the raven cycle – maggie stiefvater | series review

Hello, welcome to the series review for The Raven Cycle that I’ve adored for many, many years. Although the individual reviews were written years ago when I first read the books, many of my opinions still hold.

Navigate through this post with the titles below:
🗡 The Raven Boys | 💤 The Dream Thieves | 🍃 Blue Lily, Lily Blue | 🦌 The Raven King


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance


Rating: 5 out of 5.


“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Maggie Stiefvater created one of my favorite worlds to date. With her writing style, the world instantly became magical. Each character is unique in their own ways, has their own problems to solve, and their own troubles they’re running away from. Henrietta felt vast and magical in The Raven Boys, I loved every time the characters ventured into a new place. Everyone is witty and sarcastic. The whole vibe is great.

I was surprised that The Raven Boys didn’t immediately focus on the romance between Gansey and Blue, but instead, it started with their friendship. This just makes me want them to be together even more. Because of her upbringing, Blue is pretty carefree and incredibly independent. Warned from talking to any of the rich boys, she never expected that she would go on a journey with a bunch of Aglionby boys. 

Although Gansey comes from a rich family, Gansey didn’t flaunt his wealth around. However, he has zero concepts of money, which landed him in Blue’s bad books. Being the leader of the whole adventure they embarked on, Gansey often showed a strong front and worried too much about his friends. Most of the time, he gets lost in his head. Ronan is troubled by the past, of what we don’t know yet but one thing is for sure, he’s special in this journey they’re in. Ronan is fierce and strong-headed, so he often butted heads with people. He doesn’t get along with people easily but is most comfortable with Gansey.

“This,” Gansey replied, “is precisely why I didn’t want to have a baby with you.”

Unlike the rest, Adam doesn’t have the same background. While the rest have rich families, Adam works hard to support himself. This propelled him to live his life based on his own capabilities and not with the help of others. Noah fades in and out of the scenes throughout The Raven Boys. He’s a constant lingering presence, always in the background, and popping up once in a while. It’s nice to see how well he could click with Blue.

The Raven Boys was a magical read. The start could feel slow, but the subsequent action is worth it. 


about adam and blue:
    the introduction of adam and blue’s blossoming relationship isn’t what i’m looking for. this relationship was and still is a big no no for me. i’m saying this because i am bias, i love gansey and blue for life. sorry adam
about ronan:
    i felt an inexplicable pain for ronan. he was the first one who found his father lying dead in the driveway and there was nothing he could do to make things better. he’s such a cinnamon roll  ♡ want to protect him forever.
DAMN ALL THE FREAKING FEELS FROM THIS FRIENDSHIP. and Ronan is so vulnerable even though he has this tough, idgaf exterior. which tbh, makes him even more precious
    Instead of answering, he asked, “Do you not want me to come?” Something struck in Gansey’s chest. “I would take all of you anywhere with me.”
    the part where they found noah’s skeleton, and his freaking last name is Czerny.. goosebumps appeared immediately. gives me the chills whenever i think about it. omg
    // got spoiled the first time i read this because i was an impatient person, and was curious why we don’t know noah’s last name so i went to wikipedia it. *sigh* //
    during the funeral, noah made blue tell his mother that he was sorry for drinking her birthday schnapps. and i was devastated. the first time, i was just a sobbing mess. and though i was already preparing myself for the shock and the information, i was still very upset about the fact that he is actually dead. it was really fascinating that the ley line was keeping his presence strong albeit he appears only once in a while.
adam and ronan
    Ronan said, “I’m always straight.”
    Adam replied, “Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.”


Do not enter the next review if you aren’t done with The Raven Boys! I’ve warned you! Beware!!

Navigate through this post with the titles below:
🗡 The Raven Boys | 💤 The Dream Thieves | 🍃 Blue Lily, Lily Blue | 🦌 The Raven King


The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Published September 17th 2013 by Scholastic Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance


Rating: 5 out of 5.


If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.


I fell harder in love with the boys and Blue. They’ll forever be kept in my heart because they’re so damn precious, charismatic, and genuine.

Rex Corvus, parate Regis Corvi
‘The Raven King, make way for the Raven King.’

At the end of The Raven Boys, we found out that Ronan is a dreamer; he can create things in his dreams. He’s like a human version of a 3D printer. For the most part of book one, Ronan was annoyed, irritated, and hot-headed but we don’t really know why. We know something, many things, are bothering him but with Cabeswater having most of the book time, he just seems to dislike almost everything and that’s it. Even though he’s a grumpy person, Ronan is easy to love. 

