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.
My goodness, this review is long overdue! Honestly, I don’t know how to write this review. I’m such TRC trash that it’s virtually impossible for me to write a neutral review and not shower love and praise all over this book, but I’ll do my best. I don’t think I’ve had such a hard time saying goodbye to characters since Harry Potter; I will miss Blue, Gansey, Adam and Ronan very dearly.These characters and their relationship with one another (whether platonic or romantic) are some of my favourites.
This book is a lot more… preternatural than its predecessors, it’s quite heavy on the fantasy elements and it’s… creepier, more gothic than the others. Some parts of it wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie.
“We should all be afraid,” Noah said, his voice thing through the buzzing. “When you play with time –”
I loved the character development, particularly Ronan and Adam’s. Watching these two grow as characters over the course of this series has been an absolute joy. They are complex, fleshed-out, three-dimensional characters who thought-provoking are able to elicit so many emotional reactions from me.
Stiefvater’s writing is glorious – her attention to detail is where it’s at. She is a master at world-building and really pulling the reader into her story; it doesn’t feel like you are reading a story, it’s almost like Stiefvater is painting you a picture with words.
The Raven King is not a perfect book. I didn’t like that Stiefvater went the Veronica Roth route and introduced new characters and (what felt to me to be) an irrelevant plot line this late in the game. Henry Cheng was a welcome addition, but I felt others were added purely to cause overwrought drama and add unneeded tension. There were also points where I felt quite disoriented and had to go back and reread. The plot seemed directionless at times, and I think it was the point, Stiefvater wanting to make the reader feel the disorientation and confusion that the characters felt, but it felt overdone and affected my enjoyment of the story.
Another thing that made me feel a bit uncomfortable: Ronan and Adam coming across as, erm, racist. I mean, stick me in the Pynch pile – this ship has well and truly sailed. I just don’t think the best way to establish a romantic relationship canonically is to have them make fun of Asians as an in-joke.
All in all, a nice way to finish off the series. I don’t think that The Raven King is the strongest book in the Raven Cycle, but it’s full of Stiefvater signatures and is bound to leave fans pleased.
Please note: this review originally appeared on my blog, What Kim Read Next. It has been reformatted and edited.