Hard on the hooves of “The Scorpio Races,” which won one of this year’s Printz Honors, comes Maggie Stiefvater’s latest supernatural thriller, “The Raven Boys” (forthcoming Sept. 18). In contrast to the melancholy werewolves of her popular Shiver trilogy, the Raven Boys are not paranormal critters but the entitled students of elite, raven-crested Aglionby Academy. They roam nearby Henrietta, Va., like a “pack of sleek animals armored with their watches and their Top-Siders,” says Blue Sargent, 16, the “trashy chic” daughter of the town psychic. That observation encapsulates what sets this book above the usual fangs-and-heavy-breathing fare: Stiefvater not only weaves a suspenseful tale of Blue’s involvement with three such boys and their quest for the grave of an ancient king, but she also does so stylishly, with sly social commentary. Chapters alternating in point of view between Blue, scholarship student Adam Parrish, wealthy Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey IIIand Latin teacher Barrington Whelk subtly explore the divides and connections of class and wealth. This first in a planned four-novel series draws readers into a world where time enfolds hauntingly, and magic informs reality, as when Blue and the boys find themselves in a whispering forest, “fenced by one thousand different shades of green fastened to a million wind-blown claws.” Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead, Esme Raji Codell and Maggie Stiefvater will be at the National Book Festival on Sept. 22-23.
Don’t miss this!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
NWS 2012: An Evening with Maggie Stiefvater