Book Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted July 13, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in 2016 Finish the Series Reading Challenge, Books, COYER Summer Vacation, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 6 Comments

Book Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle) by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Inc. on April 26th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, General, Other
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780545860352
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

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.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

“He was a king. This was the year he was going to die.”

Author Maggie Stiefvater closes out her popular Raven Cycle series with the fourth and final novel, The Raven King. From the very beginning, readers knew death awaited Blue Sargent’s one true love. Gansey was slated to die from the very beginning, yet it was hard not to hope for a different outcome once we knew his character better. Cabeswater, the mysterious forest, has a power Ronan and Adam can’t control, and Gansey still hopes to find the tomb of his long-lost king. Meanwhile, evil forces still linger in Henrietta with the goal of stealing the ley line’s power for their own.

I was worried going in that Stiefvater would leave me with my hands wringing by the end of the novel. One reason was because I feared that the story would leave me hanging, and I would be disappointed by the ending. However, this was not the case. Stiefvater did a wonderful job of wrapping up the threads from the previous three novels, and allows the characters’ arcs to end in a way that either allows for a future spinoff series, or give readers the opportunity to let their imaginations fill in the blanks.

Two of the story lines that I loved the most were Noah’s, and the resolution of Ronan’s feelings for Adam. From reading the previous three books it was obvious what would end up happening with Gansey and Blue, so while I enjoyed their story in this novel, it wasn’t anything different from what I expected going in. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that Noah’s story wraps up in a way that does the character justice. He gets a wonderful resolution that ties in with the rest of the story. However, I did feel that he didn’t get as much page time as he should have gotten. Considering Noah was one of the main characters from the very beginning it appears as if his character got brushed under the rug until they needed him. Though Noah’s story line was mostly on the back burner, Ronan and Adam’s got pushed more to the forefront.

“When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on his lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for far longer.”

It was obvious to me from the very first novel, The Raven Boys, that Ronan was harboring feelings for Adam, and it was nice to see that storyline resolved in the manner I was hoping for. Ronan and Adam are both complicated characters, and I always loved the scenes with them interacting with each other. Besides, now that Gansey and Blue are in love with each other, it really left no place for Adam in their story. Ronan and Adam in scenes together make sense, because both of them have ties to Cabeswater. How Stiefvater handled their same-sex relationship was very realistic, and didn’t feel as if it was written for shock value or to be trendy. All the groundwork had already been laid, and it was developed perfectly throughout the series.

After reading the first novel, The Raven Boys, I didn’t think I would continue on, but now I’m very happy I did. If I were to say anything negative about this series, it would be that it seemed to focus more and more on Ronan and Adam then on Gasey and Blue. I found this weird, because Gansey, Blue, their relationship, and Blue’s curse were supposed to be the main focal point of the story. However Ronan essentially took over the book by the fourth novel. As a Roman fan this did not bother me in the least, but I thought I would warn you anyway in case he’s not your favorite character. Overall, this series is very well-written, filled with complex characters, and was resolved in a way that stayed true to the characters. Though often the series could be predictable at times, I still enjoyed the books and highly recommend them.

About Maggie Stiefvater

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.


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6 responses to “Book Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. I have this series on my TBR and I can’t wait to get to it. Everything about it appeals to me. Interesting how the book started focusing more on Ronan’s character and his relationship with Adam. I’m definitely interested in reading about them given how well it seems to be written.
    I’m glad this was a satisfying series conclusion!
    Wonderful review!
    Nick recently posted…Potterhead Blog Festival: A Newbie’s PerspectiveMy Profile

    • @Angelized_1st

      Glad you enjoyed the review! I wasn’t sure about it after the first book, because it didn’t wow me, but I’m glad I continued with it. It’s a good series.

  2. Great review! This is one of the books I hope on reading for COYER as well. I love this series and can’t wait to see how it concludes.

    • @Angelized_1st

      Aww… thanks! Yeah, that’s been a focus of mine for 2016. I have so many unread books and ebooks, that it’s insane. That’s part of why I backed off a bit this year from requesting ARCs. I want to read what I have, because apparently having a huge TBR is stopping me from buying. *le sigh*

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