The Raven Cycle

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The Raven Cycle
Cover ravenboys 300.png
Front cover of The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys (2012)
The Dream Thieves (2013)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (2014)
The Raven King (2016)

Author Maggie Stiefvater
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult fiction, fantasy
Publisher Scholastic Press
Published 18 September 2012 – 26 April 2016
No. of books 4

The Raven Cycle is a series of four contemporary fantasy novels written by American author Maggie Stiefvater. The first novel, The Raven Boys, was published by Scholastic in 2012, and the final book, The Raven King, was published on 26 April 2016.[1]

Plot[edit]

The Raven Boys[edit]

The Raven Cycle follows the story of Blue Sargent, Richard Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, and Noah Czerny as they attempt to find the sleeping Welsh king Glendower. The story begins in The Raven Boys with an introduction to Blue and her psychic family members. Blue accompanies Neeve, her half-aunt, to a ghost watch where Neeve sees the spirits of the people in Henrietta, Virginia who will die in the coming year. Blue see the spirit of a boy named Gansey and Neeve tells her that she will either love or kill him. Later, Blue meets Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah while she’s working at a restaurant. She learns of their quest and despite a bad introduction joins them in finding Glendower. They discover a forest called Cabeswater that exists out of time and speaks to them in Latin. Adam sacrifices his free will to become the hands and eyes of Cabeswater and Ronan reveals that he can take things out of his dreams.

The Dream Thieves[edit]

The second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, focuses on Ronan’s ability to take things from his dreams. A hit-man called the Gray Man comes to Henrietta under the orders of a man named Greenmantle looking for something called the Greywaren, which is the name that Cabeswater repeatedly calls Ronan. It’s revealed that Ronan’s father dreamed almost everything from Ronan’s childhood, including Ronan’s mother. Cabeswater vanishes, and another teenage boy called Kavinsky reveals that he can take things out of his dreams as well. With both boys taking things out of their dreams, they are stressing the energy of Cabeswater, which is why it disappeared. Blue’s mother and the Gray Man fall for each other, but the Gray Man has to run from Henrietta claiming he stole the Greywaren so that Ronan will be safe from Greenmantle. Adam restores energy to the ley line, bringing back Cabeswater, and Ronan uses one of his night terrors to fight Kavinsky and his fire dragon, eventually ending Kavinsky’s life. The Gray Man faces his brother and kills him. Ronan dreams up a new will so he can return to his sleeping mother, and Blue finds out that her mother left with a note that says she’s underground.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue[edit]

In the third book of the series, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Persephone, a psychic that lives with Blue, helps Adam learn how to fix the ley lines the way Cabeswater has asked. Calla, another psychic, tries to contact Maura with her abilities but connects with something else. Maura wanders through a cave looking for Artemus, Blue’s birth father, and stumbles upon a mirrored lake. Gansey, Blue, Adam, and Ronan enter a cave in Cabeswater in an attempt to find Maura, but come up short, finding instead a cave that ravens burst out of. Gansey’s old mentor Professor Malory and his service dog come over from England and the boys have a new Latin teacher, Colin Greenmantle. Blue and Gansey find another cave in the backyard of a man named Jesse Dittley, who was one of the spirits Neeve saw in the graveyard, and on a return trip they find a woman named Gwenllian, Glendower's daughter. Persephone dies in an attempt to find Maura, and Adam and Ronan blackmail Colin Greenmantle into leaving. Greenmantle’s wife Piper hires thugs and goes to Jesse Dittley’s cave where she kills Dittley, captures the Gray Man, and enters the cave. The teens go back to the Cabeswater cave where they find animal skeletons that they collectively wake up, and Blue and Ronan find a magic lake. Blue crosses the lake and finds Maura and Artemus. Piper enters with the Gray Man and one of her thugs. Blue, Artemus, Maura, and the Gray Man escape, leaving Piper and the thug in the collapsed cave, where Neeve finds Piper who wakes up a mysterious creature.

The Raven King[edit]

The fourth and final installation of The Raven Cycle is entitled, The Raven King. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue continue their quest to find the Welsh King Glendower.

Setting[edit]

Much of the story takes place in the fictional town of Henrietta, Virginia, which sits directly on top of a powerful ley line. Adam, Ronan, Blue, Noah, and Gansey repeatedly return to the mysterious Cabeswater, a forest that exists out of its own time and that talks to the group in Latin. Adam, Ronan, and Gansey all attend school at Aglionby Academy, an all-boys school that is very expensive. Ronan's childhood home is called The Barns, and it's where he discovers his mother is one of his father's dream creations. 300 Fox Way is the home of Blue and the multitude of psychic women in Henrietta. Monmouth Manufacturing is the abandoned and gutted warehouse in which Gansey, Ronan, and Noah reside, as well as the place where Malory and his service dog stay during their visit. Some of the story takes place in the caves that are underneath Cabeswater where Glendower is supposedly sleeping.

Major characters[edit]

Blue Sargent[edit]

Blue Sargent is the daughter of a psychic named Maura, and lives with her and other psychic women at their home, 300 Fox Way. Despite not having psychic abilities of her own, Blue is able to amplify the energy of other psychics and supernatural beings. She works at a restaurant called Nino's and desperately wants to travel the world and help others. The psychic women that live with her have told her that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die.

Maura Sargent[edit]

Maura is the psychic mother of Blue and she typically uses Tarot cards to make her readings. She usually wears her trademark tattered jeans, and has a penchant for going barefoot. She falls in love with the Gray Man, and later disappears underground, supposedly in search of Artemus, Blue's biological father.

