These last days of Spring have been filled with some of my favorite things – lots of reading and lots of corvids. As we’re nearing the midpoint of the calendar year, I’m just about on target with my reading goal of 100 books this year. And just this week, my beloved flock of seven neighborhood crows have begun showing up quite frequently, using a neighbor’s tree as a stopping point to share news and discuss their plans for the day. I love these little gatherings, and relish my opportunities to exchange crow pleasantries with my feathered friends. While my outer world is filled with Crows, my inner world is filled with Ravens.
I’m filing my next entry in the 100 Untimed Books challenge under prompt #81 – Kissing. And as this is a game without actual rules, I’m filing multiple books under this category.
First up is the Raven Cycle, a four-book young adult fantasy series Maggie Stiefvater, which includes the titles The Raven Boys, The Dream Thief, Blue Lily Lily Blue, and The Raven King.
These books have been on my radar for quite some time, and I’m not sure what took me so long to get to them, other than the enormity of my towering stack of must-reads. But what a treat. I read the first one and then listened to the final three as audiobooks. I won’t offer any spoilers, but the tale is about a search for a Welsh king’s grave, a family of psychics, a band of teenage friends attending a posh all-boys school, ley lines, an enchanted forest, magical trees and beings, a dreamer who can pull physical objects out of his dreams, tarot, mirror magic and the prophecy that a kiss will kill a true love.
In keeping with my practice of awarding a rating based on floriography, the language of flowers, giving a hint at the plot as well as my appraisal, I offer a bouquet composed of oak-leaved geranium for true friendship; vervain for enchantment; blackthorn for difficulty; bay leaf for “I change but in death;” and andromeda for self-sacrifice.
With all the goodness of ravens on my mind, and thinking about Raven Boys, I was reminded of another book I love, so I dug it out and re-read it. It fits perfectly as well in this prompt category #81 – kissing.
Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger, who is also the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s a fairy tale, a bit dark as all good fairy tales must be, about the love affair between a postman and a raven. How could I resist this?! They have a child, a raven girl trapped in a human body, and the story continues with what happens next.
I love the tale, and was even more enchanted to discover the back story. Niffenegger was approached by the choreographer of the Royal Ballet in London, Wayne McGregor, and asked to write a new fairytale which he turned into a ballet. How fun is that?
Using my floriography rating system, I award this book a nosegay of coronella for “success crown your wishes”; pimpernel for change; Scotch fir for elevation; and angrec for royalty.
Reading the tale reminded me of a favorite piece of art I own, a print by folk artist Rose Walton, entitled “What Mama Found.” It’s a wonderful piece of a mother holding a baby with a crow head and human body, and the baby is holding a crow doll. I love it.
So what magical things are you loving at the moment? Are you a crow/raven lover? Have a reading recommendation? Do tell – you know I love to hear.