As you may or may not know, Call Down The Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater has been released today and in celebration of the first book in the dreamer trilogy I thought I would scream about the raven cycle series to all of you who have made the poor decision to click on this post (only joking, you are making great decisions, keep going).
BUT I want to stress that this isn’t a review, this is plain chaotic thoughts thrown at you in the hope of expressing my love so we can talk about it in the comments.
First I want to apologise for the length
it is ridiculous please don’t feel you have to read it all. I feel the need to say that.
You need context as well so please don’t read unless you’ve read these books.
IF YOU PASS THIS POINT, YOU WILL BE SPOILED!!
THE RAVEN BOYS
This first one in this series and boy oh boy did it bring back some memories, the first time reading this I wasn’t in love so rereading this allowed me to have a deeper appreciation of the story.
One thing I immediately noticed was my fondness for Stiefvater’s writing, it flows easily and builds an atmosphere that is unmistakably hers. I love how much ‘realness’ it captures and pays attention to little details which is one of my favourite things ever. It might not be for every one and yes it can be slightly dramatic but I LOVE IT.
I can’t help but smile at my return to 300 Fox Way, I like the way it is introduced as you immediately feel like 300 Fox Way and all its magic could be real. It grips you fast and the prologue still gave me a sense of chills and anticipation despite holding all the answers already which I think is a real test of the writing.
This book is full of a lot of suspense as we have a search for a dead king and the looming curse which involves death and love in equal measure (you know… normal things) and it definitely feels good to be back.
Gansey’s first chapter is great. The way the boys are introduced is simple and amazing, you get an immediate feel for the characters and relationships from these little things which make them feel so real. Also the interactions are so natural, it feels like they have been friends for a while and they all have their role in it. They feel so real and alive on the page.
I love Adam’s first chapter as well because he knows his friends really well and he is a people watcher which means seeing everyone through his eyes is always interesting. What I really appreciated was how in Adam mind he still feels like an outsider to all of this as it is a different world to him in terms of class divide and you feel this from how he acts and sees things.
Noah’s first line will FOREVER be iconic, ‘I’ve been dead for seven years’!! AH-MAZING! In fact many of Noah’s lines are amazing and I love how he doesn’t say much but it always means something and rereading it really enhances Noah’s character like when he says make it count. Plus I think everyone else immediately likes Noah, there are content in his company and trust him. When everyone finds out about his death, all their different reactions are interesting as they deal with this fact and almost loss.
Blue’s perspective of The Raven Boys was GREAT because as readers we had already made impressions of them ourselves so getting hers was interesting and it let us see what someone who doesn’t know them sees and I love how she picks up on something being different and how connected they all are.
One of my favourite things about this book and this series is how it deals with money, I don’t think I’ve experienced a book which has done it so well because it more than not affording certain things. For example, Adam’s struggle and the need to do it himself. The strain poverty can put on dreams and how not having money is a constant, inescapable thing. How the amount of money you have can affect how your act for example Gansey’s polite power in different from Adam’s manners.
Whelk is the main antagonist and I don’t have too many strong feelings towards him but he ties in with the story nicely and he had a story line based on opportunistic crime which I like as there is something quite realistic and amateur about it. My favourite thing about him is the way he mirrors ‘The Raven Boys’ for example he was a rich Aglionby student looking for Glendower (hm.. that sounds familiar) but he highlights the difference between him and The Gangseys, the purity of their friendship. We know Gansey is obsessed with Glendower but he would never risk lives which is such an important part of Gansey. Also it makes me think if more years had passed and Gansey never found Glendower or gave up on his search would he be like Whelk at all. And the answer is no, he would always have friendship at the end of the day and although they both want Glendower, the things they value are very different.
(oh dear this non-review has gone on too long, I’ve used the word furthermore) Whelk and Adam have some similarities in that they both hit a very low moment in their life and went to do something drastic in the hopes of finding Glendower which involved sacrifices. What is interesting is they both sacrifice something different, Whelk, his unwilling friend and Adam, a part of himself. So in that sense I think Whelk is very interesting.
Speaking of Adam’s sacrifice, I was never sure what to think of it. Adam is probably one of my favourite characters ever. He is full of doubt, anxiety about the future and pain but also determination and dedication, he has inspiring qualities as well as very real flaws. Adam’s sacrifice was interesting as it meant a lot to him to give something of his up when he had so little. I don’t know if he was right but it was a big sacrifice and showed his character and affected the relationships of everyone. Also it showed his darker side as he didn’t save Whelk.
