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.
Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 439
Publishing Date: Apr. 26th, 2016
Wow. Wow wow wow. This book was the conclusion to The Raven Cycle series and it honestly left me speechless. I had to take a few days to collect my thoughts before writing this review because I honestly wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about this book and how I felt about the ending, but now that I’ve been able to process the entire story, I’ve finally been able to come to an inference regarding this book and this series as a whole.
I absolutely loved this book. I really did. However, there were a couple of minor problems that evidently caused me to lower my rating of this to an honest 4/5 stars. Nevertheless, I really fell in love with this story and all of the characters, and this book was a really great ending for them all.
The characters that can be found within this story are so refreshing and vibrant. I felt like there was a piece of myself in every character and that made me get so completely attached to them. The plot that has been developing throughout the past three books really took a turn in this book and it went in a direction that I didn’t think it would go and it was shocking and heartbreaking and heartwarming and there were so many emotions that I’m just going to have to dive into the spoiler part of this review in order to fully expand my thoughts about this book!
The rest of this review contains spoilers.
I had a few minor problems with the plot of this book and, at first, I gave this book 5 stars because I was so overwhelmed with nostalgic emotion and love for the characters and the overall story. However, I will say that I was fairly disappointed with the whole Glendower-is-actually-dead-like-legitimately-dead scenario. I was totally anticipating being able to finally see who this King was, but the fact that he was just dead and that in turn meant that the whole plot of finding him was basically a waste of time kind of let me down. A couple of other minor things that bothered me were the fact that Noah was basically dropped from the story without any kind of “proper” (if that’s the right word) goodbye and Henry’s character didn’t really grow on me that much. I feel that if Henry had been introduced earlier in the series then I probably would’ve liked him a lot more, but I don’t know, I didn’t really grow as attached to him as I did to the other main characters in this series. Therefore, I found that I wasn’t being completely honest if I gave this book 5 stars, so I lowered it to 4/5 stars.
However, the majority of this book was really well done and I loved it a lot. I loved all of the ups and downs of anxiety and craziness that occurred throughout this novel, whether it be the romance between Ronan and Adam (which I freaking loved okay) or Blue and Gansey finally revealing that they were seeing each other or the major character development that occurred in every single character in this novel. I was stressing out so much over every little problem that would occur and that in of itself displays how attached I grew to the characters in this story.
Blue has basically become one of my favorite female characters ever. She’s witty, sassy, strong, determined, caring, and everything I could ever want in a character. I really wish we could have a whole book of Blue ranting about all of the issues that are occurring in the world because I guarantee that her rants would be amazing.
“I don’t care to be pretty,” Blue shot back hotly, “I care to look on the outside like I look on the inside.”
The Raven Boys were as amazing as always. I felt so bad for Noah and I always find myself wishing that we got more glimpses of him in this novel. I feel like his character deserved so much more of a conclusion because he was one of my favorites. Ronan and Adam, oh my God. I didn’t expect them to form a relationship in the beginning but once they did I SHIPPED THEM SO HARD. They really balance each other out and GAH, I want more Ronan and Adam.
“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”
Gansey, oh my little cinnamon bun, Gansey. I love Gansey so much (if you’ve read my reviews of the past three Raven Cycle books then you already know this). I know I keep saying this, but the character development that happened with each of these characters was phenomenal, especially when it comes to Gansey. I had so many emotions regarding everything that he had to go through and GAH, Gansey Gansey Gansey.
“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”
We were really introduced to Henry’s character in this novel and, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t grow as attached to him as I would’ve liked to. I didn’t feel much of a connection to him because he was just kind of… there? For example, the Gray Man was introduced in the second book, which gave us a huge amount of time to get used to his character. Henry, on the other hand, was kind of just thrust into the story. I think he deserved more of an introduction and I wish that had occurred because his character development had so much potential. Nevertheless, I did really enjoy the scenes that contained his character because he added a bit of comic relief to break apart the really intensely dark scenes in this novel.
I really loved Blue’s family in this book, as I always do, and I actually really liked Gwenllian’s character…? Which surprised me because at first she annoyed me but, I don’t know, I grew to really like her.
If I had to describe the ending of this book in one word it would be: intense. I totally did not expect Gansey to legitimately die. Like. No. No no no. I may or may not have cried. A lot. All I’ve wanted to happen for this entire series was for Gansey and Blue to kiss, but not with Gansey actually dying as a result! THEN, of course Maggie Stiefvater had to take the story in a completely different turn again by bringing Gansey back to life which gave me mixed feelings because I freaking love Gansey, but then this made the ending feel a bit too perfect…? I don’t know how I feel about the ending, but I am really happy that Gansey lived and he and Blue stayed together and Ronan and Adam stayed together and GAH, whether or not the ending is too perfect, it was extremely satisfying because MY SHIPS SURVIVED. I was really disappointed, however, that we didn’t see Noah in the epilogue. I thought maybe they would have found a way to communicate with Noah, but Henry was included in the ending instead. GAH, this ending both frustrated me yet it also really satisfied me, thus displaying why it was so hard to choose a rating for this book.
Maggie Stiefvater’s writing was amazing in this novel. I have finally gotten used to (and fallen in love with) her writing style, so this book really gave me the opportunity to fully appreciate the intricate details that she puts into every single paragraph that she writes.
Overall, I think that this was a really great conclusion to the Raven Cycle. I’m so glad I discovered and read these brilliant books. The characters are so amazing, the plot was riveting, and the writing style is so interesting and so moving.
So, have any of you read The Raven King? What did you think of it? Comment below!