Book II of the Raven Cycle
by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press, New York, Sept. 17, 2013. 438 pages.
This sequel to The Raven Boys takes the mysterious magical happenings in Henrietta, Virginia, to another level.
We still have Blue, the only non-psychic in a family of psychics, entangled with three Raven Boys, Gansey, Adam, and Ronan, from the private school Aglionby. The boys, led by Gansey, are looking for an ancient Welsh king that Gansey is certain is buried in the area. Whoever finds him will have a wish granted.
This volume focuses on Ronan and his ability to take objects out of dreams. We find out this ability is all wrapped up in family secrets. And there are others who want it. Dangerous others. And there are surprises and mysteries along the way.
I’m not quite sure why I don’t like this series more. It’s well-crafted and powerfully written. The plotting is intricate and keeps you intrigued. Each book has a doozy of an ending. I think the main problem is that I don’t particularly like the characters. There’s a new character we see more of in this book who is a drug addict and generally distasteful. We also follow the activities of a hit man. His addition to the book adds much to the story, and I like that we do get to see his side. But he’s a hit man! I can’t quite like him.
I will, however, definitely snap up the next book as soon as I get the chance. I don’t love these books, but I like them very much, and I am absolutely hooked. I should also say that Maggie Stiefvater, did, in fact, win me over to the heavily foreshadowed romance strongly hinted at in the first book. I had a feeling she would.
Here is how the Prologue begins:
A secret is a strange thing.
There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.
And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it.
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Source: This review is based on an Advance Reader Copy I got at ALA Annual Conference.
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