In a household full of witches, psychics, and otherwise supernaturally gifted women, Blue Sargent is the only one with no powers of her own. She does, however, possess a gift for strengthening other people’s magic; so every year on St. Mark’s Eve, she goes with her mother to a certain church to count the dead as they pass by. Blue has never seen the spirits before, so this time she is shocked to notice a boy about her age walking past the church. He’s wearing an Aglionby sweater, which marks him as a student at the local fancy prep school, a Raven boy. Blue is troubled by her vision because the boy’s presence on this path means he’ll die within the year. When she meets the Aglionby boy and his friends in person, she decides to try to prevent the boy’s death and help him on his own magical quest.
I feel like I didn’t do a very good job of explaining this book, because there are a lot of things going on. Blue is one of the main characters, but the book also spends a lot of time with each of the four Raven boys (the one Blue saw and his three best friends). So we learn a lot about the boys’ pasts, their various problems, and their quest to find the lost body of the Welsh king Owen Glendower. As a result of the scattered focus, nothing is covered in very much depth. I learned just enough about the characters to grow attached to them and become curious about their fates, but there’s a lot left to be resolved. The book’s pace is fairly slow, which fits with Stiefvater’s reflective style of writing. The romantic element of this book, though present, is very low-key; I imagine it will be more prevalent in later books in the series. Overall, this book didn’t blow me away like The Scorpio Races did, but I still really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by Maggie Stiefvater.