6 reasons I love The Raven Boys // celebrating its’ 10 year anniversary

Hi everyone!

Today marks the 10 year release anniversary of The Raven Boys, the first book in the four book series The Raven Cycle. It’s so strange to think that the series started 10 years ago; I still remember picking up the book not long after its’ release, after finding it in my local library. I had no idea how much of an impact that the book and subsequent sequels would have on me.


Part of a clairvoyant family, Blue has spent sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die.

So when she meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road, Blue knows that either he is her true love – or she has killed him.

The boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and he is a student at Aglionby, a wealthy local private school. With three other mysterious and privileged boys, he is on a quest to find the grave of Glendower – a Welsh king buried somewhere on a Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey really her true love – the one she is destined to kill? Blue never fully believed in the prophecy. But as she is caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I recently finished my re-read of The Raven Boys and it has reminded me of all the reasons I love the book and the series overall, which is why I decided to make this post! It’s such a magical series and I’ve managed to just about narrow down the main reasons I loved it so much. A special thanks to my friends Cossette and Mansi for contributing the reasons they enjoyed the books too!

Note: I’ve managed to avoid discussing spoilers for the series for the most part — but please do skip the last part (the foreshadowing) for spoilers about the rest of The Raven Cycle.


strong maternal relationships

Starting off with something I don’t see often in YA books! While the male characters in the story have strained or distant or non-existent (sorry Ronan) relationships with their parents, Blue has a strong relationship with her mother and the women of 300 Fox Way. Parental relationships aren’t something you see often in YA novels (at least, not back in 2012) so it was touching to see how much Blue and her mother cared for each other, and how familial the relationships with the other women in 300 Fox Way were too.

Maura (Blue’s mother) and her two best friends are constantly looking out for Blue and are there to offer her advice. While we still get to see the teenage rebellion and angst, it’s lovely that we are able to see these familial relationships too, and see them play a bigger role in the latter books!

the friendships/found family trope

The friendships in the raven cycle is perhaps the main reason I keep coming back to the story. The way Stiefvater writes about the friendships between all the main characters is so magical and stunning. It’s immediately made known in the first 50 pages how much the boys mean to each other — especially to Gansey.

The Raven Cycle is so special to me because, when I read it, I think it appealed to certain aspects of me that really resonated with certain elements. One of the key elements was the core friend group in the Gangsey, and how they were always together or looking forward to being together, and I loved that. I’ve seen that in my own friendships and how I love my friends deeply and know it runs back.


While they’re a misfit group of friends, Gansey cares so deeply for Adam, Ronan, and Noah — and soon Blue too when she enters the mix. Despite Ronan’s boorish behaviour following his father’s death, Gansey won’t give up on his friend and continues to look out for him. And while Gansey loves to put his foot in his mouth when he talks and can be completely oblivious (especially about money), Adam views him with a lot of respect and love.

After hearing about The Raven Cycle for ages, I finally caved and picked up The Raven Boys early into the pandemic. As fate would have it, I started the series on St. Mark’s Eve, and simply couldn’t put the series down. Since I couldn’t really leave my house due to quarantine, and so reading about all these wonderful characters going on adventures, with such strong friendships, was cathartic and soothing in a way. There are so many reasons to love The Raven Cycle: the found family, forbidden love, magic, quests, — but my favorite is really, how it’s a story about love of all kinds, how love is healing, and the character development and growth.


Let’s not even talk about how much Noah loves and cares for them. This is routinely made obvious throughout the whole story. It’s the first time Blue has had a group of friends, and what a group to fall in with, because these kids all love each other so much and have such a magical (albeit maybe codependent) friendship.

characters & development

The Raven Boys introduces a group of great characters who, while also making up a beautiful friend group, are all interesting in their own right, and whom continue to grow into fascinating characters.

When we first meet the characters of The Raven Cycle, they’re all a little lost in their own ways. Gansey, with his quest to find a lost king, is genuinely one of my favorite literary characters of all time. Watching him, as well as the rest of the Gangsey grow into their own is truly so lovely, and Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so cozy and simply transports you into the story as well. 


Cossette and I share a love for Gansey who, at first, appears to be a teenager chasing some ridiculous fantasy about discovering a legend. The more you get to know him, the more you see him as a lonely lost boy looking for some sort of purpose in his second chance at life. It makes every action of his even more heartbreaking when you remember that it’s predicted that this is the year he will die, and all you can do is watch him spend his time chasing an adventure with his friends.

