“Gansey,” he said. Though his voice was quiet, it wasn’t a whisper. It was a real voice spoken from someplace almost too far away to hear.
Blue couldn’t stop staring at his mussed hair, the suggestion of staring eyes, the raven on his sweater. His shoulders were soaked, she saw, and the rest of his clothing ran spattered, from a storm that hadn’t happened yet. This close, she could smell something minty that she wasn’t sure was unique to him or unique to spirits. He was so real. When it finally happened, when she finally saw him, it didn’t feel like magic at all. It felt like looking into the grave and seeing it look back at her.
“Is that all?” she whispered.
Gansey closed his eyes. “That’s all there is.”
~Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys
Blue Sargent has been raised and surrounded her whole life by women who are able to see and touch the supernatural. Her mother and “aunts” are psychics—the real deal. They don’t make very much money from their readings, but their readings are genuine and accurate. Blue, however, does not possess any psychic powers herself: she is only able to make the powers of others stronger from her presence. Blue longs to be able to touch the supernatural world, and Gansey, an affluent, obsessive private schooled boy and his small troop of friends can offer that to her in the form of the hunt for an ancient Welsh king, waiting somewhere close to be awakened.
The Raven Boys is a must read for those interested in supernatural fantasy fiction.
More of my thoughts below: with slight spoilers!!!!
The town and characters of Henrietta, Virginia were so richly drawn that I was genuinely disappointed that the next book won’t be out until this September. I wasn’t ready to leave Blue and Gansey’s world and their search for the Welsh king Glendower and the ley lines. I am usually bothered by multiple changes in point of view, but in this novel I thought Stiefvater did a superb job in juggling the perspectives of her multiple, close third person points of view. I think that this novel has a slower pace, but maybe that’s just because so many of the books I’ve read recently are so quickly paced I feel like they’re emulating action movies. This novel is the first in a series and it’s very obvious from the beginning that many of the conflicts presented in the novel are not resolved by the end. Series books have been irking me recently, as I’ve come to really love stand-alones, but one thing I did like about this first in the series novel was that it offered glimpses into future scenes (perhaps not so surprising since this is a novel that has psychic characters). It added mystery to the story, and made me wish that The Dream Thieves was out sooner.
Perhaps my one big issue with the novel (and I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me) is that while I love Gansey’s character, I found him to be a bit unbelievable. I mean, how many teenage boys do you know who have the word “quiddity” in their vocabulary?
Gansey is not just an obsessive teenage scholar, but is also rich, rich, rich with a heart of gold. It’s true that he’s got a sort of Darcy-esque, condescending voice, but the chapters which focus closely on him reveal that beneath the condescension is someone who does everything within his power to save his friends.
While I can’t wait to keep reading about Gansey, I can’t help but think that perhaps I’ve seen his character in too much Romantic literature and not enough in real life to really buy into it.