I certainly got a deeper appreciation of the story and I cherished every moment spent with these characters. For me, The Raven Boys very much feels like the beginning,
(the first time reading this I thought we were finding Glendower in this book, my poor sweet child) we are only just beginning to explore these different characters who are complex with their own individual battles and goals. The value of the relationships is clear from the start which I ADORE and you can feel the ignition of all the slow burns. The plot is magical and unique and although it isn’t the fastest, it is always moving and has many different parts to it. Plus it means something to the characters so it means something to you. It very much feels like the start of something more.
Blue and Adam: One of the main relationships in this book and I remember the first time I was reading it I was scared of this love triangle that was appearing and how it would be handled but I always forget how sweet they are to begin with— the flowers, the hand holding, the conversations. I think there are many sweet, young moments between them.
Blue and Gansey: My favourite ‘blusey’ quote of all time is ‘All this time wondering how Gansey was going to die and it turns our she was going to strangle him’, I mean it is amazing. Blue’s perspective of the boys is great as I’ve mentioned and really adds to the story especially Gansey’s character. She often refers to his different sides and how he often acts for other people, I think it says a lot about them that she can see past it almost immediately. You also get a real deep insight into why he is hunting Glendower. Plus Blue and Gansey’s reason for looking for Glendower are so similar, they want ‘something more’ which shows how they fit together in a way.
Gansey and Ronan: They have a really close bond which has been the longest relationship out of the group (I would love to know what they first meeting was), it is a very caring bond and Gansey looks out for Ronan a lot and they are both fiercely protective of each other. I think Declan (who is a really complex character which I really like, he means well and acts poorly) adds to this as it demonstrates how much Gansey cares for him. Ronan puts a lot of pressure on Gansey in a way through school but that is partly Gansey putting pressure on himself. (Gansey likes his idea for everyone to be a reality which means it something he learns isn’t true and makes his growth in TRK so wonderful). I love Chainsaw and how Ronan is with her and Gansey saying ‘this is exactly why I didn’t want to have children with you’ is a highlight of my life. I think my favourite Ronan and Gansey moment was when Ronan got missing and Gansey was looking for him and they found him drunk and his response was ‘you didn’t want me to get drunk at Monmouth’ because it shows that Ronan cares what Gansey wants. Then when Gansey tries to make a joke and is struggling because he is scared as he believed Ronan hurt himself which shows much Ronan means to Gansey. Then Ronan tries to make a joke because he doesn’t want to make Gansey sad. IT IS JUST A BEAUTIFUL, EMOTIONAL MOMENT.
Gansey and Adam: They value each other so much but it often said in their head rather than out loud. They also can have rocky patches as they both seem to strength each other’s insecurities. I love how Gansey has only known Adam 18 months but he is always turning to Adam for his opinion and what to do next, there is a deep respect and admiration there. He does have a bit of a rose-tinted view of Adam though (relatable). Adam also values Gansey, even if he can be quick to snap but he really likes him and I like that you can see that.
Ronan and Adam: They are often refers to as ‘fighting’ a lot but they certainly have a lot pure friendship moments as well which indicates something for example, Adam laughing when Ronan hits his head on a lamp at Nino’s (ADAM LAUGHED, it’s a miracle) and it was an easy interaction. Plus Ronan teaches Adam to drive stick-shift in the car, Adam tells Declan to go away, they do something where drag each other behind cars. I think there are lots of genuine moments as well as the ‘I don’t care for you’ attitude. The fight with Adam’s father was a turning point as it was a big thing they did for each other. Ronan stopping Adam’s father and they saying ‘don’t worry about it’, Adam turning his father in so Ronan didn’t get arrested. Then Ronan going to the library to cram in his work as Adam stopped him getting arrested to show it meant something. They value each other enough to do something.
THE DREAM THIEVES
Okay, well I need to immediately say how much I love the prologue (and how it matches the epilogue) but the talk of secrets and the different types was such perfection *chef’s kiss*. It is so mysterious and true. LOVE IT. One of the most memorable prologues ever.
The Dream Thieves feels like the most different book in this series as it focuses on Ronan and his dreams (this sounds so sweet and cute when really it is just emotional and pain). I think the idea of taking things out of dreams is so unique and creative and I love the way Maggie linked it together with the rest of the plot. It has a strange mystery where it is almost too weird for you to have any of the answers but it a really good way.
