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The Baron's Betrothal: An On-Again, Off-Again, On-Again Regency Romance (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #2)
Miranda Davis

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys - 4.5 StarsBlue has known all her life that if she ever kisses her true love he will die. She knows this because every member of her clairvoyant family has predicted it. Although not clairvoyant herself, Blue has the ability to amplify other peoples abilities. So every year on St. Mark's Eve Blue stands next to her mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past, writing down their names. Blue herself has never seen these spirits, until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.And there are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve. Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.This leads Blue to "The Raven Boys" four boy from the local private school, Aglionby Academy and a mystery that goes beyond romantic predictions and into the realms of the supernatural, a lost Welsh King and mystical Ley lines.This book starts out with a romantic premise but the romance is very secondary in my mind. To me the strength of this book is The Raven Boys. Each character is exceptionally well written and nuanced. And it is their relationships with one another, their brotherhood (because it is so much more than a friendship) that makes this book so wonderful.Young Adult books are constantly giving us these cookie cutter, infallible character. Even the bad boys are "bad" in just the right way. Maggie Stiefvater has not done this. She has created characters that feel like real people, people with flaw and "issues" but still people you would want to befriend.Gansey is obsessed with the supernatural and unfailingly loyal but his attempts to help are often unintentionally insensitive and condescending. Adam is desperate to escape the life he was born into but is too proud and self reliant to accept anyones help. Ronan is constantly angry and self destructive but his nature is fueled by the loss of his father and unspoken regret. And although Noah is a sweet and shy lost soul he is keeping secrets from the other boys... These boys are all very different but their friendship is very natural, often funny and sometimes a little heartbreaking.I thought the plot of this book was very well paced. I have a feeling others might say it was a little slow but there are quite a few characters and plot points that need your attention. And I think if the plot had moved any faster the story would have been overwhelming or some of the unique tone or (sometimes eccentric) humor would have been lost.I have to admit I have never really rated Stiefvater very highly. I read the first 2 books in her Shiver series and liked them but never bothered to finish the series or read any of her other work. Having said this, I loved this book! But I also thought that the ending was a blatant set up for a second book. Where as, had this book been 100+ pages longer and actually concluded Maggie Stiefvater would probably be my new favourite author.If you are looking for romance don't waste your time. But if you like great characters, good writing and unique story lines then I would definitely recommend this book.This gets from me.