The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
‘It was easier to tell hero from villain when the stakes were only life and death. Everything in between gets harder.’
The Raven King brings us back to an adventure with characters that we have seen and loved since book one. This is now the final book in The Raven Cycle and Maggie yet again captivated me from the first line. Before I jump into spoilers, if you have’t read this book I just want to take a second to convince you why you should: Diverse characters, magicians, dreamers and a King, writing that is beautiful, lyrical and flows perfectly, ships and characters that your heart will love! That is all.
Since this is a review, below is spoiler central, if you haven’t read the book, don’t read any further. You have been warned.
This is the finale of The Raven Cycle and follows on from Blue Lily, Lily Blue as to be expected. This epic conclusion leads our favourite group of friends closer to the Welsh King they have been looking for, however something else might get in the way of their happy ending… And don’t forget Richard Gansey III is to die this year…
How incredible it is to be back with this beautiful, loving, magical, fantastical group of assholes!
This series reminds me of the Harry Potter series. As you dive into the next book, your smiling because you honestly feel at home with the characters and story that Maggie has created. It was getting a third of the way threw and smiling because I was enjoying every second of the read that really puts this book into perspective and I honestly didn’t want it to end.
The plot twisted and turned, and I was astonished at how the plot could still shock me even four books in. Normally, you get the sense of where things were going, but I entered The Raven King clueless and as the story continued it became filled with more action, mystery and moments where I was completely shocked at where the plot was taking us. Not only that but the writing was so perfect and flowed so nicely that I couldn’t help but stop and read some of the pages twice.
Our characters really developed and felt more whole in this book. In The Dream Thieves I mentioned our boys feeling a bit broken, the development through this one was the polar opposite to that. The boys felt like they rounded out to the people they were meant to be, they felt complete. Together and complete. It was a wonderful way to end, at the point where they were all happy, whole and you could see their futures.
Quick mention to our fallen solider Noah. He obviously had moved on at the end of this book which was sad, but it was necessary and I felt really understanding of it. That was his character development, and in some way that was beautiful. He was at peace after all his suffering.
We did of course have an additional raven boy join us in this book… The lovely and ever so surprising Henry. I was skeptical of Henry at first, I didn’t know what part he was to play in this story. I ended up liking his character a lot, and how he intertwined into the story and the role he played. He was only just touching the surface of the world Gansey, Adam and Ronan lived in when everything flipped on it’s head and he had to be OK with the world which was full of dreamers and magicians. I did like the part he played, and the possibilities his character has with this group moving forward.
Let me go through my ships really quickly because you all know I live for this
‘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.’
This is the point where I have to admit that I haven’t been fully on the Adam and Ronan ship. Cue gasps. Yes I liked it but I felt like it was overpowered by Blue and Gansey. Holy hell did I get on that ship really freaking quickly in this book. I was always like yes that would be nice, but in The Raven King as we started getting through the chapters and the development of this relationship I realised that I was cheering for their unspoken moments. It was absolutely everything watching Adam discover himself.
‘It was this: Gansey saying, “I like you an aweful lot, Blue Sargent.”‘
Gansey and Blue are two characters that had a slow burn love that I appreciated. I enjoyed that the story didn’t revolve around two characters falling in love, it revolved around a group of friends that were all in love with every bit of each other. These two characters, I loved separately and together, however in this one we finally saw moments with them together as the couple they could be, and I loved every second of this.
One negative, and no I did not drop a star for it but, I needed so much more from the Blue and Gansey ending. I wanted to read of kisses that didn’t end in his death, the slow burn that lead to that epic moment that leads you to be 100% happy that your ship got the moment they deserved. Yes I asked for a happy ending and I received that, but we had four books of some serious tension and I felt like it was resolved but I was left wanting more.
Overall, it was the end of an adventure, and I recommend this series to everyone. It’s perfection in it’s writing, in the characters, in the relationships and it keeps you guessing and intrigued until the last word.
Honestly, I don’t want to say goodbye to my Raven Boys, and their adventure, so you better believe I will be waiting for something else from Maggie Stiefvater.
“Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole.”