I will forever claim that the weirdest part of this entire series in that the bathroom has the fridge in it— just what?!?!
This book felt like some of the hardest times for the characters as if they could have all fallen apart at any time and things are still in the air from TRB. Adam has a really hard time, he feels quite isolated and angry in this book. The event where Adam struck a deal with Cabeswater put a drift in between him and Gansey that was basically ignored. There were so focused on not fighting that in almost became a silence between them. As Ronan said ‘Gansey was stupid when it came to Adam’ as I feel like Gansey should have said something. Adam deals with the fear of being like his father which is so sad and it makes him afraid of himself in away and he can hear Gansey tiptoeing around him. AHH THE EMOTIONS.
I really liked reading about how Adam first met Gansey, I thought it was wonderful. Adam feeling like an outsider and nervous around Gansey then Gansey rejected his offer to help and wanting him to teach him. I think it showed a lot about their dynamic and it was nice to see amongst the current rocky relationship. When Adam and Gansey go to Gansey’s family and Adam walks off with Cabeswater it is heart-breaking as Adam looks so loss and Gansey doesn’t know what to do.
Gansey also has a hard time in this book as everything seems to be all over the place and he is trying to be perfect and constant whilst people turn to him, it is sad to see him so alone. He needs to open up more and ask for help but he is always there for the people he loves. One of my all-time favourite Gansey moment’s is when he is having lunch with his family and others and he just heard that his beloved Camaro has been destroyed which is something VERY precious to him and he carries on this conversation about local produce in a very normal way. The contrast to his thoughts and what he is doing is very extreme, I think it highlighted how much of an expert he is at hiding pain which breaks my heart
a bit a lot.
I think you get to see a bit of Blue’s feminist side in this book which I love (okay so it was one moment but I am holding onto it) and I adore how much she loves all the raven boys now but how she finds it hard being slightly separate from them. I find it slightly frustrating with all the secrets in this book, I have mixed feelings about it as I understand why she kept so many secrets as it involves death and friendships plus unsure feelings on her behalf but I always wish she told Adam so much sooner for herself as much as Adam, because she knew way before that it wasn’t going to work and so did Adam, I wish they both talked sooner.
Also with Blue and Gansey, please just say something!!
The Greyman (Mr. Grey) and Maura was kind of an unexpected twist but I think it is quite sweet, it is a weird and happy situation but I think they match together. And I think Blue giving Mr. Grey advice before his date was really sweet. I think the fact that he was a hitman was acknowledged but then swept under the rug like I don’t know how I would react if I knew someone was hitman but I think it would be on my mind a lot. The date did give us this iconic line though “There aren’t terrible ideas, just ideas done terribly.” I find Mr. Grey a really interesting character as you expect him to be the villain through how he is introduced but it is more about him joining the good side, he normalises some horrors which can be a worrying thing but he choosing against this which is powerful. He finds a home and a place to belong. You see his character arc quite quickly but powerfully as he kills his brother with ease in a chapter after running from him for most of his life, it shows the power of good in a way. Also through him you hear about Greenmantle and you build a picture of who he is up which is suspenseful. *oohh*
Noah. Noah. Noah. HE IS AN ABSOLUTE ANGEL. Noah deserves more love and appreciation, he is always there for them all and never asks for anything. He is also the best at keeping secrets, he sees things from everyone and decides to keep it to himself because it is theirs, not his. It is such a refreshing thing to see someone respects someone’s secrets. I would love to have his perspective though, I bet you would see so much and to hear what he thinks would be wonderful. NOAAHHHH!!!
Now on to the main topic of the book– “I’m being perfectly fucking civil”* RONAN.
*One of my favourite lines EVER
In The Raven Boys we didn’t get a perspective from Ronan so this was the first time we were hearing from him which I definitely consider a genius move as we, the readers, got to build up a picture of who Ronan was which was this edgy, (I’m sorry, I hate using this word but I had to) dark, almost kid who gets in a lot of fights and doesn’t like school but it is touched on that he had gone through a lot of pain in his life. But hearing from him you get to see so much emotions and pain which he hides and he really is kind and caring.
I feel like this quote sums up Ronan pretty well “You’re a bastard and this doesn’t seem like a typical bastard activity”. Not like I think he is bastard at all.