In The Dream Thieves, we get to know him better and I loved reading about his inner monologue and the things he did. Ronan is so precious and in spite of his exterior, he’s really a sweet guy inside. His character development was incredibly fascinating and satisfying. I’m ecstatic that the book focused on him this time.

“What do you want, Adam?”
“To feel awake when my eyes are open.

One thing I really loved about The Raven Cycle is the mother-daughter relationship between Maura and Blue. They can talk about anything and everything, and their mutual dependency on each other for support and love is heart-warming. Actually, I loved all the relationship/family connections in the 300 Fox Way household. As sharp-tongued as Calla is or as peculiar as Persephone is, I loved how much they were able to provide advice and assistance to one another.

Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telim est.
“A sword is never a killer; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.”

After Adam woke up the ley lines, becoming the eyes and ears for Cabeswater, made his emotions go all over the place and that got the best of him. However, this is building Adam to be a greater part of this whole “waking up Glendower” adventure. He’s finally letting out all the things has been boiling and kept under his skin for so long but it makes the situation quite messy for him.

Maggie Stiefvater writes hilarious scenes without underwhelming the severity of everything. Her writing is addicting and entertaining. I can’t recommend the entire series to you enough mainly because I’m in love with it all.


“The Magician sees what is out there and finds connections. The Magician can make anything magical.”

blue and adam
    blue refusing to kiss adam because of the prediction.. a w k w a r d
adam in the dream thieves
    adam is angsty; consistently angry and pissed at people/situations. he’s going through a myriad of adjustments and altercations in his life.
    he’s finally taking charge by leaving his abusive family. i’m so happy for him yet he makes me angsty while he sort his feelings out. he refuses to accept help from his friends when they are doing it out of concern and not pity but he doesn’t see it like that.

“When I’m gone,” Gansey said, pausing, “dream me the world. Something new for every night.”

blue and gansey
    In some parallel universe, there was a Gansey who could tell Blue that he found the ten inches of her bare calves far more tantalising than the thirteen cubic feet of bare skin Orla spotted.
    In a low voice, Blue asked meaningfully, “Seen enough?”
    “Of – oh, Orla?”
    “What care is it of yours,” he asked, “what I think of Orla?”
    Crisp, she replied, “None at all.”
    And it was a lie.
    A tiny part of Gansey’s brain said: You have been staring for too long.
    The larger part of his brain said: ORANGE.
    She called Gansey.
    “Blue?” he said.
    Just his voice. Her heart tethered itself. Not completely, but enough to stop quivering so much. She closed her eyes.
    “Take me somewhere?”
    “Jane, in this light,” he started. “you… Jesus. Jesus. I’ve got to get my head straight.”
    ahhhhhhhHHHHHHH they pretended to kiss 😢☹️😭
miscellaneous (basically, maura and the gray man)
    mr gray man actually is indirectly (saying this very vaguely) protecting the boys. he killed the two men who broke into monmouth manufacturing.
    gray man giving maura a pink switchblade & daisy crown & his flopping heart is aesthetics!

The only reality was this: He was home.
How badly he wanted to stay.


Do not enter the next review if you aren’t done with The Dream Thieves! I’ve warned you! Beware!!

Navigate through this post with the titles below:
🗡 The Raven Boys | 💤 The Dream Thieves | 🍃 Blue Lily, Lily Blue | 🦌 The Raven King


Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Published October 21, 2014 by Scholastic Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. 

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue was amazing from the start to the end. It was full of emotional rollercoasters, doubts, and potential romances and friendships blossoming. It’s everything. Combined with the whimsical writing style, Maggie Stiefvater has once again produced a magical book.

There were so many instances where things seem so near yet so far. Things we yearn for but couldn’t get due to unforeseen circumstances. Throughout the book, shocking revelations just kept appearing. I missed Noah in The Dream Thieves, but in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, we managed to see glimpses of him once again. His character always has a place in my heart due to the nature of his “alive-ness” and I just find myself wanting to protect him from potential harm (even though he’s dead).

