There aren’t many books that I’ve reread because more often than not, I don’t feel like I want to waste my time on rereading something I’ve already read. Life’s too short for that.
But once in a while there comes a book that makes me eat those words. Those kinds of literature gems are far and few in between but they are there. One such gem for me is the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Namely, the first and the fourth books in that saga.
There is something enchanting about them that keeps me coming back every year or two. It could be the prose or the plot or the characters or some other magical combination of those three aspects, I don’t know.
Whatever it is, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
If you haven’t read the series, shame on you. It’s not for everyone so there is a chance you might not like it, but if there is a book that deserves a chance it’s this one.
Let me prove my point.
Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is magic. Pure, unadulterated magic. When I read her books (her other book, The Scorpio Races is also on my list of reread books) I always feel transported to a different world. It’s crazy atmospheric and I love it. Here, check out some quotes:
“She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”
“Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.”
“From the passenger seat, Ronan began to swear at Adam. It was a long, involved swear, using every forbidden word possible, often in compound-word form. As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry. It was far less hateful sounding than when he didn’t swear.
Ronan finished with, “For the love of … Parrish, take some care, this is not your mother’s 1971 Honda Civic.”
Adam lifted his head and said, “They didn’t start making the Civic until ’73.”
“When she opened her eyes, she was both in her body and watching it, nowhere near the cavity of the tree. The Blue that was before her stood inches from a boy in an Aglionby sweater. There was a slight stoop to his posture, and his shoulders were spattered darkly with rain. It was his fingers that Blue felt on her face. He touched her cheek with the backs of his fingers.”
One word: Wow.
If you’re tired of the same formula being chewed up and regurgitated between fresh, new covers, then Maggie Stiefvater’s books are for you. They are so original. I don’t think I’ve read anything like that before. The Raven Boys in particular is about kids that are on the hunt for an ancient Welsh King. But then they come upon magical forests, beautiful dreamers with sharp smiles, forbidden kisses and demons who can unravel the world. It’s something, I tell you. You have to read it to believe how wondrous this book is.
Perfectly imperfectly human, that’s who her characters are.
There’s Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah and more. They’re all precious but my favorites always were and will remain Blue and Gansey. I loved the way they were written and I loved the way their forbidden relationship developed. It gave me all the feels. Also Ronan is one awesome cookie.
I don’t know if you’ve heard the news but there is a chance the Raven Cycle will be adapted into a TV series. That’s going to be a million wins, right there! I wish I was the one to produce it but oh well, I guess I can always take on its adaptation into a feature film down the road.
So the verdict is this: if you haven’t read it, go read it. If you have read it, go reread it. It’s better than you remember it to be.
Do it. Just do it.
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