Raven Cycle

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There are some stories that you just know are going to irrevocably change you. Stories that you get into and realize, belatedly, that they are unmaking and remaking parts of your sense of self, your reader’s soul, and you will never be the same. I was about 1/3 of the way through listening to The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater when I was blasted with the realization that this was to be one of those books. I thought lightening probably wouldn’t strike twice, or at least not so sharply, and listened to Dream Thieves. Then I thought surely 3 times is too much to ask…Blue Lily, Lily Blue proved that thought a lie. So I bought the entire set. It wasn’t enough to listen to them, I had to have them in physical form on my shelf, within easy reach when I needed them… And Then The Raven King happened.

I don’t have the words or the emotional fortitude left to explain how it all worked on me. I can piece bits together…like the fact that when a certain someone speaks of being fully of the white fuzzy light, I felt it right along with them. When the fear and terrible hope for and because of a best friend lit through them all, I was there. Maggie’s writing drew me, a 31-year-old author and teacher, into the world of magic and high school so completely that I had to wrench myself back into reality with much more effort than it should ever have to take. At page 416, Chapter 65, of The Raven King I had to stop. I literally couldn’t take it anymore (in the best of ways) and HAD to go refill my coffee, take a potty break, check the laundry, and allow myself to sob uncontrollably for exactly 45 seconds. The things that we always knew would happen. That we learned of in the first chapter of the first book before any of us knew the characters that now inhabit our hearts and minds and souls…they hurt more for the fact that we can’t do anything but watch and ache with them. Like being the helpless bystander of a horrendous accident.

This book, this finale to a series much beloved, destroyed me, remade me, and then kicked my ass before telling me it loved me and stroking my hair as a cried and giggled. This devastated me in the best possible of ways. Maggie Stiefvater has said she may revisit this world when she’s lived another 20 or so years…I beg of you Maggie, don’t leave it that long.

Overarching Storyline for the Series – Is one of love, friendship, growth, discovery, and magic…always magic.

We spend 4 books in suspense, waiting to see if the first thing we’re told about two main characters will culminate into a truth that will destroy the lot of us, ripping our hearts out and stomping all over our emotions. We are not disappointed in any way. From the first book we are drawn in to Blue’s psychic family, we feel her frustration and distress at being an ‘amplifier’ with a terrible destiny…if she wants to ever date anyone, that is, and we are bowled over by her extremely intense beliefs. One such strong held belief is that the Raven Boys of Aglionby Academy are the worst sort…which is, of course, why her future revolves around and intertwines with that of 4 such boys. The different personalities, backstories, and paths of each character take the reader on a roller coaster across the The Raven Cycle and it is unlike any other, and well worth with the price of the ride.

I give this series 5 out of 5 dragons, 5 out of 5 stars, and all 4 sections of my heart…one for each of them.

Spotlight On…Maggie Stiefvater

Welcome to another semi-new and hopefully weekly post for Here There Be Dragons…The Spotlight On Art segment is meant to do the same for illustrators, musicians, and artists as my Author Interview Fridays do for us writers. However, I don’t have as many artist connections and, as such, have had the Tuesday Interviews kind of fall by the wayside. Therefore…I am going to start spotlighting a mixture of the famed, infamous, unknown, etc etc etc in the rest of the art world.

This week the spotlight lands on Young Adult author Maggie Stiefvater. Many of you may know her as the author of such books as The Raven Cycle Series and The Shiver Trilogy, among others. However, were you aware that Maggie is also an accomplished musician and artist?

WELL SHE IS! I just finished listening to The Raven Boys on audio book this past week. At the end of the final chapter a haunting Celtic melody flows behind and between the last words, tugging at the sleeping bits of your brain and prodding at your creative heart until the final notes die away and you think…”WAIT WHAT?? THAT’S IT?? NO NO NO…WHERE’S THE REST? WHAT HAPPENS? ACK!” (Or I did anyway). Turns out…that would  a Maggie Stiefvater song. Check out the making of video HERE, or just look at her YouTube Channel and plotz because she’s bloody well amazing. There are videos of drawing, music making, talking, and many other wonderful things I can’t begin to describe well enough for you (Like the video below!).

This woman draws, writes novels and music, plays several instruments, works on her own vehicles, and is just the kind of super cool that makes you a little bit afraid, a lot in awe, and even more a fan. Kudos to you Maggie Stiefvater…I wish to be like you when I grow up.

Here are a couple of other places you can find her snazzy wit and great work:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mstiefvater

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieStiefvaterAuthorPage/?fref=ts

Blog: http://maggiestiefvater.com/blog/the-future-belongs-to-those-who-read/

Website: http://maggiestiefvater.com/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/maggie_stiefvater/tracks

If you have a favorite artistic type person you’d love to see featured, or if you or someone you know would make a good time dancing in the spotlight…LET ME KNOW!

Until next time…have a Blessed and Artsy inspiring week!