Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is 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 Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
The series is written by Maggie Stiefvater and is set to be four books long. The first book in the series, The Raven Boys
, was released September 18, 2012. The second book, The Dream Thieves
, was released September 17, 2013.
The Raven Cycle contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Adam's dad.
- Aerith and Bob: 300 Fox Way is filled with women named Blue, Orla, and Neeve, but also Maura and Persephone.
- Badass Normal: So far, all of the main characters except for Gansey have some kind of supernatural affinity. Gansey's superpower is (basically) being a Kennedy.
- Bilingual Bonus: Latin is used frequently in the story and it's considered the one area where Ronan excels.
- Blessed with Suck: Blue's ability to enhance psychic powers. This is supposedly a rare and special gift, but Blue (for very legitimate reasons) fears that it means she'll spend her whole life on the sidelines, helping others do amazing things that she can never experience.
- Boarding School: Aglionby, though none of the boys live on campus.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Gansey, although he's pretty good at hiding it when he's in high society.
- Dead All Along: Noah. Though to be fair, he did tell them several times. They just never listened.
- Disappeared Dad: Blue's.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Grey Man is a remorseless professional killer, but he draws the line at kidnapping as part of his Heel-Face Turn.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Arguably, Niall Lynch. While not actually evil, he has a dubious past and his fair share of secrets, but he wanted his sons to live good lives.
- Five-Man Band
- Human Sacrifice: Noah.
- King in the Mountain: Owen Glendower, whom the boys are looking for.
- Kiss of Death: Blue is constantly reminded that if she kisses her true love, he will die.
- Last Name Basis: Gansey. His full name is rather pretentious on it's own, but combined with the fact that in his name Richard is shortened to "Dick"- he has a good reason to insist on his last name.
- Mistaken For Romance: Kavinsky thinks that Ronan's devotion to Gansey must be romantic (or at least sexual). In reality, Gansey is the older brother that Ronan actually wanted.
- Muggle Born of Mages: Blue is the only non-psychic in her family.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Not strictly speaking as we do learn what it is, but in Blue Sargent's family, her father is always referred to as "Butternut."
- Played straight with The Gray Man. For the most part.
- Red String of Fate: When Blue sees Gansey's spirit on the corpse road, she knows that he will almost certainly be her true love.
- More accurately, her family insists this is the case. Blue rejects this idea and instead pursues her feelings for Adam, not wanting her life to be dictated by Because Destiny Says So and prophecy.
- In-universe, it's more like Blue's family has been strangling her with the Red String her entire life.
- Running Gag: Jane and Butternut are used this way sometimes.
- Scholarship Student: Adam.
- Straight Gay: In the second book we find out Ronan Lynch is gay. It's implied that Kavinsky is queer as well, though given Blue's mentions of him being famous at her school as a user and abuser, chances are high he falls more into the Depraved Bisexual category.
- Tarot Troubles: Unsurprising, since Blue's relatives are professional psychics.
- Team Pet: Chainsaw.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Adam in The Dream Thieves. Partially justified as a reaction to his father's abuse. It's also implied to partially be a result of his sacrifice at the end of the first book, though he gets better by the end of The Dream Thieves.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Ronan in The Dream Thieves, where he upgrades to Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- The Unfavorite: In the Lynch family, Ronan explains that he was Niall Lynch's favorite and youngest brother Matthew was Aurora Lynch's favorite, leaving eldest brother Declan to be no one's favorite.
- Wham Line: Maggie likes to end each book with one.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Gansey thinks Blue's name is silly and decides to call her "Jane" instead.
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: In The Dream Thieves when Gansey says "Blue" instead of "Jane," Blue knows something serious is going on.