At first I didn’t want to read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle because it seemed too different and strange from the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series, and I loved Shiver and it’s sequels so much that I think I was afraid that nothing would be able to compare. However, once I began reading The Raven Cycle, I almost immediately realized that I had more in common with this series than any I had read before. Not because I’ve been to a boy’s boarding school. (That would be difficult as I’m a woman). Not because I’ve grown up in a house full of wacky female seers. (That would also be difficult as everyone is my family is Baptist and scoffs at the idea of fortune-telling). But because I’m an aspiring Virginia author who has described Virginia nature (and especially magical Virginia nature) in very similar ways. It wasn’t until reading The Raven Cycle and Maggie’s descriptions of Cabeswater that I realized how much Virginia nature has influenced my own descriptions of magic and nature in my short stories and young adult fantasy novel. It was both affirming and exciting to see so many similarities in the work of an author who I intensely respect and enjoy reading. And it also restored for me a little of the magic that I found in Virginian forests as a child and had, with time, dissipated as life tends to do to childish fantasies.