in which welsh kings appear (part 1)

Hello, world.

As you can tell from today’s title and yesterday’s post, I have the slightest obsession with any and all things Welsh, particularly their mythology. I mean, how can you not love tales of King Arthur, of Merlin? The Welsh seem to me a bit wilder than the English, and I love them for that.


Let’s get real–there are far too many series (serieses? serii?) in this world to ever choose a favorite. However, for the past year, my soul has been obsessed with the wonderful, magical, peculiar Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.

Goodreads summary for the Raven Boys:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, 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 is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher 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 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.


(Oh look, it me.)

I don’t even know where to begin talking about these books because there is so much to say. Whenever I tell people about them, I can’t even summarize the plot. How am I supposed to say yeah, the Raven Cycle is a series about a bunch of rag-tag teenagers in Virginia looking for the sleeping Welsh King Glendower on an ancient ley line. There’s mythology and cars and mint leaves and kisses and gelato and everyone is in love with everyone. Many people are dead or were once dead, and there are also psychics who are not cursed and non-psychics who are. Also, magic is a thing.

Sounds weird, right?

Hear me out.

The thing I love most about these books are the characters and their relationships with each other. Maggie Stiefvater is the literal QUEEN of creating full, complex characters that feel like reading the mirror of your own soul. (Richard Campbell “He couldn’t stand it, all of this inside him” Gansey III is literally me.) Each character seems to breathe with life and I honestly love every single one–except maybe Kavinsky. (He’s kind of the worst.) As Stiefvater has said herself, this is a friendship series, meaning that one of the main elements and themes is the friendship between the main characters. And let me tell you, those friendships are a gift to God’s good earth. I feel a better person for knowing these characters.

The writing itself is the absolute loveliest. I’ve been a fan of Maggie’s lyrical writing since I first picked up a copy of Shiver when I was fourteen. Each time I read her books, I alternately sigh and despair at the beauty of her writing. She combines poetry and mythology and pure magic in such a way that I cannot begin to describe. Every word and punctuation is chosen so carefully, so lovingly. But seriously, how do lines like “she recognized that strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big it felt like sadness” even exist? TELL ME, MAGGIE STIEFVATER.

Also, Blue and Gansey, aka Bluesey, aka Glue, is the greatest thing to ever exist.

That’s all there is.

(Actually, I could say so much more about this series, but I’m going to keep it at a minimum to prevent this post from being a novel all its own. Also, I want people to discover the novels for themselves. Also, tomorrow’s post is also about this series, so … )

Tune in tomorrow at noon for the next post.

*Credit for the featured art at the top of the post goes to Queen Maggie herself*



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