Maggie Stiefvater Talks Life After The Raven Cycle

Make way for The Raven King: On April 26, The Raven King , the fourth and final installment in the beloved The Raven Cycle series, hits bookstores everywhere, and fans have many, many burning questions: Will Ronan and Adam become canon? Will they find the Glendower? Will Gansey actually die?

If you're unfamiliar with the series, here's a quick rundown of the plot: The Raven Cycle follows four teenage boys from the prestigious Aglionby Academy in Virginia: Richard Gansey III, Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, and Noah Czerny. After being killed in a bee attack (and brought back to life) as a child, Gansey has been on an unstoppable mission to uncover the truth behind Virginia's mysterious "ley lines" and the secret of the ancient Welsh king, Glendower, whom he believes is buried somewhere on the ley lines. His search for Glendower accelerates when he meets Blue, a townie from a family of psychics. Since birth, Blue's fate has been written in the stars: if she ever kisses her one true love, he will die. Thus, she avoids boys — especially Aglionby boys. But when she meets Gansey and his friends, she gets sucked into their search — and she finds herself falling a little bit in love with them all. Despite her growing love for the Raven Boys, she cannot forget one simple truth: her psychic family predicts that Gansey will die before the next St. Mark's Eve.

Author Maggie Stiefvater loves taunting fans on social media about the fate of the beloved Richard Gansey III. Tomorrow, readers will finally learn the fate of Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, Blue, and all their quirky band of family and friends. I chatted with Stiefvater about The Raven King, and attempted to get some answers about the fates of my four favorite fictional teenage boys. Read it all below, and get The Raven King on April 26.

First off, should readers purchase a box of tissues along with a copy of The Raven King?

I don’t cry while reading books, so I’m not sure I’m the person to ask. I feel like your sleeve would do fine. Long-sleeves if you’re a snotty crier, I guess.

Now that the series is ending, is there one question you won’t miss answering? (Besides “Is Gansey really going to die?”)

“Will Ronan x Adam be canon?”

Really, any question that asks me to reveal major emotional beats of the next book makes me dress in black and put on a lot of eyeliner and stare resentfully and silently into the middle distance. I put a lot of thought into the emotional tension and when readers ask me to skip right to the answer without waiting for the context, it feels incredibly cheaty.

Secrets and tricks, that’s all I’ve got, and they’re only fun if you let them play out in order.

Throughout the novels, it feels like we’ve gotten a good sense of who Ronan, Gansey and Blue are, but Adam Parrish still remains a bit of a mystery. Even his appearance is described as “curious” or “alien,” and he, at least, seems to think he’s “unknowable.” How would you describe Adam in three words?

What! No way. Eying the fandom from a lengthy distance away, I’m pretty sure it’s Gansey who no one really knows. He presents his dazzling princely face to the world, and the world believes that is all of him. I’m excited for readers to overturn some of his secrets in the last book.

Speaking of Adam: should we anticipate more heartbreaking Adam Parrish moments in the new book?

There are terrible bits and great bits for him in the last book. There’s a bit with his watch that I find very satisfying, but I don’t think it counts as terrible or great. I just like it.

You posted on Facebook that you wrote two kisses into The Raven King. Can you at least tell us where the kisses take place?

On the mouth.

That being said, any possibility of Ronan x Adam becoming canon?

I won’t miss not answering this one.

[Editors Note: Oops.]

You tweeted that your The Raven Cycle hangover had finally ended, and you had written down your next “series-shaped” idea. Can you tell us a little bit about your forthcoming novels and what comes next?

If you’re the Tumbling sort, you can actually follow my lumpy progress with my next two standalone novels by following the #darknovel and #girlnovel tags on my Tumblr. The first is the YA standalone that I’m working on now — about creepy Colorado magic — and the second is a standalone adult novel — about a pack of girl street-racers. The series will happen after that, because I need to orchestrate it more still. I like to have my novels planned out a few years in advance when I can.

How do you plan to celebrate the release of The Raven King and the ending of The Raven Cycle?


No, but actually, the reward for finishing a project is giving myself permission to dive into another one. I’m sad to put down this toy — I’ve been playing with it for over a decade — but I’m excited about picking up new ones. Excelsior, and all that.

What will you miss most about Gansey, Ronan, Noah, Adam and Blue?

I don’t miss characters; I miss settings. And I will miss the Barns. It’s been awhile since I gave it away, and I don’t regret it, but I never stop missing it.

Will Gansey ever stop calling Blue "Jane"?

If one looks carefully, one will see that Gansey uses both “Jane” and “Blue” in the series, and there is an emotional rule for which one he uses (this is true of many things Gansey uses other names for — “Ronan” and “Lynch” are used at different times, as are “Adam” and “Parrish,” and “the Camaro” and “the Pig.”) That means that the reader will be able to answer this question for themselves, if they can figure out the rule. Secrets and tricks, that’s all I’ve got.

Images: c_arreola/Instagram