I will continue this series because it is dark and I’ve heard the story gets even darker with magic, I still think it is a solid start for a YA series.
I think one of the selling elements of this series would be the main cast of characters. Each character is interesting and brings something unique to the table. Blue has an interesting backstory that promises to bring some drama into the plot. Gansey seems like a typical private school boy, but has such a deep passion for an unconventional topic. The rest of the boys each have their own personal struggles and other interesting details that provides a great dynamic between the cast of characters. Since they are so interesting and enjoyable, I think many readers will be interested in seeing where their story lines venture in the rest of the series.
Another solid aspect of this book is the writing. With all of the details, this book is clearly well thought out. Additionally, the elements of mystery compel reading to keep turning the pages. I literally read this book from start to finish without putting it down. Since I struggled to get through The Scorpio Races, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast I flew through The Raven Boys. It’s easy for me to see how some people are able to read all four books in a row!
I think the major drawback for me and why I won’t be continuing the series is how dark the magic will go throughout the series. This is just a personal preference, and like I mentioned earlier, this is very evident from the description of the book so I knew it going into the story. There are a lot of mystical things that occur in the first book and I can only see it getting more and more dark as the series goes on. Even though I thought this was a solid story, I can’t just see myself meshing well with the magical elements of this series.
Overall, The Raven Boys is a solid series starter and I recommend it any one who likes books with magic elements in a realistic setting. I give The Raven Boys four out of five stars.