Something that is touched on is Ronan and his family, in particular his relationship with his remaining family. Being a brother is a big part of Ronan’s identity but it isn’t something I immediately associate with him as he takes a careless approach to it and there is a lot of emotional pain there, at one point Ronan says ‘back when they’d been the Lynch family’, it shows how much has changed and that the family feels like it had fallen apart. It shows it was a huge loss for Ronan and I find it so sad. He loves Matthew but him and Declan don’t get along, I mean Ronan pretends to be asleep when Declan arrives. I think they have a very complex relationship and I can’t wait for more in the dreamer trilogy.
Ronan and Gansey relationship is WONDERFUL in this book, I LOVED IT SO MUCH. One of my favourite moments is ‘Dream Me the World’ which Gansey says to Ronan and it is SO PURE. He is awe with something Ronan was scared of sharing and Gansey is leaving which Ronan is slightly upset about but it was so sweet. The way that Gansey often mentions the before and after Ronan, referring to his father’s death, and how Ronan was happier before but then he said that when they were laughing about the Camaro in the ‘after’, it was better than before as he can laugh knowing darkness exists and it was another PURE moment. Gansey just wants Ronan to be okay and Ronan wants Gansey to be okay. And finally when Mr. Grey has been ordered to kill Ronan (orders he never betrays) and it is all in the air but Mr. Grey mentions he likes ‘brothers’ and when he sees Ronan and Gansey together he immediately knows he isn’t going to kill Ronan. Their love for each other saved his life, it did that.
And finally experiencing Ronan’s emotional journey in this book is MARVELLOUS. He goes through so much and he has to deal with a lot from his dreams and nightmares, emotions with family, Kavinsky, emotions with Gansey and Adam. It is a lot and he isn’t in the best place and hasn’t been for a while making it a different kind of emotion. One of my favourite bits is after dealing with these ‘night horrors’ in HIS dreams which always try to kill him then at the end Orphan Girl asks ‘why do you hate yourself’ and he says ‘I don’t’. It is just a beautiful, perfect moment that makes me feel so happy.
Kavinsky is a VERY interesting character and I always feel like it was cut short as there was a lot of potential there. He is very much a dickhead and he doesn’t behave well in situations but he is complex. He is almost a sympathetic villain to a point (then he is just wrong) because of his past, his loneliness, his lack of control and self destructive tendencies. But he is character who is also heavily made from his own choices, and originally I felt sorry for him and in a way I still do, but he is a villain who is be cruel and wrong. He is certainly an interesting character to read about though and he has an important purpose in the plot.
And last thought on this book is that I mentioned in ‘TRB’ it was the ignition of the slow burns and this was just slightly further along. This series is the Queen of slow burns and I always find it amazing how many times people can say they’re in love without ever using the words.
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE
Can I actually describe what happened in this book? No. But it starts right away, the plot of these books blend together seamlessly so I highly recommend binge reading them. A lot of things happened in this book and the relationships are still fragile from the last book like the emphasis on ‘no fight’ between Adam and Gansey, they cared so much for peace they were willing to sacrifice a lot for it.
My favourite part of this book, without a doubt, is Adam’s growth. IT IS MARVELLOUS. In fact more than marvellous.
- Gansey and Adam– I think they certainly have some recovering and talking to do but I think Adam grew up in a different world so he sees the world differently but Gansey grew up sheltered and Adam almost was frustrated by this outlook previously but he said something about how marvellous Gansey was. And how happy he was that he was sheltered because it was a beautiful outlook to have.
- Adam was fiercely protective and defensive of his pride so the moments where he accepted help at the toll booth and with his father’s trial were beautiful moments and I just wanted to shout YES.
- Adam finding about Gansey’s predicted death was such an emotional moment (I also loved that it was him because Adam is the best people watcher). He was so sad and urgent and it reinforced that so many more things matter to him than fighting. He immediately looks for a solution and Glendower with a new found urgency.
- Adam and his father. When his father comes to visit him it brings up a lot of fear and emotions for Adam and the whole situation was really hard. He wanted to hide away and he didn’t want to stand up because of his past abuse so the moment where the thorn spikes his father’s hand, it a small moment but it was powerful and I think it showed the first time Adam stood up for himself and knew he didn’t have to put up with this.
There are probably more moments but I’m not that good at keeping notes (I know with the amount I’ve talked so far, you think I would be)
Malory comes into this book who is a British professor on ley lines and stuff and I actually love him because he really makes them feel like teenagers and I think he can be quite amusing. Malory also provides an interesting insight into Gansey as he knew him when he was younger. He mentions how he was screaming, afraid of death, always moving and never settled. It was a sweet connection and showed a real insight into Gansey as he almost hid this side of him from us as the readers as well. I like how much Gansey likes and respects Malory as well. Plus you get to see Gansey with his fear of hornets at the beginning which is the first time we really get to experience it and I think it is so important, particularly for Adam to see this.
