Inspired by Alice in Wonderland
Maggie Stiefvater returns with her matchless style in a standalone novel set in the Colorado Desert in 1962. Bicho Raro is a mystical ranch where the Soria family has resided for generations, performing miracles for pilgrims who seek help in banishing their darkness. At the center are three cousins—Beatriz, Joaquin and Daniel. When Daniel, the eldest cousin and saint, breaks the cardinal rule (you can help the pilgrims once, but not twice), he runs off into the desert to await his dismal fate. But generations of curses and darkness will not keep the Soria cousins from saving one of their own.
While reminiscent of Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits, a classic of magical realism, there are elements of storytelling here that feel unique to Stiefvater: unusual metaphors, sharp prose, unexpected humor and a deft ability to mesh the eerie and fanciful into one seamless description. Thoughtfully paced with intriguing characters, ill-fated romance and complicated family relationships, All the Crooked Saints will satiate fans who are always eager for new Stiefvater work, while bringing new ones into the fold.
Publishers Weekly Review
In this lushly written tale set in 1962 Colorado, Stiefvater explores the complex and interconnected nature of desires, fears, and miracles via a Mexican-American family known for producing saints. Pilgrims come to the desert of Bicho Raro seeking cures to their woes, but the miracles they receive from the Soria saints are seldom what they expect.
When Daniel, the current saint, violates the Sorias’ greatest taboo, his family, including intellectual Beatriz and pirate radio deejay Joaquin, and the pilgrims of Bicho Raro must drive off the darkness that emerges. The language of legend and magical realism suffuse this sprawling and intimate novel; while the book’s tone is all its own and Stiefvater remains a summarily confident wordsmith, the setup, which sees a volatile family wrestling with unpredictable magic and forbidden romances, echoes her Raven Cycle books fairly closely. Dense, tricky, and thought-provoking.
Via Kirkus Reviews
The line between truth and legend is obscured in the high desert of the San Luis Valley, a world of tall tales and miracles that draws literary pilgrims.
In the process, of attempting to bring Daniel, the acting saint and eldest cousin, the family rediscovers that the best way to fight the darkness is with someone you love by your side. Stiefvater weaves a rich history for this mythical homestead. Though not an own-voices narrator, she well-captures the rural, mountain West and the Latinx culture that provides the foundation for the Sorias’ twilight world. True history blends with traditional and fanciful folklore as fallen saints find salvation in the lyrical power of family, community, and rock-’n’-roll. (Read more at Kirkus Reviews)