Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
As usual, 16-year-old Blue is spending St. Mark’s eve in an abandoned churchyard waiting for the spirits of those who are destined to die in the next year. It’s not that Blue can see those walking spirits herself. Unlike the rest of her close knit, all-female family she is not a psychic, but because Blue somehow enhances the psychic powers of others, she is accompanying her aunt while she catalogs the names of the soon to be departed. Then this year something different happens. Blue sees and is able to speak with one of the spirits, a young man of about her age. Her aunt explains it this way--Blue can see the boy’s spirit either because she is his true love, or because she is going to kill him. Since Blue has been warned that if she ever kisses her true love he will die--her entire diverse psychic family agrees with this prophecy--it doesn’t make much difference either way.
In tone and in the way it wrapped me into its world, The Raven Boys reminds me a little of the wonderful novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, though I’m not sure anyone else would see it that way. It’s set in the present day, not the era of the Napoleonic Wars, but The Raven Boys does involve the potential revival of ancient magic and there is a Raven King, who here is a long dead Welsh monarch that a group of private school boys is trying to reawaken. The private school boys mostly come from money, though each of the four have their issues and secrets, so when Blue and her decidedly not wealthy family of eclectic psychics get involved in the boys’ quest it makes for interesting character interactions and a great story. The females in Blue’s family also have agendas they aren’t sharing, some of which we only get hints of. I’m glad this is the first of a series because I would love to read more.