The Raven King Review

[Book Review] The Raven King

June 2016

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

4.8/5

NON SPOILER SECTION

Edit: Guys, this is a pretty long review so you might want to grab a snack.

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Alright, I have finally managed to persuade myself to sit down long enough to write this review. It’s not that I didn’t want to review, well, actually that’s probably it. Never mind. I’ve been dodging writing this because I know I will probably cry writing it because if I’m honest I probably cried 5 times reading this book (edit: and then I really did cry writing this review.)

This is the finale of the series so there isn’t much I can really say that won’t spoil the other books.

I’m lazy so I’m going to dot point this.

The Series:

  • There is a slow plot.
  • The series is very character driven – The series is about a group of teens searching for a welsh king but sometimes you don’t care so much about that because you just want to be there with the characters while Gansey builds his Henrietta town late at night and while Blue is on another of her famous feminist rants.
  • Maggie Stiefvater has amazing writing. I didn’t read her previous series (Shiver?) but I’ve heard that it’s different (writing and plot wise).
  • Each book has an individual plot but still contributes to the whole series arc. E.g. One book will focus more on one particular character (we still see all of the other characters it’s just more from their perspective than the others) and the plot of that book will contribute to the ongoing series plot.

SPOILERS BELOW

“It was just that there was something newly powerful about this assembled family in the car. They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.”

This book destroyed me. And I loved it.

If I had the time or the emotional willpower I would reread the series right now, unfortunately I have cried more in the past few days then I have ever cried in my life so a reread may need to wait.

The Characters:

I’m going to start with my main annoyance with this book:

Henry Cheng

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Okay, I know how that sounds, don’t get me wrong I thought he was hilarious but I’m sorry he was just too much, too late. I know why he was brought in and I’m not okay with it. This poor (not so much, this guy is loaded $$) boy has been brought into this group of teens that we have really grown to know and love over the years and not only do we have to rush to get to know him but he is here to replace a raven boy. Not cool. Noah Czerny is my favourite character so as you can imagine I was not okay with this.

The Gangsey is a wonderful and unique set of 5 kids on a crazy journey to find Glendower and suddenly there’s 6 of them? But there’s not really 6 of them because we see Noah like, 3 times (I don’t know how many times we actually saw him but it wasn’t much). The thing with this series is even if Noah wasn’t mentioned every time the group had an outing we still felt like he was there exploring with them. And then Henry came and it didn’t feel that way because he was replacing Noah.

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Noah was great and he shouldn’t have needed a replacement. “But he died!” Yes, he did die again. But that doesn’t mean we needed someone to fill the void or anything, it’s like they didn’t even mourn the loss of their friend, they just forgot about him.

Noah Czerny

Aka. let’s talk about Noah some more

  • Noah is my favourite
  • Noah was hardly in this book – throughout the whole series Noah has been a main character, a Raven Boy but in this one he was barely a side character.
  • Noah has some crazy mood issues
  • Raven Day – I really loved having that little insight to what Noah was like before he died.

Noah does some crazy shit in this book. One second he’ll be the shy, small boy we all know and love and the next second he’ll be a rage monster trying to rip Blue’s eye out. But that wasn’t Noah’s fault so I forgive him.

“Noah crouched over Gansey’s body. He said, for the last time, ‘You will live because of Glendower. Someone else on the ley line is dying when they should not, and so you will live when you should not.’

Gansey died.

‘Goodbye,’ Noah said. ‘Don’t throw it away.’ ”

The thing that really got me about the ending of this book was that Gansey was going to ask Glendower for Noah’s life back but instead Noah ended up dying again to save Gansey.

Gansey

Ah yes. Richard Campbell III. Literally, the third now.

“If Glendower had not saved Gansey’s life, he did not know who to thank, or who to be, or how to live.”

Going through all of these quotes is giving me emotions. I thought I was all out of tears, apparently not.

Ronan Lynch

Oh my god what a precious little farmer boy.

“Wake up, you bastard,” — he said. “You fucker. I can’t believe that you would …”

And he began to cry.”