I could go on and on about the other characters, but I always come back to Adam Parrish. Like all the other characters, Adam has a complicated life, but his story is likely more relatable than the others (we’re not all rich and middle-class, or from a family of psychics). Stiefvater is able to capture Adam’s home life and abuse, and the effects it has one him, incredibly well and handle the situation very delicately. Reading Adam’s journey and character growth on how he is able to leave a terrible situation was so moving and powerful, and one that meant so much to me as a teenager.

use of magic

Contemporary fantasy is one of my favourite genres, and I think The Raven Boys may have started my love for them. It’s very easy to slip into a world that’s familiar, just with some magic thrown in. TRB builds the foundation of magic the series is built on, which the series begins to explore and develop as the books go on.

I also greatly enjoyed the element of magic and just the wonder that, especially in the first book, when they discover Cabeswater, that Blue and Gansey continuously feel, they really just wanted to know magic was real and it was enough for them and I definitely resonated with that too.


the romance

The meet-ugly trope, opposite of the meet-cute, is perhaps one of my favourite tropes when it comes to romances. It’s just such a funny way to be introduced to a love interest, and it was hilarious to read it in The Raven Boys.

From the first chapter, it’s heavily hinted that Gansey is Blue’s true love, so the reader is building up an expectation that their first meeting will be absolutely magical. Instead, I don’t think Gansey could have stumbled on his words any more than when he first spoke to Blue. It threw my expectations out of the water and still makes me cringe and laugh to this day.

Later on in the series we get to see another romance (which I will avoid talking about here because spoilers!) but it’s another that I adore. It’s incredibly sweet and a lovely slow burn, and genuinely so heart-warming.

feel free to skip this section because of spoilers!

elements of foreshadowing

Rereading the raven boys for the upteenth time has resulted in me picking up so much foreshadowing. There is the very obvious one about Noah — “I’ve been dead for seven years,” is a heck of a way to introduce yourself, but the realisation that it’s a genuine statement makes it even more shocking — but there are so many other little moments to hint at future events.

It makes me appreciate the series more, since I’m able to pick out something new every time and see the thought that went into it. Like I said, it’s not just the small quips of “‘I’ve been dead for seven years'” and “He had an overpowering chemical scent of manly shower gel. The sort that […] was called something like […] BLUNT TRAUMA.'” (this is the funniest one for me, rip Noah).

There’s also the small hints of Ronan being a dreamer, of Cabeswater being dreamt, of the role Blue’s father has to play. There is so much set up for the last book (“Don’t throw it away,” Noah repeatedly says in The Raven Boys and then once more in The Raven King) which makes the series so rewarding to reread.


I could go on and on about why I enjoyed the series, and how much fun I had rereading it! Feel free to check out my playlist for it too if you’d like:

Thank you again to Mansi and Cossette for the help! I’m also so grateful to all the friends I made through reading the books — to read such a beautiful series about friendship and also make friends due to it makes it even more meaningful to me.


Thank you for reading!
Have you read the raven cycle? did you enjoy it?


15 thoughts on “6 reasons I love The Raven Boys // celebrating its’ 10 year anniversary

  1. The first time I read this book it filled with me with overwhelming nostalgia for hanging out with my friend group in high school. Stiefvater did an excellent, excellent job at making you feel like you were friends with these characters. Every one of them is unique, and every one of them has their own role to play in the story, which seems to be so rare these days. I love this series, and I loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS POST HELLO. i am obsessed with your thoughts and reasons and everyone else’s excerpts and the quotes!!! the relationships in this series are so wonderful and rewarding. also, i didn’t realize the extent of the foreshadowing, so i’m excited to potentially reread this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ahh… this post is perfect! 😍 the raven cycle is a favourite of mine too, it is such a well written series and you’ve touched on so many elements that made it what it is.
    The friendships are definitely the heart of the series because they all genuinely cared so much. Then, of course, the characters! I loved how it explored sides of them that are imperfect, such as Adam being so stubborn, but provided the context of what made the characters like that. It made them feel so real that I got attached very quickly.
    ahh.. the foreshadowing and magic too! ✨ SO AMAZING ✨ you’ve made me want to re-read them again 🤭
    again, I LOVED THIS POST!!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really love this series and you’ve hit on so many reasons why! And, to me, it just feels so original. The blending of the fantasy, the mythology, and the present day isn’t quite like any other YA book I’ve read. I love that Stiefvater dares to do something different, when so often it seems like publishers want the same old thing that they know will sell.

    Now I just need to get a copy of Greywaren!

    Liked by 1 person

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