2016 in [Book] Review Books Reading Themes Young Adult (YA) Literature

Saying Goodbye to Stiefvater’s Raven Boys with The Raven King

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Myra here.

Last year marked the end of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle Quartet. While it took me awhile to get into the first book, it was really The Dream Thieves and the character of Ronan that turned the series around for me.

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In The Raven King, it became clearer how each character seemed to hold their own – although I still veer towards my initial illumination in Book 2 that this is more Ronan than Gansey’s story. I was relieved that the Gansey-Blue-Adam love triangle was given a rest (that YA formula is archaic, truth be told), and while the new love interest that brewed and blossomed in The Raven King caught me sideways, it felt real and true rather than tokenistic (will refrain from saying more).

I also feel that what made the series work for me is that I loved the adults in Blue’s life – they were flawed, eccentric, and quite distinct from any other characters I’ve read. I felt that I would have appreciated the last book more if I had re-read the entire thing, as it also took me awhile to remember who some of the minor characters are particularly the villains that surfaced in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. 

I also enjoyed how wealth has been portrayed in the series: Gansey’s old-rich money and Blue’s initial discomfort – in fact, outright rejection of all things Raven Boys at the onset. Somehow throughout the series, they became less the privileged, spoiled young men that they also are – but human beings who simply happen to be who they are, touched with magic, no apologies.

If you haven’t read any of the titles in the series yet, I promise it is worth the read until its very satisfying end.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. Published by Scholastic Press, 2016. ISBN: 0545424984 (ISBN13: 9780545424981). Review copy provided by Pansing Books.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “Saying Goodbye to Stiefvater’s Raven Boys with The Raven King

  1. I did love this series, have all the books, and perhaps I will re-read them one day. I enjoy Maggie Stiefwater’s writing very much, and have seen her present several times. She seems to like visiting Denver! I enjoyed hearing your opinion, too, Myra. If you haven’t read Maggie’s The Scorpio Races, do! It’s still my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to read this series! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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