Book Reviews

The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater // Review

Sometimes the books or series I love the most I find the hardest to review. For example, how does someone even begin to review the Harry Potter series? It’s impossible. However, I am going to attempt to review The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, one of my all time favourite authors because I think this is a series that is often overlooked and it is so worthy of praise and attention.

The Raven Cycle is a four part series with the fourth and final instalmentThe Raven King to be released late Feb 2016. Now as far as book covers go, these are pretty spectacular. I’ve got the shimmery hardcover editions with gorgeous cover illustrations and they have pride of place on my bookshelf.


The story is set in Henrietta, Virginia and follows Blue Sargent, a smart, prickly sixteen year-old girl who lives with a cast of wonderfully interesting women who are clairvoyants and psychics, one of them being her mother. One night every year, Blue and her family wait in a Churchyard for the annual procession of all of the spirits of those destined to die in the next twelve months. Blue, who has no talent for clairvoyance herself, usually sees nothing. However, this time she sees a boy about her own age wearing the school uniform of the local prestigious boys school Aglionby. Her mother tells her, the only reason a non-seer would see a ghost on St Mark’s Eve is because she is his true love, or she killed him. The thing about Blue is that ever since she was born she was told that she would cause her true love to die.

Blue makes it her policy to avoid the Aglionby or ‘Raven’ Boys. They’re wealthy, entitled and known to be troublemakers so it seems a sensible decision. Fate has other plans as Blue ends up befriending four of the boys. Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah; a tightknit group of friends who all have secrets of their own. Throughout the three books, Blue eventually becomes one of their own and these characters develop so well. Stiefvater really has a knack for conjuring characters in to life so that they feel real, so much so that you can anticipate Ronan’s reaction to something (usually bad) or empathise with and understand Adam. Her characters are so well-defined that delving into their world again feels familiar, like seeing old friends after a long time and it is all kinds of wonderful.

Blue’s own story however is just one strand in this extraordinarily multilayered story. Gansey is on a quest to discover the final resting place of an ancient Welsh King. Legend has it that whoever finds the lost King will be granted one wish. This quest has been almost the singular passion of Gansey’s life so far and all those close to him are pulled in to his mission in one way or another. These books are steeped in Welsh mythology, magic and mystery and you are completely absorbed from page one. There are some deliciously evil antagonists as well that you will love to hate.

I don’t want to give too much away and to be honest, I could talk all day about these books so I’ll leave it there, save to say that I adore this series. Maggie Stiefvater makes me believe in magic and I am utterly obsessed. Only a few more months before The Raven King and it cannot come any sooner!

Raven Cycle

One thought on “The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater // Review

  1. Pingback: Southport. | Alana Part

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