Friday, September 2, 2016

5 Star Spoiler Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 5 Stars

This is the SPOILER FILLED review for this book. I have a non-spoiler filled review that was posted yesterday (find it here) and if you haven't read this book yet, I recommend checking out that review first.

Proceed with caution!

This review is going to be somewhat haphazard because I just have way too many thoughts floating through my head about this book. There's just too much to talk about, too, and I want to shout from the top of the mountain how much I love this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Precious Gansey died-it actually happened. I mean, we knew from day one that this was where the story was going since the first chapter of The Raven Boys tells us very clearly that Gansey dies this year and when this book rolls around the end of the year is near. I'm so proud of the way he handled the whole thing and was also heartbroken about the whole thing. I was, true story, sitting on my couch crying quietly as I read the final chapters of this book. I'm also really glad Gansey didn't stay dead and that it made sense within the context of the series and didn't break any of the rules that have been set up from day one of the Raven Cycle.

Everyone got their version of a happy ever after, even though their stories don't end with this book. Something I've noticed with a lot of YA books, particularly those in the fantasy or paranormal areas, is that with the ending of series it often feels like such a concrete ending that no other adventures can happen in these characters lives. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. For one, I like to know the characters I've come to love are done with these hardships and that the adventure they had is over and they can live in peace. But with the Raven Cycle that would have felt so weird since the whole series has felt more like a peek into the lives of these characters and not their whole stories. And the ending, which leaves everyone at the end of one chapter of their lives and about to start another one completely, made me so happy. Particularly Gansey, Blue, and Henry. Something I mentioned in my other review was how all the character arcs finished by hitting the best emotional points they could have, and that really stands out to me. Having both Ronan and Adam's stories end the way they did was perfect.

Speaking of Pynch... I already shipped Ronan and Adam thanks to the beautiful fan art I've seen, but actually getting to experience the moments in the book was amazing. Their relationship is my favorite in the series and the fact that Maggie is working on a (maybe possible) Ronan-centered trilogy gets me so emotional.

I mention him earlier in passing- but Henry Cheng is very important and I adore him. First of all, I have a head canon that Henry is asexual, and while it's never explicitly stated I do think it's a safe bet (if I'm totally off and something else has been confirmed, please let me know!). There are very few (actually, can't think of any...) ace characters in YA literature and there needs to be more. On a totally different topic: I liked that there was another member of Gansey's court added in this book. And I like how he fit in nicely with Gansey and Blue and how the three of them actually are perfect for each other. I love Noah, Adam, and Ronan but I will admit now that Henry is there I realize there was a hole in the group.

Finally, Noah. My smol child. I loved Noah from page one (well, whatever page he was actually introduced on) and while his was not my favorite ending, I do think it is the best ending he could have had. I mean, he's been dead for a long time and I'm glad he finally gets that rest that he really needs. I just wish there had been proper goodbyes amongst everyone.

So, yeah, this book might be my favorite of the year. Top three at least. I hope that Ronan trilogy ends up happening because it would make my year (whatever year it's announced in) and I look forward to seeing whatever Maggie does next.

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