The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle Series #1)

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle Series #1)

4.4 327
by Maggie Stiefvater

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Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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

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Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
…Stiefvater not only weaves a suspenseful tale…but she also does so stylishly, with sly social commentary…This first in a planned four-novel series draws readers into a world where time enfolds hauntingly, and magic informs reality…
—Mary Quattlebaum
The New York Times Book Review
…a well-paced neo-Gothic thriller about a teenage fivesome's search for the supernatural…and themselves…Stiefvater, who has an assured and entertaining way with language, doesn't talk down to her readers, and she ably blends the mystical and the earthly, the primitive and the contemporary in a way that brings to mind the work of John Bellairs, J. K. Rowling, Lois Duncan and Stephenie Meyer.
—Anna Holmes
Publishers Weekly
By grounding this new series in what might be called everyday weirdness—a rich teenager’s obsession with legend and glory, a shabby household of female psychics with a pay-per-minute hotline—Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races) avoids the burden of building a seamless alternate world, instead saturating our reality with magic. Haunting, distinctly individual characters are at the forefront: Blue, an outsider in her own home because she isn’t clairvoyant; Gansey and his posse of misfits, who lack any sense of home and seek meaning elsewhere; and Barrington Whelk, a Latin teacher with a secret. Gansey and his fellow “raven boys” attend exclusive Aglionby Academy—itself out of place in working-class Henrietta, Va.—and Blue’s goal is to avoid them at any cost. She can’t, of course, but Stiefvater doesn’t rush this inevitability. Hopes, fears, quirks, and forebodings gather gradually, coalescing as living portraits. It’s a tour de force of characterization, and while there is no lack of event or mystery, it is the way Stiefvater’s people live in the reader’s imagination that makes this such a memorable read. Ages 13�up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

 “A flirtier kind of horror-fantasy, aimed at teens clutching tattered Twilight and Sandman paperbacks….Stiefvater’s quirky prose has ample nerdy pleasures.” - TIME Magazine

“A well-paced, neo-Gothic thriller…Stiefvater, who has an assured and entertaining way with language,  doesn’t talk down to her readers, and she ably blends the mystical and the earthly, the primitive and the contemporary in a way that brings to mind the work of John Belairs, J.K Rowling, Lois Duncan, and Stephenie Meyer.” - New York Times Book Review

Praise for The Scorpio Races:

* "Masterful. Like nothing else out there now." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "An utterly compelling read." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Filling it with loving descriptions of wet, wind-tossed Thisby as well as exciting equine action, Stiefvater has created a thrilling backdrop for the love story that blooms...A book appealing to lovers of fantasy, horse stories, romance, and actionadventure alike, this seems to have a shot at being a YA blockbuster." - School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver trilogy:

* “A lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love….Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers will be able to enjoy Stiefvater's fast-paced storytelling and dedication to the old-fashioned art of creating a believable and enduring romance. Shiver is beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.” –

“This riveting narrative, impossible to put down, is not only an excellent addition to the current fangs and fur craze, but is also a beautifully written romance that, along with Shiver, will have teens clamoring for the third and final entry.” – VOYA

Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Henrietta, Virginia, ley lines and psychic visions... Prepare to enter Blue Sargent's world where no one is as they seem and even the town has a supernatural energy that draws you into an adventure both ominous and forthcoming. St. Mark's Eve is when Blue helps her clairvoyant mother as they watch the spirits of Henrietta townsfolk parade down the church's lane signifying who will pass away that year. This year she is surprised that she can see one of the many drifting ghosts and this vision of a local Aglionby Academy boy changes the course of her future. Blue's been told her whole life that she will fall in love, kiss her beloved and then he will die. Uncertain as who her first love will be, Blue's protected life is uprooted and she finds herself on a ghostly scavenger hunt with four Raven Boys (a nickname for Aglionby's students). Gansey has captured her attention, for it is his spirit that she has seen. He is so different from anyone that she has ever known and even though it is Adam that has fallen for her, she finds that she has fallen for Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah in different ways. Will Patton brings the quirky characters to life well beyond just a storytelling. He embodies each character with a lilting Virginian accent lulling the listener. The first book in the "Raven Cycle" series is captivating. Even more so because of Patton's interpretation. The story, the characters, the energy is potent and I was drawn in from the beginning. Every character holds a secret from Blue and her household of psychics, to the Raven Boys, to the ghost of the Welsh King, Glendower, to the Latin Teacher, Barrington Whelk. Many secrets unfold during the tale and others are left for the remaining books in the series. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Blue was born into a psychic family with the misfortune of having no psychic ability of her own. However, her presence helps others "see" more clearly, which has led to every psychic she's ever met predicting that if Blue were to kiss her true love, he would die. Not interested in boys yet and especially repulsed by the snooty lot at Aglionby Academy, she decides to simply never kiss anyone. When she has her first clairvoyant experience, it's not as thrilling as she had hoped. She sees that Gansey, a boy from Aglionby, will die within the next year. She can't get him out of her mind, a task made impossible when she meets him and his three friends. The Raven Boys, as Aglionby students are called, rope her into helping them with their mission: to locate a ley line. The line of energy could possibly connect them to the past and to the legendary "sleeping" Welsh king, Glendower, who will grant the one who awakens him a reward. Their quest puts each of them in harm's way, made more imminent when Blue finally starts to feel as if her kiss of death is going to be a real problem. First in a planned quartet, The Raven Boys is an incredibly rich and unique tale, a supernatural thriller of a different flavor. The cinematic feel paces the novel well, and the many pieces of the story unfold with grace. The complicated relationships between the Raven boys and Blue are not of the standard main character/love interest variety and makes the curious plot all the more enthralling. Fans have been salivating for Stiefvater's next release and The Raven Boys delivers.—Emily Chornomaz, Camden County Library System, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
An ancient Welsh king may be buried in the Virginia countryside; three privileged boys hope to disinter him. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Blue Sargent, daughter of a small-town psychic, has lived her whole life under a prophecy: If she kisses her true love, he will die. Not that she plans on kissing anyone. Blue isn't psychic, but she enhances the extrasensory power of anyone she's near; while helping her aunt visualize the souls of people soon to die, she sees a vision of a dying Raven boy named Gansey. The Raven Boys--students at Aglionby, a nearby prep school, so-called because of the ravens on their school crest--soon encounter Blue in person. From then on, the point of view shifts among Blue; Gansey, a trust-fund kid obsessed with finding King Glendower buried on a ley-line in Virginia; and Adam, a scholarship student obsessed with his own self-sufficiency. Add Ronan, whose violent insouciance comes from seeing his father die, and Noah, whose first words in the book are, "I've been dead for seven years," and you've got a story very few writers could dream up and only Stiefvater could make so palpably real. Simultaneously complex and simple, compulsively readable, marvelously wrought. The only flaw is that this is Book 1; it may be months yet before Book 2 comes out. The magic is entirely pragmatic; the impossible, extraordinarily true. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Raven Cycle Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years


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