It’s a new month and with it, I bring more mini reviews. I hope to do better this year than last year but let’s not do the whole new year, new me thing again. I don’t really do that if I say I would. So…yeah. Without further ado, let’s talk about The Raven Cycle.
Although maybe I should not call them reviews because this is just me having an experience of reading a series all over again. It was only my second time reading the series though I tried multiple times over the years to read them all. It just never seemed to happen. Oh, well. Keep in mind that as I start talking about the later books in the series, there will be some, if not many, spoilers along the way. So if you haven’t read the books yet, I suggest you click the back button on your browser and go on your merry way.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
“If I were a tree, I would have no reason to love a human.”
I think what really reels me in with this one is the sense of whimsy and that feeling you get when you are asleep and dreaming but everything feels too vivid to be a dream? Yeah, that’s what this whole series feels like and it’s all due to the fact that right off the bat, this book gives off such magical vibe to it.
“They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them.”
Stiefvater does a lot of foreshadowing in her books or at least, in this series, because boy there are many as you read along and realise exactly how much she’s given away. It is atmospheric, completely and thoroughly engaging and it takes you on an adventure right away, right from the beginning. You might not understand what’s happening at the time but it’s just addictive enough that the next thing you know, you are picking up the next book in the series.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.”
Now, The Dream Thieves is possibly the least strongest of the four books. That’s not because it doesn’t have the same features as the first one but perhaps because in this one, the reader is more and more unsure of what’s real and what’s not. At least that was the case with me and within the bookish world, there’s a divided opinion about this one.
“Sometimes Ronan thought Adam was so used to the right way being painful that he doubted any path that didn’t come with agony.”
However for me, this one holds a special place in my heart. This one has the group together in a way that’s a bit more complex and a bit deeper. I loved Ronan’s love for Gansey and Adam’s struggle to accept things in life, Blue’s struggle with herself and Noah’s simple needs for something. It just conveyed so much to me and there were still kings and ley lines and that’s all interesting but for me, the characters really made this book. Let’s not forget the tornado that was Kavinsky either.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
“Adam was beginning to realize that he hadn’t known Ronan at all. Or rather, he had known part of him and assumed it was all of him.”
I think Blue Lily, Lily Blue breaks the trend of the second book being the slight let down because it’s the third book that kinda raises more questions than answers and so much happens in this one that at times, I felt like I had had a whiplash. It’s bizarre and it’s absolutely amazing and it’s still got a bit of a reputation for being the middle book and not quite being up there with the other books.
“It was amazing that she and Ronan didn’t get along better, because they were different brands of the same impossible stuff.”
A whole lot of things happen in this book but what gave me the chance to love it more was the way Blue’s characters was growing. Her mother was missing, she was slowly unraveling in worry and the Gray Man and her bonding over that and Malory and the Dog making an appearance. Not just that, there’s Piper and Gwenllian, the absolute mad women. Jesse Dittley and his inability to speak at a normal volume, his family curse. The way Gansey and Ronan appear at Adam’s court case and so many more things. It’s the amalgamation of all those things that made me fall in love with this book all over again.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
“Adam smiled cheerily. Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable.”
Hello, this book hurt me and made me love this series even more than before? I know some people consider it their least favourite and I can see how that can be but for me, the whole found family, strange forests, amazing and baffling magic; it all comes together in this one. Stronger than ever before. Also this book finally gave the spotlight for a moment to Gansey. The person because of which this whole roller coaster of a ride started.
“There was something newly powerful about this assembled family in this car. They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.”
Gansey is at times absolutely brilliant and I want to love him to the sun and the moon and at times, he says things that make me want to smack him or roll my eyes at him (e. g. ‘Top shelf’ or him playing with that wasp in the very beginning of the series. I wanted to smack him then, so badly.) But. Gansey is also a little bit all of us in the end. Forever curious, forever wanting to know what happens in a story or in history and never settling until we get those answers. I understand curiosity though I never had the means Gansey had.
Once again, so many things happen. Cabeswater, Noah, Gansey’s sacrifice, the demon possessing Adam and his trying his best to not hurt his friends. It’s just…ugh. Also Gansey’s death was there from the very beginning of the series and in this book, it is very, very alarmingly there. So, there’s that.
Overall, I would just say that The Raven Cycle has me wrapped around its fingers. Metaphorical fingers. It’s not perfect but then, nothing is. My love for this series is mostly because of the characters and the weird, weird magic that’s in them. Nostalgia also plays a huge part but I think nostalgia also made me forget quite a lot of things which this re-read made me aware of. It made me love the books and everything they have all over again. I probably will re-read it in a few years time because why not?
What about you? If you have read the books then which one is your favourite? What were your favourite scences?
P. S. My love for Noah Czerny is eternal and will never falter. He was and still is a precious bean and should have been protected at all costs. There’s no two ways about it.