If you have not read any books by Maggie Stiefvater, WHAT have you been doing?!
Also author of: Mercy Falls Wolves (Shiver, Linger, and Forever), Ballad and Lament, The Scorpio Races.
Blue Sargent has been warned for years by her psychic mother and her psychic half-aunts that when she kissed her true love that he would die. Since her mom and aunts were uncannily right about other things, she knew it was true. When she meets a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, the night of recording the dead for the coming year, Blue believes she’s either killed him or he’s her true love. His name is Gansey, and he’s a raven boy from Aglionby Academy nearby.
Gansey is on a quest to find a long-buried Welsh king, Glendower, because this king is magic, buried along a magical ley line in Henrietta, VA. He is joined by his three friends, Adam, Ronan and Noah. Adam hunts for the king because he wants to lift himself out of poverty and obscurity. He wants to be an equal with Gansey and Ronan, only stubbornly through his own efforts. Possibly the most mysterious of the group, Ronan keeps many secrets. His father was killed and Ronan found the body. Since then, he has been a completely different person than the one Gansey used to know. Ronan is frequently hostile and angry, but possesses a strong attachment to his friends and a newly discovered baby bird. Noah is the quietest of the group, but his hunches are always spot-on. Their search for Glendower takes them to visit psychics, Blue’s mother and her best friends, to see if they can tell anything about the magic. When their cards are read, Blue’s card keeps turning up, and her life is now irrevocably entwined with that of the raven boys.
However, someone else is searching for the ley line and Glendower, and that means its a race to see who will discover it first…
Obviously, there are spoilers below, but not many. 🙂
With the ley line woken, it seems that the search for Glendower should get easier. However, Adam is still dealing with the consequences of his sacrifice for Cabeswater, and weirdly enough, the ley line seems unstable. Power outages keep occurring in Henrietta and Noah keeps disappearing. Ronan begins to learn about his powers as a Greywaren and the consequences that come with it: night terrors and men hunting him. Blue has her own issues, mainly confronting her feelings for Adam and Gansey and dealing with her mother’s new romance with Mr. Gray. Hidden secrets come to light, and they are plagued by Gansey’s Aglionby archenemy, Kavinsky, who is withholding some key knowledge of his own. Everyone seems to be falling apart around Gansey, and he needs all of them to work together if he is to stabilize the ley line and get to his king.
In this second book, the reader will notice the narrator shift from mainly Blue to mainly Ronan, while giving almost all the main characters time to be narrator, including the newly added Gray Man, the hit man hired to find the Greywaren. Also, while containing plenty of action, this book resolves many of the conflicts brought up in The Raven Boys, and also invites each of the main characters to resolve their personal conflicts before they can team up again to attempt to find Glendower.
If I can remember correctly, I’ve now read all of Maggie’s books. While these aren’t my absolute favorite of hers (that’s undoubtedly The Scorpio Races), they are still awesome reads. This series seems possessed of that same unknowable and inconceivable magic found in Ballad and Lament except of a different flavor. Rather than being unreachable and incomprehensible, the magic here somewhat follows logic and reason, but is distinctly Welsh and still mysterious. One of the most beautiful things in these books is the fresh descriptions and writing style. I can’t get enough of it! Unfortunately, there’s no mention of book 3 as of yet (keep watching her blog!). Look for her companion book to the Shiver trilogy, Sinner, out in July 2014.
Enjoy your New Year’s Eve! See you in 2014!