Sunday, May 1, 2016

Babbling Worship: The Raven King

The Raven King

by Maggie Stiefvater
Book 4 (final) of The Raven Cycle

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  5.0 Stars
*Was there ever any doubt?  (Hint: Maybe, but not very much, really...)

This book... This conclusion... This series... This world... These characters...

Everything was just wonderful.

Warning: This is not a review. This is obviously a fangirl's squee.

“Depending on where you began the story…”

... it was about Blue and her Raven Boys...

To me, The Raven Cycle was always about the characters and their growth; their self-revelations, and their adventures as a lot of impossible things happened around them. It’s about a group of teens finding themselves and finding each other and finding out what kind of purpose they want their lives to be about.

To me, The Raven Cycle was always about the characters and how they loved each other and how they would always be together. Because while the story started out, four books ago, with a vague summary blurb about an angsty forbidden romance, the story ended with a group of growing kids who struggle through life and death and every other possible ugly thing in between and continue their adventures with an endless road of opportunities ahead of them.

Obviously I’m extra biased towards The Raven Cycle. Ever since chapter one of the first book, I had fallen utterly in love with our beloved characters and the world they live in, written beautifully in a magical, almost tranquil way. Well, to be honest, it took me more than one chapter, though I can’t quite pinpoint where in the first Raven Cycle book I fell in love with it and everything about The Raven Cycle.

I’m thinking it might have been somewhere around the moment that Gansey had said the words “And this is why I never wanted to have a baby with you…” to Ronan when the other boy adopted his raven... or something to that effect.

Or maybe it was at the point when I realized that Gansey wasn’t as typical and standard as he seemed at first glance.

And as each book of the series progressed, I realized that it wasn’t just Gansey I loved (even if he IS number one for me), but that it is definitely every one of the characters around him. Ronan grows on you over time and Adam is a bit of a conundrum. Noah is so piteously lovable in his own way. And Blue--Blue was already a readily likable person from the beginning.

All of the 300 Fox Way psychics had their moments. The Gray Man was full of badassery intrigue… and even the villains had their own share of charm that made it hard to dislike them a hundred percent.

Even the addition of Henry Cheng was quite magnificent. I found it hard to dislike him from some previously disagreeable dialogue he displayed as an Aglionby boy. But his end hour inclusion into our main ragtag group felt natural and somehow right. He was a pretty interesting character, that's for sure.

If we consider the “reviews” I’ve written for the past three books of The Raven Cycle, there is no doubt that this particular review of The Raven King will in no way help anyone decide whether they want to read this book. This review serves no purpose outside of my talking about how much I loved it. Because, honestly, if you’ve made it this far, I’d just assume that you’re willing to love the book even against all odds.

Not that The Raven King doesn’t deserve to be loved, although I have to admit that it didn’t start out the best and felt a little slow-going in the beginning. But that slow-going was still very easy to love and readily readable. That slow-going was like a savoring of what we know is a beloved world coming to an end.

And to be honest, I kind of preferred it this way. In no way was this last Raven Cycle book a rush to find the conclusion, nor was it an act of throwing all the eggs together to create a finished product. Even if it technically IS a rush to conclude everything that’d been going on, even if it HAD rounded all the tangents together, it is a rather well-rounded conclusion.

I’m definitely satisfied with it.

Everything just kind of fell into place and I’m left with nothing but a bunch of scattered gifs trying to convey both the peaceful calm of how satisfied I am with the conclusion as well as the aggrieved feels of how empty I feel at coming to the final destination of a favorite series with characters I will probably forever love, who will have a special place in my heart for a long time, and I will miss immensely now that the journey is over.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Bookish Resolutions Challenge

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