Why You Should Read My Favorite Series - The Raven Cycle
The Raven Cycle
by Maggie Steifvater
This series. I don’t even know where to start. I don’t think I can adequately describe it, but I’ll give it a go because I need everyone to read it.
Around 2000 years ago, lived a welsh king by name of Owen Glendower. In order to preserve his life, his magicians sailed him across the ocean to a small town called Henrietta, in Virginia, USA. There, was enough energy to suspend him in sleep indefinitely. 1990 years later, Richard Gansey III steps on a hornets nest, and is stung to death.
As he dies he hears a voice. It says “You will live because of Glendower. Someone is dying on the ley line when they should not, so you will live when you should not.” He wakes up with a life threatening allergy to stings.
Skip forward to the current day, we meet Blue Sargent, a girl born into a family of psychics, but with no psychic abilities of her own. Circumstance brings her to 4 private school boys. At first she dismisses them as more rich idiots, but despite this, she finds herself drawn to their eccentric personalities, and mission to find and wake Owen Glendower.
So why do I like it? Well:
– The plot
It’s actually a unique fantasy ya plot?? I know. Weird. It’s so well researched and strange and fascinating. You’ll never read another series like this. I reread it recently, and the foreshadowing is just incredible. Every time you think you’ve found everything the book has to offer, you notice another carefully placed detail and just
– The characters and their relationships
They’re just so real. They each have parts of each other, obsessive personalities, delicate pride, hot tempers, bad habits, belief that their life has meaning, a desire to escape their fate, but each has their own past and future they’re running to, their own personalities and quirks, their own fears and desires. They’re perfectly flawed and real. So much so, that you feel like you’ve become one of their friends through reading the book
The side characters are super cool too. They’re somehow almost as well developed as the main ones, prehaps just in more obvious ways, as opposed to the subtle and drawn out development of the protagonists.
One of my favorite things about this book, is that you can’t quite tell who the main character is. The character’s development is so detailed, their friendship is so even, and the plot so intricate, that the story wouldn’t work without any one of them.
– The writing and aesthetic of this whole series
I think the only word that I could possibly use to describe the feeling of this series is hiraeth.
(hɨraɪ̯θ), noun | A Welsh, untranslatable feeling, hiraeth is loosely described as a homesickness for a home you cannot return to anymore or a place, which never even existed. Connotations of sadness, yearning, profound nostalgia, and wistfulness are imbued into the state of hiraeth. Overall this beautiful, but painful longing is a an expression of an empty desire and grief over a past life or place. It is the ultimate signifier of a bond, which has ceased to exist.
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the series in a textpost I saw on instagram. (That’s another reason to read it, there’s a really lovely fandom with zero drama and a lot of great textposts and fanart.)
– Perfect pacing
Some people find this series a little slow, but I don’t think so at all. The story is really evenly paced. There are no boring bits, so no need to skip pages to get to the exciting parts.
– No excuses. Read it now
The first one is called The Raven Boys. Go reserve it from your local library right now.
I need more people to talk about this series with I love it so much. Tell me if you decide to read it and give me updates as you do so. I would do a readalong with you guys, but I just finished rereading. Maybe I’ll do a readalong in the future.
P.S. The author is currently writing the screenplay for a tv show of this series, so you should read it before it comes out and then watch the show!