I re-read the first three books in The Raven Cycle in May to prepare for The Raven King. I’ve already done a review on book three, Blue Lily, Lily Blue when it first released and I read it -which you can find here, if you like. I didn’t want to write a separate review for the first 2 books, or The Raven King. You’ve probably seen your fair share of reviews on The Raven King.
So instead, I want to talk to you about a few of the reasons I love The Raven Cycle. That way, you’ll still get some of my thoughts on the whole series, and you won’t have to read through another review.
1. A complete series of character-driven books.
I absolutely adore character-driven books. Don’t get me wrong, at times I do want a plot-driven one. But the characters are usually what keeps me reading, especially in a series. If I’m not truly attached to the characters, I usually don’t really care what happens to them. Therefore, I don’t have a true interest in continuing the series.
I feel like part of what makes this series so great, is the development of all the characters. Not just Blue, as the main character but all the Raven boys as well. And Blue’s family. Maggie Stiefvater doesn’t just keep you interested in Blue, but in every single side character as well. You want to read more about their history, their motivations and what they like. I just care about them all.
2. Absolutely beautiful writing.
Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is something I had to get used to at first. I feel like it’s just so completely different from the writing I usually read. But it’s so utterly gorgeous. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s lyrical, and describes everything beautifully. I don’t even want to write too much about it, because I feel like I’m not doing it justice. Little warning, it does take some getting used to!
3. Magical realism
I don’t think I’ve read much magical realism, which is a true shame. I absolutely love the genre. It’s realistic, yet still has that mystical and magical feeling to it. It feels like fantasy worlds and magic truly are possible. What could be better than that? So I should really read some more magical realism. Any recommendations? What I wanted to say is that this series is a wonderful example of magical realism. It’s got ley lines, magical power lines, psychics, dead kings -and people who have been asleep for centuries.
4. Family is such an important factor.
This is such an important aspect of the series to me, because I feel like too many YA books are lacking in this aspect. Honestly. In most of the YA series/books I’ve read the parents are either a) dead b) abusive or c) mysteriously absent all the time. So they’ve got either horrible parents, none or absent ones. I don’t get it. Yes, of course that sometimes happens in real life. More often than it should. But for the majority of us, this is NOT reality. So I appreciate any book that can show a healthy and wonderful relationship between the main character and the parents.
5. I felt satisfied and happy, even though I didn’t get all the answers.
Normally, I am the kind of person who hates endings that don’t explain every single bit of the story. Yet I didn’t get all the answers with The Raven King. And I didn’t really mind. I never expected to say this. Maybe I just didn’t read between the lines enough and all the answers were actually there. But I still felt satisfied, like I had gotten the story I wanted.