The Raven King [Review]

SPOILER FREE REVIEW

The Raven King cover.jpgSynopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com):

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.

Pages: 438

Goodreads Rating: 4.37/5 Stars

My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

My Opinion

I just want to preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve read all of her young adult books and, as a writer to another writer, have a huge respect for her writing style. In addition, I know it’s odd that I don’t have other reviews up for the previous three books, but that is because I’ve read the books since they initially came out and did not reread them.

However, I can’t say that I love these books. I know there are many reviews out there praising this series and Maggie as a master storyteller, but I can’t say that I agree with that completely. For myself, this series was one that started off with a strong premise and promising future, but fell flat for myself. The Raven Boys was the peak book for me – after that point, I found it really hard to get through each book and the interesting portions of the books did not occur until the last 100-150 pages or so.

And I’m sad to say, that did not change with this book in the least. I found myself skimming at parts that were more character driven that plot driven. Yes, Maggie did create wonderfully round characters from distinct backgrounds and she played around with them a bit, but they were the focus of the story too much.

Furthermore, I was expecting this grand ordeal with the quest to find Glendower and the fate of Gansey, and instead we were half focused on a bigger threat growing in Cabeswater and more focused on the development of the characters. With three books under the belts, the character development was already thorough enough and the readers definitely didn’t need any more.

Yes, there were moments in the book where I was enticed by the intensity of it all and was impressed by the simple moments. I also appreciated seeing the efforts at more character diversity that Maggie added into the story. But it just wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with the book. What ultimately made me give the book 2.5 Stars was the: character driven plot and the failure to play more with the quest that she had been setting up since book one.

With so many friends who are absolutely in love with this series, I wanted to feel the same way. But I was held back by so many factors, as a writer reading the novel, that I found it difficult to read and enjoy.

*****

The Raven Cycle (Series)

  • The Raven Boys
  • The Dream Thieves
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue
  • The Raven King

*****

“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.”
― Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King

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