Happy One Year Anniversary to The Raven King and Maggie Stiefvater!

April 2016 was our most successful month page views wise.  We had 589 views, which beat our previous record of 552 in December 2015. It made me wonder what were we writing about a year ago to get so much traffic.  Well, The Raven Cycle and Maggie Stiefvater.  It’s hard to believe that the The Raven King came out a year ago.  That it has been a year since we found out if Gansey, Blue, Ronan and Adam would find the sleeping Welsh King and If Blue and Gansey would kiss and if Gansey would die.  Those mysteries have been solved.  Thankfully, we know that we haven’t read the last of the Gang as Maggie is working on a trilogy about Ronan. Whee!!!

And we have another Maggie book coming in October.  So we have a lot to look forward to but let’s take a moment, in honor of the 1 year anniversary of the release of The Raven King and the end of the The Raven Cycle, to look at everything we have ever written about the series.

What I’m Listening to Now: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Public Service Announcement

What I’m Thankful for

Cover Reveal: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Books that Rocked My Face off, Part two

Let’s Do Some Reading: Goals for 2015

Cover Reveal: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Discussion Posts: Re-reading series before the new installment comes out

Books that Rocked My Face Off in 2015

What I Can’t Wait to Read in 2016

First Listen of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Countdown to The Raven King!

What I’m ReReading Now: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Observations on The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Observations on The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Observations on Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

My To-Read List for the next month or so

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 1

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 2

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 3

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 4

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 5

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 6

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 7

What I’m Reading Now: THE RAVEN KING BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER

What I’m Listening to: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Our Top 5 Posts of 2016

My Top 10 Books I read in 2016

Top Eight for 2016!

Th Raven Cycle as a TV Show Yes Please

Th Raven Cycle as a TV Show Yes Please

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SQUEE!  This is the most fantastic news!  I’m so happy that it’s being adapted for TV and not a movie because  a 2 hour movie could never hold the likes of  Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam and Noah.  This would be perfect for as a Netflix show or even maybe AMC.  I just hope they do it justice.

Thanks to Library-Mermaid on Tumblr for the gif.

In Memoriam of all the Series that Ended in 2016

In the tradition of award shows every way, we at Stacks would like to recognized those series that are no longer with us.  They have ended.  They and solved all their mysteries and tied up any loose ends.  We were said to see them go but they will always be remembered for the joy that brought to our lives.

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Our Top 5 Posts of 2016

2016 was a mix bag of a year but let’s focus on the positives,shall we?   This year was a banner year for us at Stacks.  In the last weeks of the year we are going to take a look back of some of our highlights.  So here are our most viewed posts of the past year.

  1. Review: Half Lost by Sally Green Who knew this was going to be such big crowd pleaser?  This book really broke my heart.  The ending was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.  I originally reviewed this back in January but we are still getting views.
  2. Preview of the Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan So this post is originally from 2015 but the excitement over Riordan’s new book carried over into 2016.  It’s views more then doubled my review of the book.  I’ll try not to read too much into that.  😉
  3. Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 1 My excitement over the The Raven King was subtle.  Okay, not so subtle.  This was the first of a week long celebration of Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series.  I examined different aspects of the series and tried to predict what was going to happen in the final book.
  4. Review: Endure by Sara B. Larson Another surprising addition to the list.  This review from January about the final book in Sara B. Larson’s book was a pretty good series.
  5. Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 2  and rounding out our top five is Part 2 of my The Raven Cycle love fest.

2016

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 4

the raven king Ronan is a greywaren.  He can bring items from his dreams.  Adam made a bargain with Cabeswater and now has a mystical connection with the forest and Blue is a mirror.  She reflects other’s powers off of them and makes them more powerful.  Gansey has brought together a powerful crew to assist him in his search.  Ronan has fully embraced his powers and seems to have a pretty good understanding of how it works and how it affects Cabeswater.  Adam is still learning how to use his new powers and how to communicate with Cabeswater.  Even though the death of Persephone was a blow to his learning, I got the sense that by the end of Blue Lily Lily Blue he was in a much better place.  How he and Ronan took control of the expedition into the cave the last time showed a new kind confidence in him that he didn’t have before.  Blue is wild card because she is just discovering her powers.  So how will all of their powers combine help with the search for Glendower?  You know that they will have to work together if they are going to find him.

