Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (UK edition)

Title: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, 4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic (26th April 2016)

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into his mission: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer life; and Blue, who loves Gansey . . . and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Nothing dead is to be trusted.

Now the endgame has begun.

Nothing living is safe.

Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

THE RAVEN KING is the fourth and final instalment of Maggie Stiefvater’s enthralling The Raven Cycle series. This book brings Stiefvater’s magical series to its conclusion. Gansey’s search for Glendower reaches its finale whilst Ronan deals with the consequences of his power; whilst Adam with the results of his bargain; whilst Noah faces what it means to be dead; and whilst the prophecy of killing her true love when she kisses him looms over Blue.

Final books and endings are tricky things; it is so easy to be disappointed by them. THE RAVEN KING is a fitting end to a whimsical, mysterious and slightly perplexing series. There are quite a few surprises in this book, which is to be expected from the end of such a complex series. This book was quite slow to start, but once I got into it I quite enjoyed it.

Overall I think Stiefvater does a good job in bringing all the different threads of the plot together and ending the series. There are a few surprises and a lot of feels. To be honest as I write this I am still struggling to categorise how I feel about this book. Whilst without a doubt I enjoyed the experience of THE RAVEN KING, there’s part of me that wanted more. By the final page of the book I felt that this story was done; I still think that the characters have a lot of potential, and it would be lovely if Stiefvater were to revisit them in the future.

It is difficult to talk about the plot of THE RAVEN KING without venturing into spoiler territory I think. Certainly if you’ve read the previous three books in this series (and if you’ve not, why haven’t you?!) then you’ll probably have a pretty good idea about where this book goes. The search for Glendower has been haunting this series, as much as the quest has haunted the characters (especially Gansey). A lot of things come to a head in this book, and I think Stiefvater crafted the story brilliantly; she answers a lot of the questions I had for this series, and left me with more. THE RAVEN KING wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was a good solid read.

Richard Gansey III. Ronan Lynch. Adam Parrish. Noah Czerny. Blue Sargent. The five characters that have carried me through The Raven Cycle, and who I’m sad to say goodbye to. THE RAVEN KING really is the culmination of their journey. This book is as much about them and their friendship as it is about the quest for Glendower.

This book has a lot of feels, as all good conclusions should. I wanted – I needed – to know what was going to happen next right to the end. THE RAVEN KING might not have been the epic conclusion I was half hoping for, but it was a good solid competent one. If you have enjoyed The Raven Cycle so far then you are in for a good read.

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