Rating for all four books: ***** Suggested Age: 13
I cannot provide a summary as this is a review for the entire series, but check out Goodreads for summaries for each book. I apologize for not having a review for each book, but I read this series consecutively and found that this would be much easier.
I picked up The Raven Boys having heard about the huge hype. There is a huge hype and this series is deserving of every good review that has come it’s way. From Maggie Stiefvater’s poetic writing to her well-crafted and multi-dimensional characters, The Raven Cycle has everything you could hope for in a book series.
I was tempted to give The Raven Boys four stars when I finished it because of the occasional boring chapter, but as I reflected upon it, I realized how affected I was by it. I finished the book on the plane and a certain scene brought me to tears, which isn’t all that common with me. I had fallen in love with every single one of the characters and their world.
When I arrived home from vacation, I picked up The Dream Thieves and devoured it. Once I finished it, I bought Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Raven King. I finished The Raven King last night. I consider myself to be in emotional shock right now. I have just finished one of my most favorite series in the world (third from the top!) and I had only started it less than a month ago. Everything about it was beautiful and creative and new.
The characters are flawed, but gorgeous. I live for character development and wonderfully created characters. Stiefvater provided both and I couldn’t have been more delighted. First, you have Blue Sargent, who is spunky, exciting, strong-willed, and a feminist. Then there’s Gansey, who actually reminds me of a guy I know. Gansey is one of my favorite characters because of how completely misunderstood he is. Blue constantly believes him to be condescending, but the reality shows that Gansey isn’t all that egotistical at all. He has most certainly been added to my list of fictional boyfriends and I would gladly marry him if I could (oops!). Following Gansey, is the other three Raven Boys: Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, and Noah. I fell in love with Adam from the get-go, seeing his brokenness, but determination to be his own person and to be independent. I wanted to hug him, hold him, and tell him everything was okay (and I still want to). Ronan is similar to Adam in how broken he is. Ronan fights everyone and everything that can breathe. The Dream Thieves follows his story more and himself coming to terms with who he is. Lastly, there’s Noah, the one who manages to break my heart just thinking about him. He’s the sweetest person and the sassiest person at the same time. Everything about him made me so happy. I am so, so in love with the raven boys (and Blue!). Characters this fleshed out and developed are what really set off a story for me.
Of course, following the characters are their relationships. This book follows two main relationships (though I won’t share who because SPOILER ALERT) and I loved both of them so very much. As for the non-romantic relationships, well, I loved those as well. The interactions between Blue and Noah, while platonic, were beautiful. The same I could say for Blue and Ronan. I loved the way Ronan treated Blue, it was hilarious. The fist-bumping and calling her “maggot”. I’m laughing just thinking about it. There’s also Gansey and Adam, who were most commonly found arguing about something. However, their relationship was deeper than that and I loved it so much. In the last two books, another character, Henry Cheng, is introduced and I couldn’t help falling for him as well. He and Gansey had me grinning and laughing all the time. I mean, who hosts a toga party? Who???
The world of the book was so exciting. I want to live at 300 Fox Way with the psychics and their tarot cards (I happen to find all that fascinating, anyway). I want to walk through Cabeswater and talk to the trees in Latin. I mean, “THE TREES SPEAK LATIN” for goodness sake! Henrietta, Virginia is a city I’d visit (if only it existed) because the way Stiefvater wrote it made it come alive at my fingertips.
Every word she wrote had purpose. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. She phrased her sentences with intent of bringing suspense and mystery. She never flat-out said anything, it was always shown. I love the way she writes and I am now interested in reading every single book she has published. Her writing also happens to be so very quotable. I used up many notecards scribbling down sentences that spoke to me.
From Gansey in The Raven Boys, “My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”
From Blue in The Dream Thieves, “In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.”
From Blue in The Raven Boys, “She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”
Also from Blue in The Raven Boys, “Fate is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast.”
From The Dream Thieves, “‘While I’m gone,’ Gansey said, pausing, ‘dream me the world. Something new for every night.'” I’m in love with this quote and I would have it written everywhere if I could.
This very long one from Blue in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, “Orla wasn’t wrong, of course. But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”
From Blue in The Raven Boys, “She recognized that strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.”
From The Raven King, “He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”
I could go on and on with the quotes, but I think I’ve put enough here. Point made: Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is amazing. It’s because of her writing that when I finished The Raven King, I was pretty tempted to throw it across a room. I mean, how can it be over? IT’S NOT JUST OVER. However, I came to the conclusion that there is a way for her to continue writing in this world and I do hope so very much that she does continue.
I highly, highly recommend this series. You won’t regret it, at least I hope.