He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get the end and find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.
Ever since he lost and regained his life, Gansey has been on the search for a lost king. Others have joined him since his hunt began; Ronan, Adam, Noah and Blue… whose kiss is destined to kill him.
I put everything on hold for this book. I read it over a couple of days; finishing it just as the birds began making a nuisance of themselves on Friday morning (it was around 6:21, so I suppose they had every right). Only now am I piecing together my opinions on the grand finale. Whereas I rated the previous books in The Raven Cycle 5/5, I gave The Raven King a four star rating, for reasons I will divulge here.
Beware of major spoilers!
Okay. So. Let me start by saying this: The Raven King is an EXPERIENCE! If you haven’t read it yet, DO! Like the books that came before, The Raven King hooks you in and never lets go. Unlike the books that came before, it is much darker in tone. This is not a criticism. I adored the darkness. I adored every inch of it, and I did not want it to stop. Seriously, toga parties? KISSES? D-d-d-demon possessions? This book is cram-packed, and yet each scene was perfectly executed.
The characters are the same great people we know and love. Ronan and Adam work in tandem in this book, dreaming and scrying like one force. Blue got a few good chapters too, especially at the beginning. I will never get tired of seeing her interact with Ronan and Noah, and I’m so glad her relationship with Adam is slowly but surely getting better!
There are some interesting new(ish) characters too. Even fan favourite Henry Cheng gets a bigger role! I gotta say, although he didn’t leave much of an impression on me in the earlier books… I really liked him in this one! I thought he was funny, and as the only non-magical character he brought a fair bit to the dynamics of the main gang.
And yes, I cried for Gansey. I cried for the end of his quest. I cried for the end of his life. I cried for Noah’s role in all this. Oh god, did I cry for Noah’s role. The kid finally gets a POV chapter only for THIS to happen? Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Noah’s journey was a tough one to watch, especially for someone who considers him their favourite character (or, at least, their favourite raven boy), but the end result was even better than expected. Noah found peace! And, in the end, he was so very important!
Anyway. Blue kisses Gansey. Gansey dies as promised. Reader goes through a whole box of tissues in approximately 5 minutes. Then the book’s over, right? Right?
In some bizarre Ash-Ketchum-in-Pokémon-the-First-Movie-esque type scenario, Gansey lives. ARGH!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Gansey as much as the next fan! I wasn’t exactlyeager for his death. I just – I would have been satisfied with it. I felt that’s what the series was leading up to! So when he didn’t… I felt like I’d missed something. Its like how, in certain books, the ending is tragic but even as you’re snotting up your best jumper you know this is the most truthful way to end it. I didn’t really feel that here.
But regardless, The Raven King was a fantastic read up until that point. The epilogue did leave me wanting more, as well as wondering whether there are plans to continue the series in some way, considering there are some things still left unexplained. (Also, no one mentions Noah at all? That’s not on.) But whilst the conclusion wasn’t what I expected, I sure am glad my faves are safe, loved and fulfilled. In the end, Maggie Stiefvater got to complete The Raven Cycle HER way. And her way is pretty damn spectacular.
If you haven’t read it yet… sorry for spoiling the ending (you were warned haha)! But you should definitely pick it up and get reading! As always, Stiefvater weaves magic into every word. It’s an incredible journey! Just make sure you read the las∗t few chapters aloud, for maximum blubbing. Oh, and you might wanna avoid looking in mirrors. Eyes might… wander.
Total stars: 4/5 (ahhh go on, 4.5!)
You can find links to buy The Raven King at GoodReads!
Or, if you’re new to the series, try starting from The Raven Boys!
Emmy Clarke is author of Children’s and YA fiction. Her first book Luch & Friends is available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble. To read more of her adventures in writing, book reviewing, and life with her spirit guide Matt check out her blog Books and Flowers.
Copyright Emmy Clarke 2016