The Greenmantles were introduced in this book (as the regular what villain is the Latin teacher going to be this time?) and there in something interesting about them because after the build-up of them being fearsome, they were very normal making them abnormal. It is almost scary to see them have such normal lives and be capable of bad things. They certainly have unnatural reactions to horror. They are almost handled with humour from Colin putting his middle finger up to a cow, eating cheese crackers whilst being threatened. It was an odd choice as they didn’t live up to the dark villain which was refreshing but I think more hate and show of power could have been used.
I really love seeing Adam’s dark side in coming up with a plan for Greenmantle as it dark and I think highlights his Slytherin side (he is my favourite slytherin ever).
Jesse Dittley seemed like a really sweet, harmless character that lived alone in his home with a cursed cave. I think he provided two important things 1) how he said he wouldn’t leave because it is his home and Ronan seemed to be the only one to understand (which links to The Raven King) and 2) he was predicted to die and he did which was sad in itself but it almost cemented the idea that Gansey’s death is inevitable.
My favourite things about finding Gwendollian was how Gansey internal monologue was about how this didn’t feel special enough and I totally understand this feeling but it is so extra and I love it. Then Ronan and Adam practically running away when the opportunity to leave arose. And finally Gansey recognising a flaw in Glendower with what he did to his daughter as Gansey has a habit to romanticise things and it shows that heroes aren’t necessarily perfect. Other than that Gwendollian is weird and her link to Blue even weirder.
Amongst the friends it was fragile and there was the mention of jealousy from favourites to Gansey being worried he is the only one who isn’t magical in some way. I really liked the inclusion of these feelings as it wasn’t about them being perfect friends but real friends. And they have to acknowledge these bumps in the road to become closer and stronger.
This book involved further developments in terms of the romances as well as the platonic relationships and of course it is SLOW BURN all over again. The details almost felt so discrete it was like a secret between you and the story. I love how this book includes two secret relationships but in two very different ways. Blue and Gansey try to keep it from everyone else* whereas Ronan and Adam try to hide it from themselves. Both relationships maybe kept in the dark but they sure shine bright and I love the small details. The phone calls between Blue and Gansey are so innocent and meaningful, talking about ducks at 3am. I think love can literally be the only explanation. And the iconic Ronan and Adam moment ‘maybe I dreamt you’ because the idea that someone sees you as that perfect is pretty extraordinary.
*the miscommunication issues are still SO frustrating, just tell them. At this point they are the ones making the problem (I know it isn’t so clear cut but still)
One of the biggest plot twists was finding out about Matthew and that he was in fact Ronan’s dream as in makes all the stakes higher in a way especially to Ronan and it makes you view Ronan differently as it is kind of sweet that he dreamed up a brother that was very similar to his mother as it mirrors his Dad and shows what a younger Ronan would dream and wish for.
I feel so sorry for Noah as he deserves better and he is only getting worse. It makes me so sad. NOAHHHHHH!!!
I think Persephone dying was certainly a turning point for the series and the characters as death has the habit of making the bad consequences real and showing that it isn’t always going to be okay. It made the book seem like the good characters aren’t necessarily safe as we head into the final book. It was sad as well, the trio is 300 Fox Way were iconic.
The ending was a lot in a short space of time as they hunt for Maura and sleepers. It is odd but what’s new? At the end it feels like you are left with a lot of questions like what happened? Blue’s father? Maura? Third sleeper? Neeve? It was a lot of chaos so I don’t think it was the strongest ending but it certainly left more for the next book and it was the start of something. I did like it the cave where they are had to work together to get the animal skeletons to wake up as it showed how they all had a part and they were stronger together.
The writing was still brilliant, the plot still insane and the characters still so real so of course I still loved it. I was just left thinking ‘what’s next?’
THE RAVEN KING
The last one.
I absolutely loved the prologue (again) as it immediately provoked feelings and an atmosphere of grandeur. It said that Gansey basically knew he was going to die from the beginning which makes me so sad. It also made me rethink a lot of things from the series such as him trying so hard to make Ronan go to school and insisting on no fights between Adam and keeping his relationship with Blue secret so it wasn’t like he was picking favourites. Was he so intent because he was afraid he was going to die and wanted to leave everything perfect?