Also, will Ronan figure out to save Matthew from the same fate as their mom?  (BTW, Ronan’s mom is named Aurora.  Do you know who else is named Aurora? Sleeping Beauty.  Guess who just made that connection?  Me, that’s who.) Will this have any effect on the search and Cabeswater? Will we find out more about the mask of Niall and how it relates to Adam?  Is Ronan also a little psychic too or was it just a random dream?  So many questions that need to be answered.

Part 1: The Role of New characters

Part 2: The Role of Characters who are not new but new to Henrietta..

Part 3: The Role of Persephone’s death.

Observations on Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

blue lilyAll the feels!  Re-reading this book just reaffirms how painful The Raven King is going to be.

  • What’s the deal with Henry Cheng?  I mean seriously?  Maggie has already said he is going to play a bigger part in the next book but what?  What was he doing out that late at night when Gansey and Blue run into him?
  • Speaking of, is there ever been a more romantic non-kiss.  It almost puts some actually literary kisses to shame!
  • I want to know more about Persephone’s backstory.  Actually I want a spin-off series that is just about Persephone, Maura and Calla.  Hey Maggie, can you make that happen?
  • Adam learned a very important lesson.  That it is okay to ask for help and even if you don’t ask, if a friend offers it’s not out of pity but out friendship.
  • Piper Greenmantle is not someone I would want to meet in a dark alley.  That woman is truly scary.
  • What is Gansey doing in the faculty lounge?  Does he already know he’s going to die and this is him making plans?
  • Why haven’t any written the Murder Squash song?
  • I love how all-in Ronan is to being Supernatural.  He’s owning is Greywareness!
  • Also how touching was his revelation about Matthew?  How he’s working on saving him.  With what happened in the cave, do you think he’s figured it out.
  • I like Blue and Ronan’s relationship. For all his guff, Ronan can’t help but care.  He saved her from falling twice, once in the beginning of the book and in the end and then stayed behind in the dark to make sure she got to the other side.  He’s a class act when he wants to be.
  • What kind of man buries their daughter, face down in a grave for robbers to find? Maybe Glendower isn’t worth it after all.
  • Jesse Dittley wasn’t kidding when he said his cave was cursed.  May he Rest In Peace
  • Never Scrying by yourself kids.

So, we are now two weeks away from the release of The Raven King and the anticipation is just killing me.  Will they find Glendower?  Will Blue and Gansey finally kiss and will it kill him?  Will Ronan and Adam kiss? Who is the third sleeper? Is it a huge spider because I am not okay with that! What has Neeve been doing all this time?  I have so many questions that I hope to get answered soon.  Dear readers, what are your questions for The Raven King?

Observations on The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

ravenSo it turns out that I never did a review of The Raven Boys. I guess that makes sense since it did come out in 2012 and well, Stacks did launch in 2012 but it took us two years to really get things going here.  Check out Kate’s review and now a few observations.

  • Richard Gansey III is smooth with the ladies, amorite? Blue’s and Gansey’s meet-cute may not be all that cute but it was pretty funny and a perfect set up to their relationship.  Gansey is earnest but a little clueless but also shows how much both have changed throughout the series.
  • On that note, Adam is a pretty smooth operator with the ladies.
  • I love the way Ronan is described as he is more a sharp object then a person.
  • Is Barrington Whelk the worst name ever?
  • Neeve is shifty you didn’t have to be a psychic to figure that out.
  • Does anyone else want a floor plan of 300 Fox Way? and Does anyone else want to live there? I do.
  • Speaking of, I want to have drinks with Maura, Calla and Persephone and I’m not sure there is ever too much vodka.
  • You have to love a book that features Welsh history and Latin as major plot points.
  • Adam makes me so sad but I love him.  He hasn’t excepted his situation as how things have to be and is doing something about it.  I think he’s actually the best thing to happen to Gansey and Ronan.
  • Blue is amazing.  She is not afraid to stand up for herself. I also think she is the best thing to happen to Gansey.  She challenges his perception of what it means to be poor.  While Adam lives the life Gansey assumes all poor people live and life with violence and little love.  Blue’s home life doesn’t fit that.  It may be chaotic with all those women live in 300 Fox Way but it’s definitely a house full of love.
  • Poor Noah.  How many times did he tell people he was dead?
  • Neeve will show up eventually.  You think so?
  • Adam what have you done? Next time you sacrifice yourself, know what you getting yourself into.
  • How adorable is Ronan with Chainsaw?
  • Speaking of Ronan, if you could bring anything from your dreams what would it be?

Ok, now onto The Dream Thieves.  It’s my favorite one so far.  Also, 20 more days until The Raven King!

