Books you need to read right now so some books, like Percy Jackson or Raven Boys have big happy fandoms and thats GREAT but here are some books I feel are just as good but never seem to have gotten the love they should

The Half Bad Trilogy (Half Bad, Half Wild, Half Lost) Bisexual main character, epic gay love story, Harry Potter by way of Raven Boys, go read them, cry.

Young Wizards (So You Want to Be a WizardDeep Wizardry, High Wizardry,  A Wizard AbroadThe Wizard’s Dilemma, A Wizard Alone) before there are a Harry Potter there was Nita and Kit, hispanic main character, a gay couple (in the 1980s no less!) magic by way of Star Trek

The Old Kingdom (SabrielLiraelAbhorsen) do you want Lord of the Rings with a bad-ass woman lead? and way more magic? okay go read this, maybe the richest fantasy world ever written

The Dark Is Rising (Over Sea, Under StoneThe Dark Is RisingGreenwitchThe Grey King, Sliver on the Tree) the classic of classics, one part Narnia, one part Lord of the Rings, and one part Harry Potter, weird and otherworldly 

Bartimaeus Sequence (The Amulet of SamarkandThe Golem’s EyePtolemy’s Gate) Steampunk magic, grubby Victorian London with demons and snobbish wizards and one sassy djinni

The Keys to the Kingdom (Mister MondayGrim TuesdayDrowned WednesdaySir ThursdayLady FridaySuperior SaturdayLord Sunday) steampunk clockwork weirdness, really I can’t think of a book to compare these too, a well realized and original world with lovable characters 

PC Peter Grant (Rivers of LondonMoon Over SohoWhispers Under GroundBroken HomesFoxglove Summer) With a mixed race main character and black goddesses it’s a diverse cast, Harry Potter as an all grown up police book, very smart and well written 

so go read them, now, come on what you waiting for? well I’ll be waiting, let me know if you do read any of them? 

And I’d grown up not just in England, but in a land of fantasy. Though I was the kind of child who (like you, perhaps) read anything and everything, my true love was deep make-believe, from fairy stories to all the buried archetypes of folk tale and myth. Then when I went to the University of Oxford to study English literature, two professors named Tolkien and Lewis made sure that our syllabus stopped at the year 1832, so that we were soaked in the earliest fantasies of all: Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory’s Le Morte d'Arthur, Spencer’s The Faerie Queene. As a friend of mine said, ‘They taught us to believe in dragons.’
—  Susan Cooper, Preface to the The Dark is Rising
The Formulation of A Quartet: Understanding The Raven Cycle in Conjunction with the Myth.

One of the key things in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle is the establishment of a series of parallels between our main quartet - Gansey, Blue, Ronan and Adam - and the medieval quartet - Glendower, Gwenllian, Artemus & The Third Sleeper. It’s become especially pertinent as of Blue Lily Lily Blue and will, I imagine, continue to be so in The Raven King.

However, the parallels aren’t only between the main quartet and the medieval quartet. There’s a background parallel likely familiar to anyone familiar with the Arthurian Legend, that of the Arthurian quartet - Arthur, Merlin, Gwen & Morgana - and also influences that are being taken, by Stiefvater’s own admission, of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence and the trio formed of Bran, Will and Jane.

Each of these groups is different, with their own relationship amongst the members and their own outcome of the story. But there are striking commonalities between the quartets and the individual roles played by each of the members, and in analysing these it becomes possible to start extrapolating possible endings and events of The Raven King, and what it will mean for each of The Raven Cycle trio.

Keep reading

“On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
Must the youngest open the oldest hills
Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
And the silver eyes that see the wind,
And the light shall have the harp of gold.

By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
On Cadfan’s Way where the kestrels call;
Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
To break their sleep and bid them ride.

When light from the lost land shall return,
Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
And where the midsummer tree grows tall
By Pendragon’s sword the Dark shall fall.

Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
ac y mae’r arglwyddes yn dod.”

The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands – your hands and the hands of the children of all men on this earth. The future cannot blame the present, just as the present cannot blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.

For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy this world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy.

