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The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) Paperback – February 27, 2018
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* "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "We have not yet finished loving these characters and exploring their world." -- The Bulletin, starred review
* "Stiefvater's razor-sharp characterizations, drily witty dialogue, and knack for unexpected metaphors and turns of phrase make for sumptuous, thrilling reading . . . . Readers will snap up the final installment the second it's available." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "The prose is crisp and dazzling and the dialogue positively crackles." -- School Library Journal, starred review
Praise for The Dream Thieves:
* "Richly written and filled with figurative language . . . this story of secrets and dreams, of brothers and of all-too-real magic is an absolute marvel of imagination and an irresistible invitation to wonder." -- Booklist, starred review
* "Mind-blowingly spectacular . . . Stiefvater's careful exploration of class and wealth and their limitations and opportunities astounds with its sensitivity and sophistication. The pace is electric, the prose marvelously sure-footed and strong, but it's the complicated characters . . . that meld magic and reality into an engrossing, believable whole." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A paranormal thriller . . . this installment [is] more tense and foreboding than its predecessor -- and every bit as gripping." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "A complex web of magical intrigue and heartstopping action." -- The Bulletin, starred review
* "Readers who want a moody chill and appreciate an atmospheric turn of phrase will want to spend more time in Henrietta." -- School Library Journal, starred review
Praise for The Raven Boys:
"Stiefvater is a master storyteller." -- USA Today
"A dizzying paranormal romance tinged with murder and Welsh mythology." -- The Los Angeles Times
* "Simultaneously complex and simple, compulsively readable, marvelously wrought." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A tour de force . . . such a memorable read." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "One unexpected and wonderful surprise after another . . . a marvel of imagination." -- Booklist, starred review
* "The Raven Boys is an incredibly rich and unique tale, a supernatural thriller of a different flavor . . . . Fans have been salivating for Stiefvater's next release and The Raven Boys delivers." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Equal parts thriller and mystery, with a measured dash of romance sprinkled on top . . . Maggie has woven such a unique, intriguing narrative that I struggled for comparisons." -- MTV.com
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2012 Blue Ribbons list
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I knew what I wanted from The Raven King: more magic, more friendship, more Cabeswater. I was worried over who might die and – more importantly – if my precious babies would have a chance at remaining lifelong friends, considering their socioeconomic differences and the different futures they craved. Would Adam make it to college? Would Ronan? Would Gansey die or - also bad - go on to be a grown-up President Cell Phone? If Blue couldn’t make it out of Henrietta, would her friends ever come back to visit, or would shame tear them apart? Et cetera.
I didn’t care much about Glendower, magic wishes, or the caricature villains that have consistently been the weak point in the series. Having finished the book, I feel like Stiefvater had the same focuses that I had, which has triggered mixed results from readers.
The Raven King is the creepiest of all four books. It deals with literal and metaphorical darkness throughout, and Stiefvater pulls out her best metaphors and similes to create a spine-chilling atmosphere. She paints settings like theater backdrops. In fact, there’s one memorable scene that takes place in a literal theater. Adam enters Aglionby, and “[i]nstead of returning to one of the academic buildings, he [slides] down the stairs to the theater’s side door.” As he walks down the hall (underground, alone, dark, creepy), he passes “many-legged animals made of stacked old chairs, strange silhouettes of stage-set trees, and depthless oceans of black curtain [that hang] over everything.” Nothing’s happened so far, but you know it’s going to, and it makes a great punch once it does.
Then there’s the friendship/romantic bits. In one scene, Mr. Gray says, “I’ve been thinking a lot about Adam Parrish and his band of merry men.” Maura responds, “That’s a strange way of putting it. I would have said Richard Gansey and his band of merry men.” Depending on how you look at the story, different characters become central – which is indicative of how rich the inner lives of these characters are. They all have full arcs, and Stievater for the most part balances them beautifully, never shining one character too far in the spotlight and dimming out the others.
Just as in previous books, however, the antagonists are underdeveloped and ineffectual. Too many chapters were devoted to villains I didn’t care about, and I could have spent more time with the protagonists I’ve loved for over 1,000 pages. Nevertheless, ‘the book could have been longer’ seems like the best of all complaints.
My second reaction to finishing the book – after the immediate adrenaline rush – was disappointment. Disappointment might be inevitable with so many moving pieces of such a long series – especially when many of those moving pieces are so near and dear to my heart.
Now, however, I’m three days into my book hangover and I still can’t start another novel. The conclusion offered me the best thing it could: Hope. There's somewhere to go at the end, more things to imagine. The gangsey's futures mattered to Stiefvater in the same way they mattered to me. Ironically, this is not 'all there is.' The gangsey is going to stay in my head for years, and I know I’ll reread the entire series to spot how all the different plots parallel and intersect. I think that’s the best thing a concluding book can make you want to do.
This is not to say that I didn't enjoy The Raven King. I did, especially the developing relationship between Adam and Ronan. And though I know others have felt that the Big Bad was almost comical, taking a strange and rather too specific form, I found it (and the descriptions of its evildoings) absolutely terrifying. And of course there's just the immensely satisfying experience of being in the world the author has created.
I think this book ultimately felt rushed -- there were a few plot points that were never tied up (Gray Man, what happened? Also, lingering questions about Blue's curse, and Glendower, and Gwenllian, and Blue's mom, and . . .) and the important scenes and relationships were not given as much time as they deserved. I'm sad for my time in Henrietta to end. I wish we could have spent a little longer.