“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.
This book isn’t going to be what you’d expect. Not from the girl who penned Shiver or The Scorpio Races. No sweeping romance or metamorphosis or killer horses. Instead, there’s a private boys school, a long dead king and a magical road – leading to something big. And you’re not going to see some of the twists coming. At least, I didn’t.
The book’s cast of five, much like the Scooby gang, are all a little weird and tortured in their own way. Gansey, the leader (or Fred of the group – he’d rock an ascot) pulls them along on his quest to wake a sleeping king. Noah is the quiet man, Adam the poor, on-scholarship kid and Ronan is the angry instigator. Blue, the only girl and Aglionby Acedemy outsider, comes from a psychic family loaded with secrets.
I liked Blue the best and her family of gifted females, but found myself cheering for rich and misunderstood Gansey as he struggles to keep the group together and not get swallowed by his passion to discover Glendower. He had a this interesting combination of wordly and genuine passion.
The story moves a little slow. There is a lot of explanation of the folklore and characters backstories – this is a planned trilogy, after all. But the when the big events happen (Walking dead people! Talking tree! Mysterious ravens! Murder in the woods!), it twists enough to make you wonder “well, where is this going now?!” I’m glad I stuck with it. Bring on part two!
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “or you killed him.”
“There were two Ganseys: the one who lives inside his skin, and the one Gansey put on in the morning when he slid his wallet into the back pocket of his chinos. The former was troubled and passionate, with no discernable accent to Adam’s ears, and the latter bristled with latent power as he greeted people with slippery, handsome accent of old Virginia money.”
“The fact was that she’d never been flirted with by someone who she wanted to succeed at it.”