I’ve become a little addicted to Maggie Stiefvater’s urban fantasy series. They’re perfect books to curl up with or wile the hours away on a long train trip. Although the premise hints that romance will be a key theme, it’s refreshingly not the focus and I guess that’s not really surprising with the premise that one of the protagonists, Blue, will kill her true love if she kisses him. As kissing is pretty much out, the novels instead focus heavily on the arcane, the mystical, historical quests and dream magic. The Raven Boys - Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah - are all distinct characters and I loved the chemistry between them all. The issues of class and the conflict it causes is explored nicely, especially between Gansey, the wealthy and charismatic leader of the group, and Adam, the scholarship boy from an abusive home. I enjoyed how Blue is the odd one out in her family because she isn’t psychic, which is a nice change from the usual “chosen one” tropes of young adult fantasy. The narrative is spaced over four novels (the fourth and final novel The Raven King will be released in February next year), with each novel fulfilling its own smaller story arch. This allows plenty of space for multiple characters to truly grow and develop, and provides a nice narrative pace that doesn’t feel to rushed. I look forward to the last novel. It truly cannot come soon enough!