Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Five Things I Loved About The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (And Five Things I Hated)

(MAJOR SPOILER WARNING for the Tumblr link in 'Five Things I Hated' point one. Minor spoiler warning for the actual review.)

"He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn't want it to be over."  - Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King, page 370
Did I read this the day it came out? Yes.
Have I been putting this review off? Also yes.
This novel took me three days to process.

(And yet your review is still going to be a jumbled mass of loves and loathings.)


Five Things I Loved About The Raven King

1. The Characters

I LOVE character-driven stories. Arguably, The Raven Boys was Noah's book, The Dream Thieves was Ronan's, Blue Lily, Lily Blue was Adam's, and this is Gansey's. 

But it's not just about the main characters. 

The Lynch brothers get their fair share of focus -

(She was very happy about that.)

- As do the women of Fox Way, the Grey Man, Neeve, Piper, Helen, and Henry Cheng.

(More on him later.)

It's the finale, and everyone wants in.

2. It Made Me Care About Gansey

It's no secret that Gansey was my least favourite Raven Boy. Noah's adorable. Ronan's awesome. Adam has a tragic past. Gansey's just a rich guy with a goal. 

But this book humanises him.

3. The Twist

The Glendower plot ends epically. You will not see it coming. And you will feel it. 

4. The Horror

 Now I'm not saying that the other books were all sunshine and rainbows, but this one is downright creepy. We're talking demons, possession, the possible end of the world, death, ancient tombs, bees -

(And Kissing. 

Oh no! Physical affection! Your one weakness!

5. Henry Cheng

Despite all the nitpicking I'm going to do in a minute, I genuinely did like this guy. He was quirky and endearing.

...And Five Things I Hated

1. Henry Cheng

As much as I loved him, I could not for the life of me work out why he was added to the main cast? Why was he the one who went with Gansey? What was his purpose? I'm not one of the people who believes that he 'replaced Noah' (and neither will you be, if you read this excellent Tumblr post that makes a convincing argument about Noah's purpose in the series) but, even if he had, that still doesn't explain why he was added in so late in the game. The only reason I can think of to explain why he was there, is to link the Gangsey to Piper's plotline...but wasn't that the Grey Man's job?

2. Blue's Origin

This seems to be a bit of a fashion trend this year...

3. The Fact That I Was So Confused

It all came together in the end but, for a while, there was so much going on and so many plot threads to tie up that my eyes were bugging out of my head. That said, I did read it in a single night.

(...Perhaps a reread is in order?) 

4. Sacrifice


Characters always have to sacrifice something to reach their goals. Is it too much in The Raven King? Is it not enough? I can't tell you because of the spoilers involved. All I can tell you is that I was exasperated by it.

5. The  Adventure Continues...

I hate these endings! If there isn't going to be a sequel, I don't want a sequel hook waving in my face. It didn't help that this particuarly one felt tacked on to explain why a plot thread had been entirely abandoned.

(Are you saying that you'd rather have a plot hole?) 

No, but just because this is the preferable option, that doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Overall, I LOVED The Raven King. It might not be perfect, but it's an epic ending to an epic series. 

Okay, show of hands, who's ready for Stiefvater's next book? And have you read the The Raven King yet? What did you think? Link me to your review.

P.S. Apologies for the sporadic posting this month. It's currently the exam period at my university and revision has to come first.