★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I really didn’t want to write this review. Not because the book was bad (because it wasn’t), or I didn’t know what to say (although that is true), but because it would mean admitting that I’d finished. That I was at the end of the Raven Cycle, spat out after a soul-wrenching and emotional rollercoaster of a series, with the only way forward to find something else to read. And as much as I love reading, I didn’t want to leave this series behind! I spent the days that followed The Raven King lost in another world, mulling over everything the series had offered and most definitely in a book hangover – it seriously messed with my head! Almost weeks later, I sit here and I still don’t really know what to say to do the series justice, just that it needs to be read. Like, right now. (Oh, and don’t even mention Noah – I still haven’t had the time to process yet.)
I marvelled back with The Raven Boys at how the series had picked up so much interest when it was such an obscure topic and written by a female author, and at the end of the fourth I still don’t know how it achieved such a miracle. I just know it deserved it. From the first page to the last page I was hooked in all the books, with Stiefvater’s amazing writing style. The characters were realistic, developed, approachable and there is nothing I can say about the literary technique that justifies how awesome it was. The novels were literally stellar.
Of all four, The Raven King has to be the easiest in which I can raise hesitation or critique – the first few chapters of the novel were an obvious recap of the previous three, and whilst this may be useful for new/returning-after-a-long-time readers, it was a little too drawn out and detailed for the continuing reader (and admittedly dampened my spirit around how good the final book would be). Worry not, it certainly redeemed itself pretty quickly, but (as I’m sure many fans will tell you) those chapters could have been well-utilised at the end to resolve a final few straws that remained unmentioned in the epilogue.
All this said, The Raven King was still one of the best books I’ve read this year – and it’s now November! The series is one of those I didn’t want to read because it was so popular and I didn’t want it to ruin any grandeur, but I honestly don’t regret it one inch. From borrowed library books to purchasing the paperback series outright, I have fallen hook, line and sinker for this series. It’s stunningly written and refreshingly different – snag yourself a copy asap if you haven’t yet!
Recommended for fans of:
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
- Relentless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracey Deebs
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart