The first book I picked up by Maggie Stiefvater was Shiver, a paranormal romance involving werewolves and Minnesota. I loved the Minnesota part (that’s where I’m from), but wasn’t too sure about the werewolves. When I finished the first novel, though, and picked up the second… then devoured that one and moved onto the third, I was thoroughly convinced that I had met all the characters and knew them as well as they did each other. Looking for something to read after Twilight? The Shiver trilogy is it. Looking for something to read that’s NOT Twilight? The Shiver trilogy is still it.
But I didn’t stop there. Stiefvater has written an impressive number of books, especially taking into account her many other interests and past professions (musician, equestrian, artist, automobile aficionado). The next book of hers I read was The Scorpio Races, a stand-alone story set on a fictional island in the UK. I was captivated again by Stiefvater’s incredible talent for storytelling, and her skill at making characters seem so real. Plus, The Scorpio Races centers around a mythical species of bloodthirsty horses, which is kind of awesome. What more could I ask for?
Well, then I read The Raven Boys. Turns out Stiefvater is a developing expert in all kinds of mythology and lore, and that’s where she focuses her writing (if you didn’t figure that out already). But The Raven Boys is a whole other type of book, interweaving the murky history of English and Celtic kings with modern mysticism, all set in today’s Virginia, and told through the eyes of normal teenagers. Sound complicated? It is. But also wonderful, and pretty frightening at times. If you like really great writing paired with some dark themes, The Raven Boys is for you. Fair warning: It’s going to be a series, and the next book doesn’t come out until this fall. You WILL be left wanting more!
Stiefvater is a fantastic writer, and is quickly becoming one of my favorites. While her books tend to be classified as “fantasy,” you don’t have to be a lover of the genre to enjoy them. Check them out from the library here. Tell us what you think in the comments!