My reading tips this week is all four books in the magically wonderful The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. This series is such as a sweet, unique and completely addictive read. It’s like a modern fairytale, Maggie Stiefvater is a true storyteller who manages to make the books both so easy to read and so complex at the same time.
The Raven Cycle is something of a paranormal romance combined with a murder, old-fashioned adventures and Welsh mythology. Sounds a bit strange when you try to explain it, but it’s so good! So, so good! This books are completely addictive and fast-paced, and Maggie Stiefvater does a remarkable job in describing the characters with all their flaws and depths.
In the first book, The Raven Boys, we get to meet Blue and her big bohemian family, and eventually the four Raven boys Gansey, Adam, Noah and Ronan. I was immediately hooked by this book and had a long agonizing wait for the rest of the books to arrive.
When they did, I binge-read all of them during two days. Yes, three books in two days; this series is that good and addictive!
I love Blue, the heroine so much, and her aunts, that are so sweet and kind of nuts at the same time. And the four Raven boys with all their dark secrets and family problems, and their friendship and love for each other. They will (literally) die for each other.
In the sequel, The Dream Thieves, the story continues with great character growths. This book dragged a little at first, but then it took off with a new twist in the love story and the increased focus on Ronan and Noah. Ronan really grew as a character in this book and from not liking him very much in the first book, I’m now his biggest fan! I’m also a huge fan of the new love twist (don’t want to make any spoilers) but Adam was never the guy for me. What’s so great with this series, is that even though there is romance, it’s absolutely not the focus. It’s happening more or less in the background and is allowed to take its time. It’s a slow-burn, intense, real love story that adds so much to the overall story without taking over. Instead, focus is on the development of the friendship between Blue and the Raven boys.
In the third and fourth books, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and The Raven King, the story gets darker, almost creepy. There are demons, more dead people and intense blackness and danger. But most of all, there is remarkable character developments. All the characters have changed and developed so much during this series, which is definitely one of the reasons why I love this series so much. Maggie Stiefvater is a master on making her characters into real persons, showing all their flaws and hidden feelings and desire. And my heart aches so much for Gansey and Blue, I’m dying for Blue to kiss her true love, curse or not!
I don’t want to give too much away about the story, since it has its twists and turns, and since it’s difficult to describe in a way that would even be close to do it justice. But it’s an amazing story about friendship, bravery, staying true to yourself and trusting your instincts. And the writing is marvelous, almost poetic of sort, with a perfect mix of reality and magic. And amazingly, the books just keep getting better and better throughout the series. Often I find that the first book in a series is the best and you feel let down by the sequels, but this is not the case here! The story just increases in character development, action, feelings and intensity all until the crescendoing end.
Find out more about The Raven Cycle series and the author here: Maggie Stiefvater