The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

This is my review of The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, & Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

For the writing style of a YA novel that everybody seems to think is “unique” I think it was fairly conventional. Right down to the Writing 101 tip: Give your character a signature scent (in this case it’s mint).

However, the storyline was a juxtaposition of the most popular YA genres. It was romance, prep-school-boy, paranormal, thriller, amazingness. I may be biased because I love Gansey. But it’s not just him, all the characters are so lovable. The main protagonist Blue isn’t just a Plain Jane female for you to plop your own image on & live vicariously through. She’s an actual defined character. It’s very clear how the author intended the reader to feel about each character, but in a natural style that’s not forced at all.

Before I even finished the first one I ordered the next two in the series. It’s simply addicting. The plot is paced well, speeding up a little at the end, but keeping pace with the action of the narrative. There were many questions at the end that may confuse the reader, but all are touched on in the second installment. The little quirks in this book are what make it stand out from other YA reads. It’s also particularly skilled at surprising the reader, without the shocks seemingly coming out of nowhere. It had me questioning why I never bothered wondering how I missed such obvious logic before the turns.

All of the supernatural stuff was clarified with rules behind it so it felt entirely believable.

I could not put them down. This is my new favorite YA series, so it’s not long before they adapt it into a movie version! Because that always happens to me. But I don’t understand how this series doesn’t have a larger fanbase! Plus Maggie Stiefvater has a sick Instagram.

The second book, The Dream Thieves, started out a little slow. I mean, how many different ways can you say somebody’s smile is like a knife? We get it. But once the storyline is set, the rest flows wonderfully. Kavinsky is an amazing new character that you love to hate. Plus it makes me want my own orange camaro named Pig (I have a chevy impala named The Bambi, I believe in judging people based on what they name their cars). This is the book where all the Ronan fans rejoice & people who didn’t care for the character before start to really love him.

The third book, Blue Lily, Lily Blue (BEST TITLE by the way), is my favorite! I tend to love the third in a series (Prisoner of Azkaban, Allegiant, Mockingjay). The celtic mythology in this series is so creative. I took a celtic myth class last semester & it’s just cool to look up Glydwr on wiki & find a bunch of academic readings & then Maggie’s books in the references section. The only thing that was a little underwhelming for me, & perhaps this was because I was reading it so fast, was the death scene. I won’t say who dies, but it felt a little downplayed with everything else going on. Other than that it is wonderful. Plus it made me crave the Murder Squash song. Get on that, Stiefvater.

So to close up this post I want to say that Maggie is having an art contest to promote her Tarot Card pack! Ten winners will be announced by December 21st! She’s an amazing artist & drew these herself.

Here’s her post that explains things & what not:

Create a piece of art inspired by the Raven Cycle. Only visual, non-verbal media, please — no songs, video or poetry for this one. Photo edits are allowed but only if you OWN the copyright for all of the photos involved. Post the art on your blog or twitter or whatnot, & then post the link to Rafflecopter (link below) as your entry, so my sister & I can find it to judge. International entries are allowed. Only one entry per person. Art can only be submitted until the 21st of December, & then my sister & I will take a few days to judge it before Christmas.

Ten winners will each get a deck of the Raven Cycle major arcana. And I think I have enough to promise that I will send one card to everyone who enters a piece of art (I’m assuming no one is going to test my generosity by entering a stick figure).

Did I miss anything? I don’t think so. Here is the link to the rafflecopter where you’ll post the link to your art.

So here are two drawings I’m working on for the contest! Not done yet, but it’s Gansey & Ronan with Chainsaw. Not sure if I should give Gansey glasses? What do you guys think? Definitely enter! There’s no age limit & it’s international!


Favorite Latin Translation Scene: Ronan is hiding Chainsaw in his bag during class.

“You seem to have an extremely large bag today, Mr. Lynch,” Whelk said.

“You know what they say about men with large bags,” Ronan replied. “Ostendes tuum et ostendam meus?”

Rough Translation: You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.


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