Review:The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

kingNothing 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.

“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.”

What a wonderful ending to a wonderful series! The Raven King is bursting with magic and friendship and love and danger and quests and all those other marvelous things that fill the world of the Raven Boys. It ended beautifully, but it was sad to say farewell to characters who I’ve spent so long with.

I read The Raven Boys four years ago when I was 15, making me younger than Blue and the Raven Boys, so naturally, I saw them as more mature than I was. Now, reading the final book, I am older than the characters placing me in a position to better assess their flaws and also their immaturity at times. While my life continued over these four years, the characters lives remained frozen in time, providing me with the unique experience of catching up to and growing past the characters. I was thus in a better position to truly  understand the brilliance of Stiefvater’s characterization. Blue, Adam, Gansey and Ronan all, as I can say with the utmost certainty, truly read like 17/18 year olds. The teenage experience is captured in way I’ve seen no other author do. Stiefvater writes her characters such that they feel alive, as if they really do exist beyond the pages.

After being with the characters quest for so long, and being so intimately connected to their journey to unearth Glendower, it was fascinating to watch the events in The Raven King unfold. I thought it was an extremely realistic ending (in a world where magic exists) and I truly believe it could not have ended better. Much as she did in The Scorprio Races, Stiefvater is an undisputed master at tying up lose ends and unraveling plots in the most satisfying manner. Everything from the plot to the romance is ended beautifully.

Another thing that I only noticed this time around is the spunkiness with which the Raven Boys quartet is written with. I’ve always praised Stiefvater for her lovely writing, and I stand by that, but this facet escaped me in the past. It is utterly unique and gives the perfect voice to the series.

I will always remember the quiet magic of Glendower, Gansey’s quest for Glendower, Ronan’s crazy dreaming, Blue’s uniqueness, Adam’s determination, Noah’s loyalty and the web of friendship that ensnared them all.

I highly recommend this series and am looking forward to what Stiefvater writes next.

“What a strange constellation they all were.”

“You’re asking me to define an abstract concept that no one has managed to explain since time began. You sort of sprang it on me,” Gansey said. “Why do we breathe air? Because we love air? Because we don’t want to suffocate. Why do we eat? Because we don’t want to starve. How do I know I love her? Because I can sleep after I talk to her. Why?”


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