Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King
(The Raven Cycle #4)
Maggie Stiefvater
Release: April 26, 2016
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The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

Review by Rose Red:

I'm just going to be upfront here. There are no spoilers for The Raven King in this review and I'm not going to talk about any of the specific events that occur. Like with my review of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I feel that you need to should go into this book blind to get the full experience that is The Raven King. That experience is really all in the storytelling and Maggie Stiefvater is one hell of a storyteller. Also, it's the last in a series and I don't want to accidentally spoil someone for any of the events in the series especially because everyone has a different idea about what constitutes a spoiler. That being said, I'm going to talk about my reading experience as well as my reaction to the book when I finished. If you're afraid that my feelings about it will be spoilery, I'll just tell you now that I loved it and you can close the browser and be done. If you want to know more details, read on. 

This may come out as a long, rambly mess because I actually have no idea how to review this book in general. I've been thinking about it for a week now because I was lucky enough to find an early copy in Barnes and Noble almost a week before it released. I don't think I've been so excited or anxious to read the end of a series, or a book in general, like this since I stood in the midnight release line for the last Harry Potter book. It was also a reading experience I haven't had since Deathly Hallows. Everything was immediately familiar as soon as I started the book. So much so that it felt like coming home. I'm fairly new to this series having only read the first three books less than two months ago, so I wasn't expecting this book to incite those kind of feelings. It's amazing how I've fallen in love and become so invested with this series in so short of an amount of time.

Just because it was comfortable falling back into Stiefvater's storytelling doesn't mean that I wasn't anything but a huge ball of anxiety while reading. I had to get up every fifty pages or so and walk around my apartment to deal with all of my feelings. And I had A LOT of feelings. Guys. I cried just reading the prologue. I wasn't ready for this series to end and was super emotional the whole time. I don't think I've cried this much while reading a book in a long time. There was both happy and sad tears and outright ugly crying in a few places. This book was running my emotions through the wringer but I couldn't stop. I needed to know how everything wrapped up so I read it all in one go.

Once I finished, I couldn't go to bed. I went back and immediately reread certain parts several times, then all I could do was lie on my bed hugging the book to my chest. I felt lost and overwhelmed with feelings. To be honest, I'm still processing everything. One thing I do know is that I want more. More adventure and banter and these friendships. The relationships in this series were everything! I loved that the important relationships weren't romantic. The important relationships were those between friends and those between family. I want more of that in my fiction.

The Raven King was everything I wanted it to be but didn't have the imagination to predict. It felt like coming home and being surprised all at once. Simply put, I adored it. It was terrifying, hilarious, sad, and just plain magical. Maggie Stiefvater wrote the perfect ending to this beautiful series. It made me laugh, and it made me cry multiple times. I'm still kind of shell-shocked that this series is over and I'm still feeling kind of lost. I'm not ready to say good-bye to these characters. I'm brokenhearted that it's over and that I can never again read it for the first time.

That's all there is.

I guess there is really only one more thing I can say...



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