All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

allthecrookedsaintsOne of the books I received for Christmas was All The Crooked Saints by bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater. I was familiar with Maggie Stiefvater’s work having heard great things about the Raven Boys series, but this is the first of her books I have read.

As someone who loves owls and finds them fascinating, I have to admit one of the things that drew me to this book was the presence of owls, owls who are drawn to a specific place for a specific reason – to look for miracles. Events take place in Bicho Raro in Colorado, a strange landscape that is filled with miracles and mystery and owls are drawn to Bicho Raro to witness the miracles that take place. And they are not the only ones as pilgrims travel to this place to find their own miracle, and to be cleansed of the darkness within them, a darkness which manifests itself in unusual ways. And once their darkness is revealed they remain in Bicho Raro for a second miracle to take place, to rid them of their troubles. The miracles are performed by the remarkable Soria family, which includes three cousins who are affected in different ways, and are all trying to change the future. There is Daniel, the saint who performs the miracles but not for himself. Then there is a Beatriz, a girl who doesn’t have feelings, and Joaquin who runs a radio station under a different persona. I was intrigued by the concept of this story, and learning more about these characters and their journeys.

All the Crooked Saints is certainly an unusual tale and it did take me a little while to get into the story. However, the premise of the miracles and how the hidden darkness influences different people was one that I found interesting and I enjoyed meeting each of the characters and their stories. I liked the idea of this strange place filled with people who have travelled far and wide for the same goal, and there was a whimsical, lyrical feel to Steifvater’s writing which kept my attention and created a vivid image of this strange world. We see twins connected by the coils of a snake, a woman who is pursued by rain, and of course there are the cousins and the miracles they perform. I was interested in learning about the Soria family, and how their relationships with each other develop, and how interactions with the pilgrims could change their future, all under the watchful gaze of the owls…

Whilst it wasn’t a book that gripped me immediately, All The Crooked Saints was an interesting story of darkness and light, of love and miracles and the journey we take to find them.

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