review: the raven king

REVIEW: the raven king, by maggie stiefvaterThe Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Published by Scholastic on April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Friendship, General, Legends, Myths, Fables, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 439
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

the raven cycle

the raven king is emotional, unexpected, and more than what i’d ever dreamed it’d be.

series finales always worry me. i can’t wait to read them, but i also don’t want to read them for fear of disappointment and the knowledge that we won’t ever hear about these characters ever again. how morbid. but THE RAVEN KING is one of those rare conclusions that not only continue the story after the end, but also enhanced all the previous novels. it made all the previous books make much more sense.

i’d found the first three raven cycle books to be kinda murky and mysterious. the story follows a group of prep school boys and a psychic’s daughter to find a dead welsh king? it’s not exactly fantasy and it’s not exactly contemporary; it just is. but what am i really reading?????? all previous foreshadowing and misinterpreted references become clear. it’s like a veil is lifted and i suddenly UNDERSTAND. it’s so evident that maggie stiefvater knew how the story would play out before even starting THE RAVEN BOYS. everything just clicked together and the story was whole.

“I just want you to look at your future as a world where anything is possible.” (pg. 75, ebook)

the main thing that kept me entrapped in the series were the characters. each and every one of our characters are uniquely themselves. by the final book, you’d expect them to just be themselves but like real people, they continued to be infinitely complex and human. gansey, ronan, adam, noah, and blue are stripped apart (metaphorically) and we finally finally see them as who they are under these dire situations. it made me love them even more. a new-ish character is also introduced and I LOVE HIM. the relationships are great; the characters are great; everything is great.

“Humans were such tricky and complicated things. (pg. 371, ebook)

the most unexpected aspect of this experience (aka reading TRK) is how emotionally invested i was. if i’m being completely honest, the first three books left me feeling neutral. i enjoyed the story and cared for our characters, but that was just… it? but even from the prologue of TRK, i knew this book was going to be different. every other chapter made my hair stand on its end, made me take a moment to stop the rising tears, made me feel like my lungs were going to burst from the internal screams. it was strange and scary and exciting and refreshing, especially since i hasn’t felt this way about a book in a loooooooong time.

“When you dream, do you dream of the stars?” (pg. 288, ebook)

if you’d asked me before reading THE RAVEN KING, i’m not sure if i would recommend the series to you. not because i didn’t like it or anything, but because i felt that the strangeness might not be everyone’s cup of tea. but now? GO READ THIS SERIES. the writing is so good. the pacing is so good. the characters are so good. everything is so good. i usually try to be critical with my reviews, but there’s nothing i can say wrong about this conclusion. THE RAVEN CYCLE deserves all the hype it gets.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 5
  • Totally feel you on series finales, Xan! I still haven’t picked this last book (and BLLB) up, but reading your review now, I feel like I need to do so ASAP. I’m very ready to be emotionally invested and get into these amazing characters that Stiefvater created. Exciting to hear that there’s a new person to meet too! Adore those quotes you shared btw!

  • Aine Grace

    Basically The Raven King was a feels destroyer. I’m the same as you, where I always worry about going into series finales, but it was amazing and I shouldn’t have doubted Maggie Stiefvater. I think my favorite part about this series was the characters, and this book gave them the perfect endings.

  • I think I need to start this series. I want to get on this hype!

  • AFJDLKASD I HAVE SUCH INFINITE LOVE FOR THIS SERIES I COULD EXPLODE. *proceeds to combust* I never felt neutral bahahhah so TRK was just an explosion for me. I was actually super anxious reading it that I’m planning to re-read REALLY soon to take in all the stuff I missed because I was just so desperate to know the ending. 😂 I agree it is kind of an odd series and I get why it wouldn’t appeal to just anyone, but it TOTALLY stole my heart. My ships sailed. The ending was perfect. My heart exploded. <3 I couldn't ask for more.

  • Pingback: 19 Thoughts When Reading: The Raven King | Maggie Stiefvater | The Quiet People()

  • TaraM

    i just finished The Raven King and i one-hundred percent agree with you about this series! it’s absolutely amazing!!!