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.
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.