A Place to Get Lost in Wonder: Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle Series Review


Ashley Mercedes, Reporter

In Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Raven Boys” the reader is immediately hooked with the magical and emotional heartache that each of her characters go through. Ms. Stiefvater has an incredible way of depicting scenarios which is why her stories always have a magical vibe to it.

The Raven Cycle follows the journey of five teenagers with different personalities and economic backgrounds in search of a long-dead Welsh king that will grant them a wish. The story starts with Blue, one of the main characters, who is being raised in a psychic family consisting of only females. Her mother has told her after reading her Tarot cards that once she kisses her true love she will kill him. The suspense lies in the reader guessing which of her male friends will become her victim. In addition to Blue, the plot is comprised of four other teenagers: Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, who are on a journey to find the dead Welsh king Glendower and revive him in order for Gansey to request a wish.

Stiefvater’s characters are very unique and realistic, right down to their imperfections. Each character is well developed and has their own unique personality that describes their home life to its core.

For example, Richard Gansey III or like most call him “Gansey”,  is very unique in my point of view, he is an old soul born into a young boy’s body.

Additionally, we also have Noah Czerny. Without spoiling anything, he is  quiet and shy, very delicate but not afraid to keep a secret if it means it would protect who he cares about. Lastly, there is Blue, the character of Blue could be one of my most beloved throughout the series. Blue is a very independent, sarcastic and intelligent girl. She is a little insecure about her lack of psychic power while her whole family has them.

Stiefvater’s way of writing induces a dream-like atmosphere that is descriptive in a very magical and flowy way.

The stream trickled sluggishly out of the woods from between two diamond-barked dogwoods. With Gansey in the lead, they all followed the water into the trees. Immediately, the temperature dropped several degrees. Blue hadn’t realized how much insect noise there was in the field until it was replaced by occasional birdsong under the trees. This was a beautiful, old wood, all massive oak and ash trees finding footing among great slabs of cracked stone. Ferns sprang from rocks and verdant moss grew up the sides of the tree trunks. The air itself was scented with green and growing and water. The light was golden through the leaves. Everything was alive, alive.

 The structure of Stiefvater’s books is unique, the tale is self-driving by the characters. There is a great amount of the characters’ thoughts or feelings than there is dialogue. Throughout the “Raven Boys” series there are some mature words used, but not too much which indicates that it’s a realistic young adult book.  The magic system that Ms. Stiefvater uses in her books is very intriguing and unique.

The Raven Cycle series is stunningly written. Line after line of the story was marvelous. Yes,  some people might feel it is a little too descriptive, but it was still beautiful. The relationships between the main characters makes one dream of having friendship like that. After reading “The Raven Boys”, you’ll look forward to more of Ms. Stiefvater’s work, including a tv show about this series and a new trilogy.