Another perk of this book is Gansey’s is funny:
- Gansey: ‘Say something’ Adam: ‘The bell’ *indicating it is slightly late* Gansey: ‘Everything is terrible’ In fact this is probably one of my favourite Adam and Gansey moments, they easily know what each other is one about *chef’s kiss*
- He was upset by the fact that the digital time was cutting into his diseased tree time. I mean that is such a Gansey thing to say.
- He telling Henry to slam the door and he kept saying ‘slam it’ then Henry probably slams it and he says ‘so violent’, I mean that is plain hilarious.
One of my most favourite moments in this book is this sentence ‘Ronan Lynch loved to dream about light’ — what a f***ing marvellous sentence.
I loved Adam’s perspective because he is an excellent people watcher especially when that person is Ronan so I love him describing the scene where Orphan girl/Opal is out and how Ronan interacts with her in a very caring but he acts careless.
Also about Adam I loved how two major relationships points were about Adam not knowing something (Ronan’s feeling and Blue/Gansey relationship) and people go to extremes to hide it but then chapters later Adam will just drop that he has known all along. I love it!! ICONIC!
When Blue and Adam finally talk about Gansey and everything I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding!! FINALLY!! I was so glad and although the conversation didn’t go perfectly, I think it went realistically and I liked that it focused on the lying instead of how dare you date my friend. Although there was some concern about killing Gansey which is a reasonable concern but it could have been delivered better. I love that Adam said ‘you never gave me the chance to be okay’ as it showed his growth.
The toga party was fun and showed Blue and Gansey acting like a couple for once. I never really know what to think of Henry as he was introduced quite quickly and suddenly but I think it was interesting about how much he picks up on Gansey immediately and how much he helps Gansey but from a reader’s perspective it felt quite brief.
Going back to crying about Noah though— NOAH!! I feel so sorry for him, I know I’ve said this but he deserved so much more. I think Calla getting emotions from him was interesting from seeing Ronan as caring, jealous of Gansey and afraid of/for Adam. I just would love more from him. I want Noah’s perspective. It was sad that he hurt Blue though. Again NOAH!!!!! ‘Don’t waste it’, it is so emotional!! NOAH!!!!! *cries forever*
Also I saw on Twitter Maggie say something about Gansey’s power that he was born with and he never knew what to do with it but in this book he realises that the greatest power is to tell people to be themselves which is absolutely beautiful!! And it was a wonderful growth for Gansey to have. Also I absolutely loved that Gansey could see past Glendower, he was ready to move on and that made me so happy!!
Then finally, Blue and Gansey tell everyone about them. FURTHER VICTORY! I liked seeing Adam’s perspective and I think his reaction was perfect. And I liked how Ronan eased the tension afterwards, it just felting like a coming together moment.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HOW MUCH RONAN TALKS ABOUT HATING SCHOOL, iconic!!
Also when Declan asks Ronan about his future and he basically runs out of the car, it is such a big mood!! We got to see a little bit from Declan this time and I do think he is such an interesting character. And I love that he knew Adam was clever and creepy because I feel like Adam hides that pretty well so I wonder if Declan is good at people watching because I love those characters. I loved how the brothers began healing as well. The talk about the Lynch brother leaving is interesting and Ronan says ‘this is my home’ which links to Jesse Dittley which I loved.
I think you get a real sense of the characters healing and the growth that they have taken which is something I really appreciate and it definitely the best part of this book. They all seem happier and open up to each other which I am so glad about. Maggie said that ‘the worse that could happen would be if they all fell out’ and I definitely get that so this healing is beautiful. I love how Blue makes Ronan laughs and Gansey comments how it reminds him of the ‘before Ronan’. I love the bit when Gansey said ‘I do my best’ and Adam said ‘I know’. It definitely had that character charm that I love. I also find it sad but nice when Adam asks Gansey ‘what is love?‘ because it shows how he had a lack of love in his childhood but how things are changing and he is opening up to things. I love the bit where Blue puts her hand around Adam after Aurora died as it showed that a meaningful friendship still stood there and the only bit of closure we go for them I feel.
I’m glad that the two relationships finally came together as I think they are really well written and match each other so well. Plus after all that angst I was glad that all got together happily.
The plot gets faster and more intense in the later parts with the demon looming, chasing Glendower, fear for Gansey and the unmaking of Cabeswater. I liked how so many of the different parts linked together to show that these events had many different elements that started it.