And the world will still be imperfect, because men are imperfect. Good men will still be killed by bad, or sometimes by other good men, and there will still be pain and disease and famine, anger and hate. But if you work and care and are watchful, as we have tried to be for you, then in the long run the worse will never, ever, triumph over the better. And the gifts put into some men, that shine as bright as Eirias the sword, shall light the dark corners of life for all the rest, in so brave a world.


Merriman Lyon, The Dark is Rising: Silver on the Tree

sketch’s list of profound literary characters and quotes 1/?

Roots and Beginnings: The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

In the “Roots and Beginnings” series (title swiped from Tolkien; if you’re gonna steal, steal from the best) I’ll be checking in on a semi-regular basis to talk about the works that helped jumpstart my lifelong love of the literature of the fantastic. I’d like to start with The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper.

As a kid I tended to prefer off-model fantasies like this to books that were more directly indebted to Professor T. I’m not sure why. Could it be that I understood the principle of diminishing returns even then? At any rate, while I never touched Brooks or Jordan I nevertheless remained firmly planted in the fantasy section of the local library, and this series in particular stuck in my memory long after I read it. I re-read the whole thing a couple years ago and was struck by how much of the “action” consisted simply of a series of revelations and recitations of the rules that secretly governed the two warring sides in a light-vs.-dark magical war dating from the dawn of time and structured around the Arthurian legends, mostly of Wales. In lesser hands this would be a disappointment – after all, characters standing around lobbing infodumps at one another is not usually such stuff as dreams are made of.

What made the series work is its enormously evocative sense of place and of season. The Dark Is Rising is the second book in the series and the first one I read (Over Sea, Under Stone never made it into the YA section, I’m afraid), and it takes place before, during, and just after Christmas in a quiet English village. I’ve never experienced a quiet English village at Christmastime or any other time, but Cooper makes me feel that I have: a snow-covered, numinous world of ancient carols and repurposed paganism, kindly vicars and icy candlelit windows, holly and “In the Bleak Midwinter,” holidays in honor of saints and holy men during which the world beyond draws nearer to our own.

Thinking about it now, this is what appeals to me about Christmastime in general, despite my thoroughly lapsed Catholicism. The holiday season is nothing more or less than a collective decision by society to transform itself. Suddenly everyone’s wearing red and green. Suddenly the music on the radio is redolent of sleigh bells and strings. Suddenly you drive around your neighborhood and it’s lit up like Lothlorien. Suddenly you’re thinking about giving everyone you care about presents just to make them happy. Suddenly the social imperative is kindness to your fellow human beings. Whatever your objections to commercialism, or to the religious component or lack thereof, this is nothing more or less than a massive work of magic, isn’t it? We’ve taken the everyday world and made something new and exciting out of it by sheer force of will. What a brilliant idea to harness this for your story of a boy chosen to turn back the Dark.

The rector stood up, his smooth, plump face creased in an effort to make sense of the incomprehensible. “Certainly it has gone,” he said, looking slowly around the church. “Whatever–influence it was. The Lord be praised.” He too looked at the Signs on Will’s belt, and he glanced up again, smiling suddenly, an almost childish smile of relief and delight. “That did the work, didn’t it? The cross. Not one of the church, but a Christian cross, nonetheless.”

“Very old, them crosses are, rector,” said Old George unexpectedly, firm and clear. “Made a long time before Christianity. Long before Christ.”

The rector beamed at him. “But not before God,” he said simply.

The Old Ones looked at him. There was no answer that would not have offended him, so no one tried to give one. Except, after a moment, Will.

“There’s not really any before and after, is there?” he said. “Everything that matters is outside Time. And comes from there and can go there.”

Mr Beaumont turned to him in surprise. “You mean infinity, of course, my boy.”

“Not altogether,” said the Old One that was Will. “I mean the part of all of us, and of all the things we think and believe, that has nothing to do with yesterday or today or tomorrow because it belongs at a different kind of level. Yesterday is still there, on that level. Tomorrow is there too. You can visit either of them. And all Gods are there, and all the things they have ever stood for. And,” he added sadly, “the opposite, too.”

“Will,” said the rector, staring at him, “I am not sure whether you should be exorcised or ordained. You and I must have some long talks, very soon.”