Richard "Dick" Campbell Gansey III[edit]

Called Gansey by his friends, Richard Campbell Gansey III is a student at Aglionby who has been on a journey to find the sleeping Welsh king Glendower that he believes saved his life seven years prior. Gansey's allergy to bee stings caused him to die seven years ago from a hornet sting, but he was saved by Glendower. Gansey drives an orange Camaro called the Pig.

Adam Parrish[edit]

Adam Parrish is a student at Aglionby who struggles financially, but doesn't want Gansey's pity. At the beginning of the story, he lives with his mother and his abusive father in a trailer, but later he stands up for himself by pressing charges against his father and moves into an apartment above St. Agnes church. He sacrificed his free will to Cabeswater, promising to fix the ley lines and help restore Cabeswater. As of "The Raven King", he is in a relationship with Ronan Lynch. Adam is deaf in his left ear.

Ronan Lynch[edit]

Ronan Lynch is described as "dangerous as a shark and about as friendly."[2] Cabeswater calls him the Greywaren, which is revealed to be a person who can take things out of their dreams. Ronan uses this ability to try and help wake up his mother and the livestock from his childhood home, all of which are things that Niall Lynch took out of his own dreams. He helps Adam create fake evidence against Greenmantle in order to blackmail him into leaving Henrietta. As of "The Raven King", he is in a relationship with Adam Parrish.

Noah Czerny[edit]

Noah Czerny was a student at Aglionby, but Barrington Whelk, the old Latin professor, used him as a sacrifice in a failed attempt to wake up the ley lines. He relies on energy of the ley lines or Blue Sargent in order to stay substantial. Over the course of the series, it is revealed that his spirit is decaying and he needs more energy in order to look normal.

Colin Greenmantle[edit]

Colin Greenmantle is a collecter of mysterious artifacts and the employer of the Gray Man. He sent the Gray Man to kill Ronan Lynch's father and then sends the Gray Man to find the Greywaren. He comes to Henrietta under the guise of Aglionby's new Latin teacher so that he can find the Greywaren himself after the Gray Man betrays him. He leaves Henrietta and returns to Boston, leaving his wife Piper alone in Jesse Dittley's cave.

The Gray Man (Mr. Gray)[edit]

The Gray Man is a hit-man hired by Greenmantle initially to steal something called the Greywaren. While in Henrietta, he takes a liking to the town and falls in love with Blue's mother Maura, who likes him back. He leaves Henrietta to protect Ronan, but returns when he discovers that Greenmantle came back. He enjoys Anglo-Saxon poetry and recites poems from memory occasionally throughout the story.

Glendower[edit]

Glendower is the Welsh king that allegedly save Gansey's life seven years before the story takes place. Throughout the story, the characters talk about and refer Glendower, even though they do not directly interact with him. If the teenagers find Glendower and wake him up, they believe he will grant them a favor.

Other characters[edit]

The Psychics[edit]

At 300 Fox Way, a multitude of psychics come into play, including Orla, Neeve, Persephone, Calla, and Jimi. These women all use their abilities to help the group of teenagers find their way to Glendower, as well as using their abilities to make a living.

Artemus[edit]

One of Glendower's followers and Blue's biological father. Blue had never met him until she found and rescued him from the cave underneath Cabeswater. At 300 Fox Way, he shuts himself in a closet because he is terrified of Gwenllian.

Gwenllian[edit]

Gwenllian is the daughter of Glendower and is discovered face down in a stone coffin in Jesse Dittley's cave. She continuously speaks in riddles and sings randomly. She and Blue are alike in that they don't have normal psychic abilities but rather they mirror others abilities.

Henry Cheng[edit]

An Aglionby student of Korean and Chinese descent who is friends with Gansey and later befriends Blue. He sees Blue and Gansey when they are on a late night drive together. Later, he and Blue plan a trip to Venezuela.

Joseph Kavinsky[edit]

Referred to as Kavinsky, he has the same power as Ronan to pull things out of his dreams. He uses this ability to steal from his dreams, whereas Ronan asks for things. Kavinsky likes to race Ronan and has a field full of replicas of the same car. He uses his ability for his own selfish purposes and eventually dies because of a fire dragon he took from a dream.

Jesse Dittley[edit]

A minor character, Jesse Dittley's name is on the list of people that Neeve saw at the beginning of the story in the graveyard indicating his death within twelve months. Later, Blue and Gansey meet him and convince him to let them explore his cave, even though Dittley tells them that his family is cursed by it. In the cave, they find Gwenllian, and later Dittley reveals that strange creatures have been coming out of the cave, sometimes coming into the house. Piper Greenmantle kills him in order to enter the cave.

Piper Greenmantle[edit]

The wife of Colin Greenmantle, she first appears to be a woman who simply wants to be entertained. When Colin moves her to Henrietta, she takes up an interest in psychics and Tarot cards, and eventually she decides to go out and get what they came to Henrietta for. She hires two thugs herself and kills Jesse Dittley, entering his cave. After a cave-in, she wakes up and enters a room where a mysterious, non-human creature is in a tomb and she tells it to wake up.

TV adaptation[edit]

On April 10, 2017, it was announced that a TV adaptation of the series is in production, with Catherine Hardwicke attached to direct and produce, and Andrew Miller as its showrunner and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4)". Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Raven Boys | Maggie Stiefvater". Maggie Stiefvater. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Maggie Stiefvater's 'The Raven Cycle' to be adapted for TV". 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2017-04-11.