When Gansey is at the place he died *full circle* I think it is interesting to see him look back on it as he is alone without his friends and he remembers thinking he didn’t want to go inside and would ruin the party so he stayed outside and died alone. *cries* It was so sad. Then this links to when he is in the cave (?) searching and he can hear hornets and it seems like the same thing is going to happen but he tells himself to think of something beautiful, something noble, something that won’t hurt him and… his friends show up. I mean it is poetic and amazing. THEN he asks for help— hallelujah.
After that a lot of things happen Glendower is dead (dude wake up), Piper dies suddenly, Adam loses control, Ronan is being unmade and you are left with a lot of emotions and drama really. It all happens without you knowing what is supposed to be happening. I don’t think the “villain” was great in this book which made the plot weaker as the demon wasn’t really explored and the Greenmantles were there and then they weren’t. They were almost underplayed and felt a tiny bit irrelevant when they were important to the plot, I don’t know how they can be both really but they were.
The whole thing with Glendower being dead was a surprise and it took me a while to appreciate this as I kind of felt like saying ‘what was the point?!?!’ but the more I thought about it, the more it felt like it was about the characters coming together and knowing that they didn’t need a favour. They were okay on their own. It wasn’t a story about a king but about these teenagers who got to decide. It was about the importance of the journey and friendship and the fact that Noah sparked all this is amazing and NOAH!!! (baby), it is important and shows what The Raven Cycle is about– these characters, these heroes.
Overall I think it was a solid conclusion especially for the characters that seemed happy whilst still having a lot to look forward to, it didn’t feel like the end for the character which I liked.
The book captured a lot of growth and had beautiful moment with the many relationships so I love it for that but the plot was slightly lacking and there are some unanswered questions meaning you don’t get the sense of satisfaction I would hope for. For example, what is going to happen to Mr. Grey? Is Blue still cursed? What happened to Laumonier? Why can’t Noah be okay? (seriously?!?)
The short story from the perspective of Opal, Ronan’s pet/child (I’m not entirely sure). I think the main purpose of this was to show how Ronan and Adam adapted to the changes in their life, to settle Ronan into his dreamer role and to show how many more people are going to get involved in this. I think there was a clear indication that lots of other things are at play and hinting at things to come.
I like seeing from Opal, to see her perspective and what she thinks about things and to get to know her better. I love that she loves both Ronan and Adam. Plus her perspective was interesting as you got to see more from them especially Ronan (although a few things were unnecessary from her perspective). There were some sad moments with Ronan’s reaction to talking to Gansey and looking in his parent’s room. Also Adam not getting into his first choice but it was nice to see them being there for each other. One of my favourite quotes ever was “Just because it wasn’t what you imagined doesn’t mean it won’t be as good” (I should warn you a lot of these quotes are from memory so I may be paraphrasing). I mean that quote is the best line in this short story, just read it for that. I LOVE IT SO MUCH and both times it was used was just as magical!!
Squash One, Squash Two
I made a playlist for fun, it isn’t perfect but I like it, just don’t expect an atmospheric playlist that flows perfectly. It’s plain chaos, again.
If you managed to read all of that you deserve your time back and a cup of tea or something. And the scary part is I could have said more. If you have anything to say about The Raven Cycle, please comment because I would love to talk about it.
26 thoughts on “The Raven Cycle | A Lot and A Lot of Chatting and Playlist”
I couldn’t read any of it because I still haven’t read the books and don’t want to be spoiled 😭 I’m sorry!!
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Oh please don’t be sorry!! I totally understand as it includes lots of spoilers and needs context!! If you do check these books out, I hope you love them too!! I always appreciate you and your support so thank you!! 💛
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Aw thanks- I definitely feel the same way about you!
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Wow, this was so detailed, but in my humble opinion, the Raven Cycle totally deserves it. I love that we get more of the dreamer realm, but at the same time I am scared of it ruining some of the good memories I have from the previous books. I am always a bit chicken in that regard, because I think there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and that it can get spoiled. But I am not going to judge that just now. I might still wait until all the dreamer books are out though. I have mismatched covers for the Raven Cycle and it will forever bother me.
Fun fact (maybe just for me, but I’ll give it anyway): When I read the books for the first time, they felt very familiar (not in a boring “I have read this before way” but rather in a “these characters feel like home” way) and usually all my books look pristine as if no one ever touched them, except for the Raven Cycle. They look read and loved, but they sort of did from the get go, even though they weren’t second hand.