Ronan Lynch is fucking fantastic. This tough guy who absolutely fucking breaks down when his best friend dies and refuses to fight back when Adam is literally killing him.

“No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied.

“Get the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. “Sargent, you asshole.”

Who gets proud when his friend gets suspended? Fucking Ronan does. This guy is the best.

Ronan may be the tough gut but let’s be real if Gansey wasn’t such a mum Ronan would totally be the mum friend. I mean, he basically has a daughter now anyway.

Adam Parrish

Did I hear someone say character development? I never hated Adam but I never really liked him either. That is, until I read TRK. I actually said, out loud at one point “wow, he’s not being annoying”.

Adam almost killed Ronan. This whole scene where Adam had no control over his hands or eyes fucking broke me. I cried so hard. Soo much shit went down, I hate it when characters can’t control their own bodies and hurt the people they care about. That shit gets to me. And Ronan didn’t even fight back because that would mean hurting Adam. *dies*

“The choice was death or hurting Adam, which wasn’t much of a choice at all.”

I just have to talk about the ending with Adam. When I realised he was going to his parent’s home I freaked out. I was like “what Adam no Ronan’s not with you”. I think that, if I’m honest this whole scene was probably my favourite of any other scene in the entire series.

Adam really hits home with me because of his disability. Adam is half deaf. He can’t hear out of his left ear. I’m half deaf. I can’t hear out of my right ear.

I really loved Adam’s perspective and seeing him really rip it to his father.

“Every time I can’t tell where someone’s calling me from in a room and every time I accidentally start to put my earbuds in both ears I think about you.”

I was born deaf but let me tell you if someone had made me deaf you can be damn sure I would let them know how unhappy I was. Being deaf is really fucking hard, something a lot of people really don’t realise. I have vertigo every day and suck at sports because my balance is that bad. I have the same problems Adam has and it never gets easier.

Because I was born deaf my experiences have been a bit different to Adam’s. He’s had full hearing for most of his life so I can only imagine how much harder it is for him. Being deaf means that someone could be right next to you and you don’t know they’re talking to you. Being deaf means being constantly behind on what’s going on around you.

Adam has come a really long way in such a short amount of time and I’m really proud of that (yes I know he’s not real). I was so happy when he started telling his father what he had done to him.

Others:

Blue – I don’t really have much to say about Blue which is why she doesn’t get a massive paragraph section. She was awesome and kick ass as per usual. I feel sorry for her face though, having your eyes torn out that many times can’t be fun.

Okay, I lied I have a little to say. Her dad is a tree so does that make her half tree, what the fuck???

Piper – She’s J dead J what J a J shame J .

The Greyman – We saw this guy maybe three times? I love this guy and I was really looking forward to seeing more of him in this book. I guess Stiefvater had other ideas.

Family:

There was a lack of Blue’s family but there was some more of Ronan’s so it wasn’t so bad.

“On the outside, the three Lynch brothers appeared remarkably dissimilar: Declan, a butter-smooth politician; Ronan, a bull in a china-shop world; Matthew, a sunlit child. On the inside, the Lynch brothers were remarkably similar: They all loved cars, themselves, and each other.”

Ronan and Declan may act like they hate each other but let’s be real they love each other.

Glendower:

He’s dead. I know we were meant to feel disappointed and to be honest I didn’t really care all that much but holy crap my heart broke when Gansey found him and the guy was already dead. You never realise how much you love a character until all their life goal is torn from them.

Pynch:

“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

I feel like there wasn’t that much development and then bam Pynch. That being said when I reread the series I’ll probably find a bunch stuff that I missed so don’t hurt me please.

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Also, these two are adorable and I have fallen into the deep void of fanfiction and don’t see myself leaving that place anytime soon.

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Did I cry?

Yes. I really did. Guys I was crying reading the prologue, it was ridiculous. You know that scene with Adam and his hands and his eyes and Blue’s stitches and Ronan’s neck? Yeah, I cried a lot.

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