The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater

Well, after the last few years of pouncing on every previous book in the Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater, and turning the pages with feverish intensity, I am so very glad that I don't have to worry about Blue and the Raven boys anymore!  At least, not as much.  But it was very worrying there while it lasted, what with Blue's curse (that the first kiss she gives her true love will kill him) and the very real real real likelihood/possibility of Gansey dying (not just because of him being Blue's true love) and Ronan's rather difficult nature and unusual family circumstances, and Adam's rather difficult situation and abusive family circumstances.  I have wanted very badly indeed for everyone to get happy endings....

So then The Raven King (Scholastic, April 26, 2016) arrived in the mail, brightening my day and filling the next few evenings, and I can't say much about the specifics of the story because that would be unfair to anyone who hasn't read the books (because you should read the books!).

But I can say a few things--

1.  if you have time to refresh your memory with a re-read, that would be good.  It took me a while to get back in the swing of things and remember who all the secondary characters were, and all the very many bits of story that happened (I found myself thinking of Bruegel a lot as I started reading--it's a very dense landscape, that requires immersion and attentiveness to full enjoy).

2.  The best part of the books has always been the friendship, a friendship as deep as love, between the main characters.   This part got even better.  A new Raven boy has joined in, Henry, who you may remember from the last book....and he's great and interesting in his own right (there are more tremendously attractive and intelligent and truly individual boys in this series than any other I can think of, and really this is the only thing that keeps me from pressing the books into the hands of my own target audience, because these boys are so charismatic it's hard for real ones to measure up)  and, unlike all the other main characters, Henry the new kid isn't white (Korean mother, father from Hong Kong).  So it's nice there's diversity.  (There's also an LGBT bit thrown into the larger mix here).

3.  How, I wondered for the past few years, will Maggie Steifvater wrap everything up without a cataclysm in a way that is satisfying?  Especially now that she has unleased a demon who is destroying the magical forest of Cabeswater.  She does (except for one thing I'm not sure about (highlight to see)--what happened to Noah?)

So basically, if you like twisty, mythology-rooted, magic impinging on reality, character-driven fantasy, read these books if you haven't already!

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher in the sort of package in the mail form that makes blogging worthwhile!


  1. I finally going to read this series. Book 1 is on the way to me in the mail.

  2. I think the answer to your question is "He moved on" -- which I suppose we always knew he would do. Sob. I was sad that the other characters didn't really deal with that though! It made it seem like they hardly even cared, and I know they DID care. We just didn't get to see them caring about it. And after he was so sweet with Ronan.

  3. Oh!!! I own the book, though we've been buying the audio and it isn't yet on my device. I've been trying to decide if I should jump in or if I should re-read the whole series - but I'm just 3/4 through book 1 right now. Decisions! I can't remember Henry, though, so maybe I should go for the re-read. At any rate, my love and I have decided to have a Date to go see Maggie when she's in the area - the first time she's come our way.

  4. I'm going to have to start this series...thx for the review!


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