The Raven King –Review Part 2

Krystal’s Review–Part 2:

Hmmm….where to start. I think I’ll start with the Kirkus Review I read awhile ago and felt indignation over because it felt like criticism to my Raven boys:

Kirkus Reviews 2016 March #1
“A group of Virginia teenagers finally finds a long-buried Welsh king in this conclusion to the four-part Raven Cycle. A demon has infected the magical forest, Cabeswater, killing Ronan’s mother, Aurora, and threatening Ronan’s brother, Matthew, as well as Ronan and maybe the whole world—Gansey knows what he has to do. It’s all been foretold, and readers have been waiting for it since Blue saw him on the corpse road in quartet opener The Raven Boys (2012). For three out of four novels, Stiefvater combined extraordinary magic and visceral reality in a way that felt entirely true. Here, the magic scatters in all directions, and too little of it makes sense. The characters—Ronan, Gansey, long-dead Noah, Blue Sargent, newcomer Henry, and especially Adam—are as multidimensional and fully realized as ever; Ronan and Adam’s budding romance is beautifully told. The writing sings—each sentence, each paragraph marvelously wrought. Yet at the point where the story needs to make the most sense, it makes the least, prophecy and magics piling up on one another in a chaotic, anticlimactic climax. The ending feels trivial, almost mocking the seriousness of the rest of the quartet. Stiefvater couldn’t write a bad book, and this isn’t one, but it is a disappointment after years of glorious buildup. (Fantasy. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.”

After finishing the book (I’ll have you know that the audiobook felt TOO SHORT…which NEVER happens), the review is, unfortunately, spot on; the writing does sing, the Ronan and Adam relationship (which I totally ship but NEVER saw coming) is beautiful, and the book’s ending is a disappointment. Definitely read the book– the book has so many beautiful/exciting/terrifying/hilarious moments that your emotions feel like they are on a roller coaster (I swear to you that I actually looked down at my arm during one scene and had goosebumps), but that ending… I adore these books AND Stiefvater, but the ending of the series had me scratching my head a bit wondering, “That’s it? Really?” No plot spoilers, but man was I disappointed with the finding of Glendower. I hated that realistic spin (life is how you handle disappointments, you don’t need magic–just each other…yada yada). This is supposed to be a fantasy; I don’t want realism…I WANT magic! Please leave the realism to E. Lockhart and Gayle Forman.

My favorite part of the book is the repeated “Depending on where you began the story, the story was about…” entering into each different character’s point-of-view; I think the back story of the Gray Man was my favorite. I’d even read a break-away series that focuses on the Gray Man and his future kingdom, but I’m hoping that Ronan’s musings at the end allow for this to truly not be “the end” of the story.

With all of that being said, this is hands down one of my top favorite fantasy series.




I expect you all to be either downloading or on your way to the library to check these books (or audiobooks because I canNOT stress how fantastic Will Patton is) out. In fact, Hoopla has the audiobooks available for download on your smart phones/tablets…just sayin’.


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