“Greywaren semper est incorrptus”

I have a newfound adoration for Ronan. He has been carrying a load of secrets for his family ever since he was young, and now he has to protect the secrets from people who want the Greywaren. He’s snarky, yes, but also caring and thoughtful. A true cinnamon roll. Adam became more accepting, and I loved it so much. I think the past situations made him more accepting of not only other people’s help but more accepting of himself.

Gansey and Blue, are wonderful for each other, but they can’t be together. It pained me to watch them have these back and forth yet they cannot do anything. I actually liked that Blue still had mundane things, like her future and education, to ponder and worry about while she was caught up in all these magic and whimsical adventures.

And something else: friendship of the unshakeable kind. Friendship you can swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.

I actually liked that Blue still had mundane things, like her future and education, to ponder and worry about while she was caught up in all these magic and whimsical adventures. The friendship between The Raven Boys and Blue seemed to never fail to make my heart warm and fuzzy with how they helped each other through their toughest times.


blue and gansey
    His heart hummed. Blue touched his fingertips. Just this– He pinched her fingers lightly, just for a moment, and then he withdrew his hand and put it back on the wheel. His chest felt warm. This was not allowed.
    “Maybe it wouldn’t hurt if I kiss you,” he whispered. “Maybe it’s only if you kiss me.”
gansey and noah
    Because it was Noah and no one else, Gansey could admit, “I don’t know what I’ll do if I find him, Noah. I don’t know what I’ll be if I’m not looking for him. I don’t know if the first thing about how to be that person again.”
    Noah put the clay in Gansey’s hands. “That’s exactly how I feel about the idea of being alive again.”
    “Don’t tell the others,” Gansey said.
    “I’m dead,” Noah replied. “Not stupid.”
adam and ronan
    so, ronan went to adam’s work place and left behind a moisturiser for adam’s hands because they were cracking. HOW PRECIOUS IS THIS?!
dreams, dreamers, lynch brothers
    matthew was dreamt by ronan!!!! holy shit
    persephone died!!!!
    piper got to go. she killed jesse.
    how amazing is it that gansey just have to say “wake up” and all the skeleton creatures woke up?!!??!?!? k i n g


Do not enter the next review if you aren’t done with Blue Lily, Lily Blue! I’ve warned you! Beware!!

Navigate through this post with the titles below:
🗡 The Raven Boys | 💤 The Dream Thieves | 🍃 Blue Lily, Lily Blue | 🦌 The Raven King


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Published April 26th 2016 by Scholastic Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Rep: m/m romance


Rating: 5 out of 5.


All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


I loved The Raven King! Since it’s the last book in the series, I was excited yet worried about the ending. The worry intensified, especially since Gansey’s fate was already known since The Raven Boys. Everything fell in place and all questions were answered. I didn’t know it was possible for me to love the characters even more than I was already dead. The build-up to the end was heartbreaking and incredibly hard to read, but I also felt comforted. 

Similar to the previous books, the friendships and relationships developed further as they go through hardships together. Yes, we finally get the couples that we’ve always wanted. Ronan, who was once isolated and hateful of everything, began to open up and accepted all the help his friends were offering. I adored them so much.

This dreamer was all of that to an extreme, a new king in his invented kingdom.

My heart felt like it was stabbed and then healed a thousand times over. The poetic writing of Maggie Stiefvater triggered many wonder-filled feelings yet I’m constantly worried. The last few pages of The Raven King were particularly emotional. I’m in love with Blue, Gansey, Noah, Ronan, and Adam. 

I read this series many years ago. Even now, I still remember the pivotal and important moments for the gang, especially the more emotional parts. I have so many fond memories while reading The Raven Cycle series, and I can’t wait for Maggie Stiefvater to finish her Dreamer trilogy which features the Lynch brothers.

It was this: this moment and no other moment, and for the first time that Gansey could remember, he knew what it would feel like to be present in his own life.


