Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Date: April 2016
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology
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The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
This series has captured my heart and imagination since I first read it in 2012. The first book, The Raven Boys is an amazing example of magical prose, and wonderful characters and plot. The mystery of the boys’ search for the legendary Welsh king, Owen Glendower and Gansey’s foretold death have loomed in my mind for so long, I was so, so eager to see how The Raven King would wrap it all up.
As a warning, this review will contain spoilers for the first three books in the series, and The Raven King, so proceed at your own peril.
With every book in this series, I definitely have more questions than answers. In addition to the original mysteries, I wanted to know about the other two sleepers, Blue’s father, how and why Gwenllian was alive, the extent of Adam’s deal with Cabeswater, Ronan’s relationship with the ley lines, who is the Raven King and are these crazy kids going to kiss anyone any time soon? The book did a decent job in explaining some of these things, but generally, I went into the book in a curious haze and left feeling more of the same.
I loved some of the things I read and learned in this book. The vicious community of magical artifact dealers that connected most of the characters. The tree people who looked after Glendower. Robobee. Chapter 33. The way the chapters started with “Depending on where you began the story, it was about…”. The hallmarks of Maggie’s magical storytelling that I’ve loved since the first book.
However, when I finished the book I was left wanting. I wanted this book, the final book, to be more about what captured my heart in the first place: Gansey and the Raven Boys’ quest. There was a lot that Stiefvater did with The Raven King, and I personally felt overwhelmed by what she added to the already numerous characters and plot threads that needed to be resolved. I was confused every time Adam scryed and didn’t really understand what Ronan was trying to do to the Barns. Orphan Girl could have stayed in his dreams. The unmaker, creepy, effective villian that it was, felt like a plot device. I needed to know what happned to my unlikely OTP, Maura and The Gray Man.
The search for Glendower became almost an afterthought at the end. The big reveal, Glendower’s discovery and Gansey’s death, felt rushed. The story kept reaching towards a climax, but when it happened, I wanted more of an aftermath. I wanted more answers. I wanted more Raven Boys.
Why you should read it:
- There is finally kissing!
- Maggie’s prose is as beautiful as always.
- If you have read the first three in the series, you really need to know what happens here.
- I want to be able to dream things to life.
- Adding ‘magical artifact dealer’ to my wishlist of alternate professions.
- Can I join that gap year road trip?