Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: The Raven King by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Published by Scholastic on April 26, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 439
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

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

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

Ever since I started this series, I have been terrified of The Raven King. My love of this world and series is too strong, and series endings so often splat right on their faces, poisoning all that came before. Bless Gansey that this does not happen in The Raven King. Just seriously blessssss. I love my babies, and I love the ending that they’ve had here. In some ways, The Raven King might be the weakest of the series for me, but it’s still fucking brilliant and nigh perfect so who even cares.

Squad goals are Henrietta. I mean, there’s the 300 Fox Way psychic squad which is down but not out, and, though this book is very much not about the adults, I want to rep them in the background being awesome. I have a lot of Calla feels and Maura feels and Mr. Gray feels and they are all so delightful and found family and MY FEELINGS. Then obviously there’s the OT5 of friendship of Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. They are so fucking adorable and perfect.

I know I talk a lot about banter and how “I love you” doesn’t really sell relationships to me as much as sort of being insulting but in a loving fashion. Maggie makes that an artform. When Ronan calls you an asshole, it’s basically a declaration of undying love and support and how he will fucking murder anyone who hurts you. He calls all of them assholes a lot basically. And they return the favor. I’m using this as an example of why these relationships kill me so much. Stiefvater doesn’t just say “oh hey this is deep abiding love and I’m labeling it”; she shows you in actions and fights and being there for each other that these people love each other and will be friends forever. The romance is stellar but the series is more about the deep, unabiding found family love and friendship between all of these people. All of them find the acceptance and love and caring that they’ve been searching for all this time.

Given how tight-knit the group is, I’m massively impressed that Stiefvater managed to fit someone else into the dynamic without it feeling unreal. So very happy to get more Henry Cheng, to get the real Henry Cheng. Also to find out that he is indeed half-Chinese. I do wish he’d been a wee bit more present in the earlier books, but I still think that he really fits into The Raven King beautifully. I really love when Gansey and Blue bond with him and his friends. All of them can be very clique-ish, and they’d definitely dismissed him as too Aglionby or too different or something, but, once they get to really know him, it turns out he’s awesome. There’s also a LOT in this series about first impressions versus how someone actually is, from Gansey’s ruinous first impression to Blue’s tininess. Things and people are not always what they seem on the surface. View Spoiler »

Emotionally, I am definitely one hundred and six million percent happy with The Raven King. Everything I wanted I got with bonus Henry Cheng. Such a delightful bonus. This ending is so very emotionally satisfying, even if I do still want a million more books about these people because I LOVE THEM SO DAMN MUCH.

Intellectually, I do have a few qualms about The Raven King. They don’t ruin it for me, but I am left with some thoughts. View Spoiler »

The Raven Cycle is one of my very favorite things ever. Bless Meg and Gillian for pushing and pushing and pushing until I finally read it. Bless Stiefvater for writing this. Bless the whole crew for being the most wonderful OT6 of friendship and love. I can’t believe it’s over. I hope Maggie writes spinoffs.

Favorite Quote:

View Spoiler »

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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