Blue Sargent – born into a family of psychics without any real power of her own. But she amplifies others abilities. She is destined, according to the women around her, to kill her true love when/after she kisses him. She works hard and hates the Aglionby Boys (those from the local rich kids boarding school). She usually goes with her mother on St. Mark’s Eve to a church, on a ley line, to help her mother see the spirits who will die within the next year. This year, she sees one herself – Gansey – and the only reason she sees him is because
Gansey – studying ley lines. He is looking for something supernatural. Lives in an old converted manufacturing building. He believes that Glendower, a Welsh King, didn’t really die but is sleeping. Legend is that whoever finds and wakes him will get a favor. Has an allergy to wasps (and keeps an epipen in his car) – he was almost killed years ago due to an allergic reaction.
Ronan – one of Gansey’s friends. He is a little unstable and has been since he found his father’s dead body. Is told by Calla (instead of having a reading done) that “a secret killed your father, and you know what it is.”
Adam – one of Gansey’s friends. Also wants Glendower’s favor – but because he wants to fit in with his friends (who have money and he doesn’t). Likes Blue. He is a little odd though too because he thinks his friends will “own” him if he moves in with them to get away from his awful and abusive father.
Declan – Ronan’s older brother. (Dating Ashley).
Noah – actually a ghost. He died years ago when Gansey was dying – instead of Gansey. He was a failed sacrifice – his death was supposed to wake the ley line his bones were on.
Maura – Blue’s mother.
Neeve – Blue’s aunt. She is visiting to help Maura locate Blue’s father.
Barrington Whelk – Latin teacher at Aglionby. Killed Noah (Czerny).
Calla and Persephone – two other psychic relatives of Blue’s.
Roger Malory – a friend of Gansey and an expert in ley lines. He lives in Britain but provides some useful info to Gansey about he let lines.
Glendower – not really a character per se. However, he is the spirit/thing that Gansey believes is asleep on the ley line and Gansey wants to wake him up. All the supernatural doings are related to the desire to wake him.
Location: Henrietta, Virginia
The boys are looking for an ancient dead Welsh king that they believe is just sleeping, but hidden, near their school in Virginia. Blue’s mother is a psychic and Blue has the ability to amplify certain abilities and energies. Blue also has been told by her mother and extended family of psychics that if she kisses her true love he will die. And, it turns out that Gansey is likely to be her true love otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to see his spirit on St. Mark’s eve. Gansey manages to get a recording of his voice with someone’s the same night and he sets up an appointment with Maura to learn who is was. Gansey also has a journal that Blue finds (and eventually gives to Adam).
There’s a ton of foreshadowing and psychic work. Neeve does some scrying, Neeve ends up basically possessed at one point, and it looks like Ronan might know more than he lets on. And folks are all looking for the same thing – presumably Glendower. Blue gets invited to go for a helicopter ride with the boys to look for the ley lines. Blue admits that Gansey hear Blue’s voice that first night. And she tells him she saw his spirit that same night. And he and Neeve and Maura all drew the same design – about the let lines. Then they see a raven formation on the ground. They land and discover a forest where time seems to work differently. A number of them are frightened by something. They leave and plan on what to do next. After some time, they go back to the forest and Ronan finds something written in his handwriting – Cabeswater. Seems like it might be important. Then, Ronan sort of talks with the trees. They say they are happy to see the Greywaren (don’t know what that means at this point). And they tell the group they need to wake the ley line and they don’t know where Glendower is. After some additional recon, Blue and Gansey together, Blue learns about the almost death from a bee sting and a voice that Gansey heard when that happened telling him about Glendower and someone who died when they shouldn’t to save him. And they find Noah’s dead body.
Neeve was hired by Whelk. Whelk and Gansey get into it – Whelk admits to killing Noah but Whelk gets away. Adam gets beaten by his father and he agrees to move in with Gansey. Then Neeve ties up Whelk because she decides she will wake the ley line but things don’t go as planned and Whelk gets trampled. Adam decides to go to the ley line himself. Noah wakes Gansey and they take Blue to stop Adam (in Cabeswater). Neeve insists that Whelk won’t be able to do it because he killed Noah. Adam offers himself as the sacrifice instead of Gansey. The forest goes nuts and that’s when Whelk is trampled and Adam doesn’t stop it.
Other Important Things to Remember for Later: Whelk killed Noah. Adam has permanently lost his hearing in one ear (from the fight with his father). Neeve has mysteriously vanished. The ley line is awake. Noah’s bones were returned to the ley line so he can come “back” like he did at the beginning of the book. Whelk was trampled in the forest and Adam didn’t do anything to stop it. Ronan found a baby raven and named it Chainsaw (raven being Glendower’s bird) and promised it he would never try to kill himself again. Ronan ends the book with “I took Chainsaw out of my dreams.”