To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
A beautiful finale to the incredible series, this fourth instalment is everything you could have hoped for. All the puzzle pieces fall into place and we learn the fate of our favourite characters. Worth reading again and again, I was in another world for days after I finished reading.
I don’t want to draw parallels or compare this book to Harry Potter and other such iconic book series’, because I feel that such comparisons set up a book/series for failure. And I don’t want to do that to this series I love so much.
But the one thing I can say is that - Maggie Stiefvater is a very skilled storyteller, and has the ability to create a profound depth of feeling for her characters. I loved/cared about all these characters just as much as I loved/cared about Harry, Ron and Hermoine. And I am not the overly sentimental type, so that is saying a lot.
I adored Gansey (but who wouldn’t?) - he was everything good and right about this world wrapped in one self-assured, yet slightly ambivalent package.
And I loved Blue - smart, sensible, quirky, ever curious, Blue.
I had a love/hate relationship with Adam - poor, broken, stupid, proud, Adam.
And then there was Ronan - This guy! I don’t even know what to say about him! He is repulsive, yet wonderful, obnoxious, yet adorable. Yeah, that kind of sums it up.
I was totally invested in how things turned out for all of them - not just the protagonists, but also the side characters, and even (inexplicably) the “villains”. I am rarely conflicted about how I feel about the antagonists, and this series has made me second guess my feelings about them many many times.
It has also completely changed my mind about character-driven stories. I thought I did not enjoy character driven tales, but I think I just had not met the right characters. Or well written ones. Or lovable ones.
Well, this has been a ride and a half. My favourite of the four books. A really satisfying and beautiful read. It took me longer than usual to read, mainly because I had to keep putting the book down to think about other things as I was so staggered by certain moments (chapters 18,19 and 20 left me reeling for around four hours).
There's so much to appreciate here about the writing. Stiefvarter does things with POV changes that are so good and effortless that you don't realise it's being done until you're right in the middle of a POV. I saw it with Greenmantle in BL,LB, and it was even more pronounced in this book when we saw something from Piper's POV. It's not just a dialogue difference, but a perspective change and a different way of thinking. It's great that you can read a section and know who the character is without seeing the names, because they are that distinctive.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS HERE NOW ........
I loved the ships in this. I loved the kisses. I highlighted the frick out of everything Ronan, partly because he's my favourite character, but also MY WORD the kisses he shares are so beautiful and golden. So much love, that's all he wanted. I was aghast at all his relationships, from Gansey, to Declan, Matthew, Noah, Blue and of course Adam, I was really rooting for everything to go right for him.
There was a slight niggle about the ease to which Henry slotted in, but that did dispel when the toga party happened and we saw Blue's opinion of him change. And he was very necessary to the gang at the end, very necessary, as the one on the outside.
Noah ... Noah ... Noah ... Noah. My beautiful boy. I'm weeping for you. Time is a circle so maybe, maybe, maybe we can have more stories.
This is rather incomprehensible. To say I loved the book would be a gross understatement. My ships came in - I'm hugely happy. Let me leave you with a Gansey quote, which sums everything up:
'He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn't want it to be over.'
Mostly, I thought this was a fitting end to a great series. There was a great sense of tension and adventure throughout, some brilliant moments, and most of the key mysteries were revealed and key plot strands wound up in a satisfying way. The romance and the mysticism were both beautifully done. I think that anyone who's enjoyed the rest of the series will enjoy this too.
That said, I did have a few small issues with this installment relative to the amazing books two and three that have made me go for four stars rather than the five I gave them. Firstly, though the key plots were resolved, several central, interesting sub-plots were either completely dropped or given no meaningful closure. Secondly, a few additional elements were brought in at the last minute - most notably the woman with the demon - that didn't really coalesce with the main plot or have much point. And thirdly, when the four Raven Boys were so fleshed out and nuanced and when the dynamics of their interwoven friendships were so powerful, suddenly adding Henry Chang to the group felt rather forced. He was a likeable enough character, but when there'd been three books to get to know the others, he felt rather two-dimensional in comparison and didn't bring much to the party. I think all three of these points stem from basically the same issue - this book would have benefited from being somewhat shorter, tighter, and more focused on the key story.
Really though, I'm being a little picky here, and this is still a great read. It only suffers in comparison to its predecessors and against the very high expectations I had for it.
The only reason i have this novel 4* instead of 5* like the other three books is due to the fact i felt the ending was slightly rushed but aside from that it was a thrilling journey i will forever cherish.
The characters are beautifully fleshed out and believeable. The secondary characters also are very realistic and vivid but not so much that they get the in way of the plot.
The actual storyline of the Raven Cycle is gorgeous and it was such a pleasure to watch the characters grow and develop.
The writing is extremely immersive and Maggie has a gift with words.
If you liked this book I recommend: Six of Crows (awesome character dynamics + insane plot!) The Scorpio Races (also written maggie) The Lunar Chronicles (cool ixea + great characters) , the Infernal Devices (characters again and a good story -- best of Casandra Clare's works so far), The Cruel Prince (stunning writing and very good plot development, feel very attached to certain characters)
The Raven Boys Quartet 4: The Raven King Maggie Stiefvater has a way of writing that draws you in and sits you down among the characters of her books then drags you along with them sharing their pain, high and lows.. I devoured my way though the Raven Boys series and with waited patiently for the last book. The Raven King book 4, is a good book but... I expected a bit more and was bit deflated. It felt too hurried and abandoned as though the train of thought had been interrupted and .....
However, it was enjoyable book learning new things about not just the main characters but those who stood in the background. The ending kept alive the possible, HOPEFULLY, return to the Raven Boys or at least Gansey and Blues adventures continue in a spin off, again hopefully as this would be a far better ending to the Raven Boys saga. Even the story of Cabeswater needs to be heard with its tantalizing glimpses into its history.
As a series, its a great, cleverly woven through the characters leading up to, well read the entire series and make your own mind up on The Raven King.