    it. was. so. messed. up. when. i. realised. that. gansey. knew. he. was. destined. to. die. the. second. time.
    “Why do we breathe air? Because we love air? Because we don’t want to suffocate. Why do we eat? Because we don’t want to starve. How do I know I love her? Because I can sleep after I talk to her.”
the friendship 😭😍
    She hugged it. Him. Noah. She didn’t care if he wasn’t quite human anymore. She would keep calling whatever this was Noah for as long as it wanted to be called Noah. And she was glad that he could read her thoughts in that moment, because she wanted him to know how thoroughly she believed that.
    The kitchen window groaned open, and Jimi shouted out, “Blue! Your boys are out front, looking like they’re fixing to bury a body.”
    Again? Blue thought.
    “No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied.
    “Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole.”
    “Emptying another student’s backpack over his car. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
    “I do,” Ronan said.
    “Well, I don’t. I’m not proud of it.”
    Ronan patted her leg. “I’ll be proud of you.”
    “It wasn’t me,” Ronan said. He looked at Blue, who shrugged. He caught Adam’s eye. When Adam’s mouth quirked, Ronan’s expression stilled for a moment before turning to the loose smile he ordinarily reserved for Matthew’s silliness. Adam felt a surge of both accomplishment and nerves.
    He could not see him, but Noah stood on the edge of the pool and watched. He had been a swimmer himself, once.
    Finally, Ronan said, “Jesus God, Sargent. Do you have stitches on your face? Bad. Ass. Put it here, you asshole.”
    “To think you could have been dreaming the cure for cancer,” Blue said.
    “Look Sargent,” Ronan retorted. “I was gonna dream you some eye cream last night since clearly modern medicine’s doing jack shit for you, but I nearly had my ass handed to me by a death snake from the fourth circle of dream hell, so you’re welcome.”
the females at fox way
    “… We chose Fox Way. We made it, Calla and Persephone and I. But it’s only your origin story, not your final destination.”
    the women in 300 fox way, gathering in a bathroom, to have a heart to heart talk with blue and what she wants for her future. i love all of themmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    It was so much harder to see things clearly without Persephone.

“Trees in your eyes,” Calla added, more gently than usual. “Starts in your heart.”

ronan and cabeswater and adam
    ronan dreamt cabeswater and how you know it’s his: “that’s why it’s latin grammar is terrible. it’s your grammar.”
    His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.
    Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam.
    … They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips.
    When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer.
compilation of various feelings after reading the revelations
    wow, gansey sold off monmouth manufacturing for ronan’s aglionby diploma?!
    UGHHH, HENRY PASSED GANSEY THE CURSED AGLIONBY SWEATER. i’m weeping for gansey, for he had been searching for this king ever since he first died, but to find out that glendower has been dead for centuries long.
    ronan being unmade was unbearable. wtf.
    I miss you Persephone )”:
the last few moments
    Now the the moment had come, there was a certain glory to it. He didn’t want to die, but at least he was doing it for these people, his found family. At least he was doing it for people who he knew were going to really live. At least he was not dying pointlessly, stung by wasps. At least this time it would matter.
    Noah crouched over Gansey’s body. He said, for the last time, “You will live because of Glendower. Someone else on the ley line is dying when they should not, and so you will live when you should not.”
    Gansey died.
    “Good-bye,” Noah said. “Don’t throw it away.”
    He quietly slid from time.
    cabeswater killing itself for gansey, wtf man. this is crazy.
    adam going back to the trailer park served as a closure for him i guess. i’m so proud that after so much abuse he went through in that awful place, he managed to go back and be the bigger person. it showed how much he grown up. feel like a proud mom.
    ronan giving henry, gansey and blue a bright orange camaro, that is environmentally friendly (for blue), is freaking cute okay. i hate that they are going into different places but in my head i’m making plans for them to meet every once in a while.

Then, holding these things in his head, he climbed up onto the roof and gazed up at the sky.
Then he closed his eyes and he began to dream.

my last thoughts
    everyone had their conclusion, and i’m so in love with everything this book embody. the reviews i’ve read about regarding this series/book was that it wasn’t realistic that gansey didn’t die the second time. personally, i didn’t want him to die at all. and the first time i read the book, i was bawling my eyes out thinking that gansey really did die (the cabeswater chapter flew past my head cause i was just reading the words through teary eyes and my brain couldn’t comprehend anything). i thought it was a great use of cabeswater, to bring back gansey, because of how corrupted and destroyed everything was already in cabeswater. it would close off the cabeswater arc in a gratifying way. what isn’t realistic is the world without richard gansey the third okay, i’m just really bias, if you don’t already know.
    can’t believe i’m already done with the reread for the entire series. it means the world to me. it’s absolute perfection. i’m so in love every aspect of the book. maggie stiefvater is a great author with a whimsical and magical writing style.


let’s chat:
i’ve loved this series for very, very long. it’s one of the series that got me into reading even more than i was at the period of my life. the friendships that were forged with each adventure and hardship were beautiful. what are your feelings about this series?

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