The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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Having just finished reading the entire Raven Cycle (in 5 days!) I felt it was time to review the series, I will try keep it as spoiler free as possible but I will mention minor details within each book. This series contains four books and follows the adventures of Blue Sargent and her Raven boys Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah. The main goal that they have throughout the series is to find the ancient welsh King Glendower, who is also known as the Raven King.

It has been Ganseys’ obsession after hearing an otherworldly voice telling him to seek out the king when he almost died from being stung by hornets. Along the way he picked up Ronan, Adam and Noah who all attend the prestigious Aglionby Academy. Blue has he own connections to the supernatural as her mother is a psychic and they live in a house full of them. The boys encountered Blue at Nino’s Pizza place where she works and it is obvious from the their first meeting that they are all destined to face the adventure together.

The Raven Boys:

The first in the series, it opens with following the ritual Blue undertakes on St. Mark’s eve. Having always had an interest in ghosts and spirits meant that I decided to google a lot of the ‘facts’ presented within this book (and the rest of the series) and found out it is all based in ‘real’ myths and legends. In a series of coincidences that could only be put down to fate Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah all become friends and are determined to help Gansey achieve his goal. However, Blue has to be careful as all her life she has been told that if she kisses her true love then he will die. This novel is a good one although the way Stiefvater writes certain points I do find a bit awkward. This book packs a punch with a twist that I honestly wasn’t expecting.

The Dream Thieves:

This is my FAVOURITE of the cycle, this book seems to primarily focus on Ronan, I admit at first I judged him assuming he was the typical ‘rebellious’ character. However, reading this felt like a journey for more than just Ronan (cliché I know). Character development in this novel really kicks in to overdrive, with Adam appearing to be breaking down and Blue and Gansey facing ever increasing feelings for each other and others in the group. One of the best additions to the cast of characters is Mr. Grey, he is a hitman and admits it freely to others. He also ends up dating Blue’s mother Maura. I could carry on rambling about this book forever so I’m going to stop now before it gets out of hand.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue:

I have to say I was less enamored with this novel, while a lot happens it seems too rushed and doesn’t fit in with the pace that the previous two novels set. Even the characters themselves seem to be run ragged and not in a way which increases the drama and the intensity. At points I really wanted to just tell them all to stop. However, having said that I did enjoy it and I understand it was done with the intention of setting up for the final installment of the cycle. The small moments that Blue and Gansey had within this installment did keep me coming back for more, Blue seemed to have a lot of revelations within this novel and I did enjoy that she shared more of the attention than the others, it felt like a good way to balance out the Ronan heavy Dream Thieves.

The Raven King:

I was so ready to read this book and couldn’t wait for the climax to this brilliant series…I was disappointed. It is hard to explain why without giving away spoilers but I will try my best. After reading the previous novels in such quick succession I felt like this pace would be kept up and it wasn’t. Again it felt rushed, yet these moments are book-ended by instances which I felt take up too many unnecessary pages. I also find it hard to believe how quickly and closely Gansey and Henry Cheng bonded, it seemed unreal that an understanding that profound could be achieved after one chat in an old priest hole. It does have good elements the story ended and sort of tied up loose ends in a way which didn’t compromise the personalities of the characters.

 

Overall, I would recommend this series, it is a good example of a young adult series which doesn’t completely fall into the stereotypes and even fights them in some instances. The plot is good, the relationships between the characters even better, just some of the pacing and even the way Stiefvater writes lets it down. I would probably give this series a 3 out of 5 stars, it’s a good read but don’t worry if you don’t make your way round to it.

 

Thanks for reading and let us here at Be In Sync know what books you would like to see reviewed next!

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