Review: Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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I did not expect to binge read Dream Thieves on Thanksgiving. But, I did and now I have to slow my roll down because the fourth book doesn’t come out until Spring. The Raven Cycle is about a group of teens who are looking for a medieval Welsh King rumored to be sleeping somewhere in America. If you wake him, he will grant you a wish.

From here there are spoilers for The Raven Boys.

This novel picks up where Raven Boys left off. Ronan can pull things from his dreams and make them real. Adam woke the ley line and is now its hands and eyes. Noah is still dead and Gansey is still Gansey. Blue is still a not-psychic in a family of psychics. Adam and Blue are kind of together, as together as you can be when your kiss can kill. There is a lot of pain in this novel. Adam doesn’t get why Blue keeps him at arm’s length. Blue can’t help that she’s falling for Gansey. Ronan is still broken from losing his father. None of them understand why Adam went off on his own and, as he grows into what the ley line needs him to be he feels isolated. Gansey is beat up over feeling like he’s losing Adam and he’s at a loss for what to do with Ronan at times. Oh, and Noah keeps reliving his death.

And, now some spoilers for this novel.

In addition to all the growing pains, we learn more about Blue’s family. Persephone has a connection to Adam, we find out. We also meet the Gray man who is there as a bounty hunter to collect whatever allows Ronan to steal things from dreams. I really enjoyed the subplot with the Gray man and Maura and I hope that he continues to be part of the next book. We also learn a little more about Gansey’s and Ronan’s families.

A lot of this novel really focused on Ronan, his ability and its connection to the ley line. I liked Ronan a lot as a character in the first book but he was a little one dimensional. He was Gansey body guard and enforcer. So it was interesting to get some Ronan point of view in this novel. He’s got a lot of anger and also a lot of questions surrounding his father’s life and death. Unraveling the mystery of Niall Lynch not only pushes the narrative forward but also gives Ronan some much needed character development.

We also get a lot of point of view from Adam. We learned about his family in the first novel and we got to see a lot of fall out related to that in this one. We also got to see why this quest and the ley line mean so much to him. Some of the scenes where we see Adam and Gansey together actually lead to some much needed character development for Gansey as well.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I needed to know what happened next. But, I have to say that Adam repeatedly broke my heart. That kid, man. He deserves better.

I am really looking forward to the next novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Review: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

It’s been on our minds. It’s been in our posts. I’ve been re-reading. The Fourth book in the Raven Cycle comes out early next year and I want to get you as excited about the books as we are.
I am here to pump you up.

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via GIPHY

The Raven Cycle is about a quest to find a sleeping King.  Like all quest stories, it involves a band of merry companions who all have their secrets, their desires and their heartaches.  Our Quest Squad contains the Raven Boys: Richard Campbell Gansey III, Ronan N. Lynch, Adam Parrish and the on-again, off-again Noah Czerny who are accompanied by the not-psychic Blue Sargent.  They are searching Henrietta, Virginia for a ley line that should lead them to a Welsh King that was buried in America.  A medieval Welsh king.  I am kind of a Cymruphile so that one little detail was really all my sister had to say to sell me on these books. A Welsh king buried in America and prophesied to return to unite the Welsh and end English tyranny? Sign. Me. Up.
The first installment of the books brings the team together.  Blue Sargent is the only non-psychic in a psychic family and a townie in Henrietta, Virginia home to Ivy League Feeder School Aglionby Academy. Blue’s family run a tarot card reading business and a psychic phone hotline. The Raven Boys are students at the fancy college prep.  Adam is a scholarship kid, Ronan Lynch appears to be the son of a gangster, Noah is quiet, unassuming and fuzzy around the edges, and Gansey is Old Virginia money and the driving force behind the quest for the Welsh King.  Blue keeps crossing paths with the boys in ways that make their teaming up seem fated and inevitable. They have to wake the ley line before someone else gets to it and harnesses its power. Of course, no quest for long forgotten item would be complete without opposing teams questing for the same thing.
This book was a lot of fun to read.  I enjoy all of the characters and I particularly like how they all have their definite strengths and their weaknesses.  Ronan is violent where Gansey is diplomatic.  Adam is thoughtful where the other boys are thoughtless. Blue is grounded where everyone else has their head in the clouds.  On top of the main story of Blue and the Raven Boys, there is a subplot involving Blue’s family that is also complex and interesting.  I cannot wait to see how the series plays out.
So, you should get in on this.  Quests, Kings, Psychics, ley lines, treasure maps, bad guys, flawed good guys, and, I can’t believe I’ve waited until now to mention this, trees that speak Latin!