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It was a lot of writing, probably too much 😂 but I thought people could flick through to bits that interest them!! I just started writing and The Raven Cycle then I couldn’t stop 😂😂
Yes I feel like there was more that could be explored in the dreamer realm!! But I understand your fear because you can never unread it if it doesn’t live up to your expectation. I always knew there was going to be a dreamer trilogy when I read TRC so I think that is doesn’t seem like an add on to me in a way 😂 hopefully it will be good, I’ve heard good things so far!! 😊 yes having mismatched covers is the worse, that is a smart idea!! 😂
I love that fact, thank you for sharing 😊 I feel like there is something about these books where you can just sink into them, the writing is very atmospheric and real!! I love that these books did that for you!!
Haha the books have been loved!! ❤
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Yeah, definitely! No one has been forced to read ALL of it haha but it’s cool that you are passionate about it and have something to say. It’s much better than staring at your screen because you don’t have anything coming to mind. 🙂
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Yes exactly that was my thinking haha!! Yes that’s true, it is nice to share all these thoughts and I have had the staring at the screen problem so this is better, haha!!
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SOPHIEEEEEEEEE!!! THIS POST LOOKS SOOO TEMPTING I WANNNAAAA READDD IT AND KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT!!😭😭😭😭😭😭 But I havent read a SINGLE FUCKING BOOK of this series! 💔💔💔💔💔
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Ahh.. Rain thank you so much for even wanting to read my writing, that means so much you will never know!! ❤❤ it was my fault for making it have spoilers but if you ever decide to read these books I would love to talk to you about them!!! 🌟❤😍😊
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OF COURSE I WANNA READ IT ALL! YOUR WRITING IS SOO GREATT! And I dont want to miss anything sooo….I am just gonna come back and read the whole post, whether or not I have read the books! 😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️
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Aw… THANK YOU SO MUCH!! *cries for eternity* That is so sweet !!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
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AHHH YES I love reading long, rambly reviews of my favorite books! 😀 This was a joy to read. I’m SO happy that CDTH’s release has helped me find so many other people who love this series as much as I do!
I love your insight on Adam and how in his POV he’s always observing people, because that’s spot on. And the comparison between Adam and Whelk just blew my mind!! I find it wonderful that people who love TRC usually have that ONE character who they adore above all else – yours is Adam, mine is Gansey – and it’s always great to read long, gushing paragraphs about their love for that character 😀
That moment in TDT of “why do you hate yourself?” “I don’t” is honestly one of the greatest moments in literary history.
What you said here – “I always find it amazing how many times people can say they’re in love without ever using the words” – yes, that’s perfect! That feels like such an important part of this series. People saying they love each other without words. It’s beautiful.
The prologues in this series are truly masterpieces. Maggie stiefvater is the queen of parallels.
The ending of TRK always gets to me, man, with them discovering that Glendower is dead and, as you said, “knowing that they didn’t need a favour. They were okay on their own.” Anyways, I’ll just be over here crying about Gansey as usual.
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I’m sorry it has taken me a while to respond!! But AHH.. THIS COMMENT HAS MADE MY DAY!! Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. If you want rambly reviews, I am always here for that! haha! I agree the release of CDTH has meant a resurgence in TRC fandom and I am loving it !!
Yes I love watching Adam observe everyone, I think it makes his perspective so interesting!! And I only noticed the Whelk/Adam link in the reread and I thought it was really cool in a way and added to the story. I know I love how in TRC all the characters are so well developed so everyone reading it can connect to them in different ways and have different favourites!! Gansey is wonderful!! Long gushing paragraphs are my favourite!!
I agree, greatest literacy moment ever!! It is wonderful, I had to put the book down after I read that sentence!!
YES!! I felt like that showed what the book is about as there is so much unwritten love there between so many of the characters, not just relationships but so often putting friendships at the centre of the story which I adore.
I know I love the prologues so much as well!! I just can’t express my love for them and the parallels are incredible *mind blown*
I know I was actually surprised when Glendower was dead and so confused, it took me a while to get it but when I did it was truly beautiful and such an important lessons for the characters and the readers as well to be honest, to remind us that we on our own are enough as well!! Haha I will send you lots tissues!!
Again thank you so, so much for this comment!! It has made me day!! ❤ ❤
oh my gosh, i really do need to read the series! :))
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Ahh.. I really love it!! It is quite unique and character driven so it isn’t for everyone but I do love it!! If you try it out, I hope you enjoy it !! ❤
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