Maggie Stiefvater is the bestselling author of numerous popular young adult novels. You have probably heard of her books over the years, from the stand-alone novels, ”The Scorpio Races” and the more recent “All the Crooked Saints,” to her work with the “Wolves of Mercy Falls” series: “Shiver,” “Linger,” “Forever” and “Sinner.” Some of Stiefvater’s most popular and beloved books are “The Raven Boys,” “The Dream Thieves,” “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” and “The Raven King,” which are part of her paranormal and fantasy book series, “The Raven Cycle.”
If you haven’t read “The Raven Cycle” yet, now is the time because Stiefvater is about to release the first book in “The Dream Trilogy,” a follow-up series to the “The Raven Cycle.” The first book will be named “Call Down the Hawk,” and it’s coming out in November, so if you haven’t read “The Raven Cycle” yet, you have time to catch up on the four books leading up to this new trilogy.
If your interest needs piquing, here are 3 reasons why you should invest your time in “The Raven Cycle” before “Call Down the Hawk” comes out this fall.
1. The Story
One reason to read this series is for the story. All four of the “The Raven Cycle” books follow characters Blue Sargent, Richard Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Noah Czerny and Ronan Lynch, who are on a search for an ancient sleeping Welsh king named Owen Glendower.
The series takes place in modern day society, in Henrietta, Virginia. Throughout the group’s pursuit for this ancient magical king, they encounter a sentient forest, a mysterious hitman, a kiss of death and college applications, among many other mundane and strange experiences.
On the surface, a story about a group of teenagers on the hunt for ancient magic doesn’t seem much different from many other young adult fantasy novels, but what makes the story of “The Raven Cycle” fascinating and worth reading is the way that Stiefvater effortlessly brings together ancient magic and modern problems. She makes the story feel authentic and believable.
There are so many things going on in this story, but Stiefvater ties it all together into a must-read series. Anyone can read and connect with “The Raven Cycle” because the books are about adventure, friendship and love.
2. The Characters
Another reason to read this series is for the characters. The quest to find Owen Glendower is fascinating, but it’s Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah that make the magical forest and a possible kiss of death so fascinating.
What makes the characters so special is that each one of them has an important part to play. There isn’t a single main character in “The Raven Cycle,” and neither Blue, Gansey, Ronan nor any of the other characters are the special chosen ones. Every single one of the characters is lovable with a captivating and distinctive background.
Blue Sargent is independent and funny. She was raised on 300 Fox Way by her psychic mother and aunts, who have foretold that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Blue has avoided boys for most of her life, but she somehow ends up with four best friends from Aglionby Academy, an all-boys school.
Richard Gansey is the leader of the search for Glendower. He’s eccentric and arrogant, but you won’t be able to help being charmed by him. Gansey cares deeply for his friends. He bought Monmouth Manufacturing, a warehouse that he turned into a home for himself and his friends.
Ronan Lynch can be extremely hostile, but just like Gansey, he cares deeply for his friends. However, Ronan is secretive, and he has a mysterious supernatural ability that will be the subject of “Call Down the Hawk.”
Adam Parrish is one of the most relatable characters in the series. Even though he willingly joined Gansey on his hunt to find Glendower, Adam is stubborn, and he doesn’t believe in anything supernatural unless he sees it for himself.
Noah Czerny is a ghost. But even though Noah is dead, he is one of the sweetest characters in the series. He is good friends with the rest of the group and he plays an integral part in his friends’ search for Glendower.
And then there are the rest of the characters, who are just as important to the story as the aforementioned ones. There are the intriguing psychic women of 300 Fox Way, who are unlike many parents in young adult novels. They are involved in Blue’s life and care about what she’s doing. There’s Joseph Kavinsky and the hitman Mr. Gray, who you might end up caring about, even though they’re supposed to be bad guys.
3. The Relationships
All the characters in “The Raven Cycle” are unforgettable, but it’s not just the individual people in the books that make it special. It’s the way they interact with one another that makes the series so compelling.
Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam and Noah act more like a family than a group of friends, and there is a connection between every one of the characters. For example, Blue and Gansey, Adam and Gansey, Noah and Blue and Adam and Ronan all have meaningful relationships of their own.
The lines and depictions woven depict the impact each character has on another well: “In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.”
Reading about the history of Ronan, Gansey, Adam, Noah and Blue’s relationships is one of the best reasons to read “The Raven Cycle” before “Call Down the Hawk” is released. While chasing down ancient magic, the Blue and the raven boys form bonds that are both heartwarming and heart-wrenching.
“Call Down the Hawk”
The first book in “The Dream Trilogy” will follow Ronan Lynch and his family after the events of “The Raven Cycle.” You don’t have to read the original series to understand Stiefvater’s new books, but it is undoubtable that being familiar with the story “The Raven Cycle,” its characters and their relationships will make Stiefvater’s new series even more enjoyable and fulfilling than it already will be.