Friday, January 18, 2013

Recommendation: 'The Raven Boys' by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Scorpio Races was excellent; this is better. An urban fantasy that reminded me somewhat of Mythago Wood and The Dark is Rising, with a touch of The Magicians' disillusion insinuating itself.. So, wow!

Often fantasy novels disgorge huge encrustations of political manoeuvrings, guilds, gimmicks, gadgets, & magicks - as well as a cast of thousands hollering, reeling, reciting & transforming, so that by page two one is quite weary.

Stiefvater gives something better: build-up. She takes the time to develop empathy for characters, without slacking on plot. The magic seeps into the storylines, entwined with the quest group's dynamics - if it is a quest, if it is a group. And while it might be a young adult book, (in that the leads are teen-ish), this categorisation doesn't signify undue wallowing. Maybe because Stiefvater has such a nice take on gender roles you're never pained by their relations, just intrigued.

Which is just to say - at least so far! The book ends on a
threshold; and I was cursing The Raven Boys for being only the first in a, gulp, "cycle."

And yeah, there's a- oh wait, that might be a spoiler. Caw, that was close.


~ Paul, Birkenhead Library

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