If you thought I was already talking too much about the Raven Cycle, then there sure as hell ain’t no way to get me to shut up now. I’ve officially started counting down the days until the Raven King release (out on April 26th, folks!) and I actually have no words to express how excited, nervous, thrilled, scared, I am right now. I’m sure I’m not the only one waiting impatiently for the book.
So, as a way to celebrate/bid my time until I finally have the book in my hands, and because I’ve finally managed to convince one of my friends to read the series, I decided to do a little something… A series of posts centred around the Raven Cycle universe, starting with this one: 10 good reasons to start reading the Raven Cycle books, for all those who are still not sure/not convinced yet, or just those who have no idea what I’m talking about.
10. Maggie’s little extras
What I love more than anything when it comes to the books I read, is when an author is involved in the fandom. I’m not saying Maggie is perfect, because I know there’s been a few controversies over the years, but you can’t fault her for her involvement in her story. Her blog is full of little tid-bits of information about the story, she posts songs that remind her of this or that character, she reblogs fanart and she answers her fans’ questions. She even painted, herself, tarot cards to go with the books. She’s really present and I, personally, think it’s a bonus.
9. The fandom
It might not be the same for newcomers, but as someone who’s been in it for years, I can tell you that one of my absolute favorite things is to read fans’ theories on Tumblr. There are so many things left unanswered, and I guess it won’t be that way for long, but it’s been amazing to try and find ways to explain some plot points, and to imagine how the story would end. I mean, we’re all pretty much scared shitless and in denial about the ending, but it’s been a nice ride.
8. The magic
It’s Urban Fantasy so, of course, the story is full of magical realism, tarot readings, magical forests and more. What I love about the way Maggie presents magic is that there’s no good or bad, there’s mostly grey and it’s all about balance. Magic is everywhere but it’s also done very subtly.
7. The setting
Welcome to Henrietta, a small town in Virginia. Come visit its dust and dirt, its mountains and fields. It’s quaint, it’s quiet, it’s atypical and picturesque. It feels separated from the rest of the world, in its own little dimension. It’s just way more than the ordinary façade that it presents. And, mostly, it’s the perfect background for this kind of story.
6. The mystery
The reason theories are such a big thing among us fans, is because there is so many things going on. Prophecies and adventures, sleepers and dreamers, mirrors and ghosts … It will keep you coming back because you’re going to keep asking for more.
5. The themes
Heavy themes in these books, I can tell you. Death, loss, love, ambition, sexuality, anxiety, abuse, the demons inside your own mind… And all of it is written with this rawness I’ve come to love when it comes to these books.
4. The perfect dosage of romance
I hate romance and insta-love, I think I’ve talked about it enough, and I almost avoided those books because the summary of Raven Boys was so romance-ish. I mean, star-crossed lovers, really ? I’m so glad I’ve given these books a chance because the romances (yes, plural!) are written in such a way that the little glimpses you get only make you want to see more. You start to care, you start to root for them, and you want to see where the rest of the story will take them.
3. The build-up
Seriously, she makes you work for it. You know how the story will end as soon as you read the first chapter and the wait that Maggie puts you through is both unbearable and exquisite. And it’s not just the story’s outcome, it’s each characters’ individual arc, it’s the romances… She really knows how to tease and make your anticipation grow. That’s how I know the Raven King is going to kill me dead.
2. The characters
They’re so well-written, so complex, so unique in their own way : the doomed leader, the idealist, the nerd, the adventurer, the privileged son who put his whole heart into this quest; the battery, the one with which everything really started, who was always an outsider in her own family, the missing piece; the dreamer, the fighter, the snake with the tender heart, the asshole battling his own, very real demons; the magician, the hard-worker, the knowable, the trailer trash with a mind of steel and the resolve to match. I love them all.
1. The friendships
Because, in the end, it’s a story about a bunch of friends trying to achieve something pretty great and impossible. Because they’re the story within the story. Because they’re very different pieces of the same, messy puzzle and that, by all rights, they shouldn’t be drawn to each other. Because their bonds and ties is what made me fall hard for them.
So, here is my list. What would you add to it ? If you’re really excited about the raven king, clap your hands !