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


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater // VBCThe Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)
Maggie Stiefvater
Published: April 26, 2016 (Scholastic Press)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet check out VBC’s review of book 1, The Raven Boys.

So this is it. All the research, all the dreaming, all the tarot readings, all the cave searches have lead to this point. After uncovering Glendower’s daughter in Blue Lily, Lily Blue the Raven Boys, plus one Blue Sergeant, start The Raven King with the mundane task of attending school. It’s quickly apparent, though, that all they’ve worked towards is going to come to a necessary conclusion as their magical forest of Cabeswater appears to be infused with a darkness that’s consuming everything in its path. As they struggle to figure out what’s causing this unmaking, the friends must also acknowledge the undeniable truth: Gansey is foreseen to die within the year. With everything set to come crashing down, one thing is certain: the time to find Glendower is NOW.

While it’s natural to form ideas about how a series is going to go, and to see the predictability of the end of a series after all the buildup of the other books, The Raven King really didn’t proceed in any way that I expected it to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I was pretty happy with the fact that I couldn’t predict what would happen next because, boring. But I felt like this also left me with more of a sense of incompleteness upon finishing the book. I felt like we were opened up to a whole new possibility of adventures for our characters, none of which we’ll see on page unless Maggie Stiefvater decides to write a continuation to the series a few years down the line when everyone has grown up some more (hint hint: I’d love to see this happen).

When I step back and think about how this book was ended, the culmination of the journey, I felt like there was a big comment being made about the after. So you reach your dreams, what next? Whether or not they find Glendower, all the characters were kind of on that ‘what next’ train. In some cases they’re re-evaluating the plans they thought they wanted to accomplish after Glendower. Most of them realize that things aren’t necessarily over after you’ve obtained the thing(s) you’ve wanted for so long.

The revealing of truths either verbally or through action and the realization that many of your fears can stem from not knowing how others will take your truths. Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue all have a truth about themselves that is acknowledged in some way. This series really boils down to these relationships. Glendower is a great adventure, but it’s made better by being with those who know the true you.

As I said earlier, there are a lot of pieces to The Raven King that are left open-ended. I would have liked a bit more solid closure on some things, but overall, in regards to our main fivesome, I was happy with the possibilities laid out before them. The Raven King is a worthy send-off.

The Raven Cycle is definitely a series that needs to be read again and again. Knowing how everything plays out, I look forward to going back and finding all the little clues I may have missed the first time around. For me, this is my favorite series of Maggie Stiefvater’s. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you haven’t picked it up, please do. Now.

Sexual content: kissing

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