Format: Hardcover, 439 pages
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.
The Raven King is the fourth and final installment in Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle series. For series regulars, The Raven King picks up a week after the ending of Blue Lily, Lily Blue. A week since they pulled Gwenllian out from her 600 year sleep. A week after Maura found Artemis and Blue discovered who her real father was. So, let's get to it. After years of searching for his Holy Grail (Glendowner) and coming up empty time and time again, Richard Gansey III, and his Raven Boys (Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, Noah Czerney) plus Blue Sergeant, will have one last adventure to try to bring everything together that they've learned up to this point.
But, if you are expecting Stiefvater to make things easy for her characters, then you haven't read one of her previous books.
Everything is in place for the group to locate Glendowner, but can they piece together what is necessary to find him before evil gets in their way? We have learned a great deal up to this point. From a magical forest called Cabeswater, to unfamiliar creatures crawling out of a cave mouth, to dangerous artifact collectors, and an even more dangerous demon lurking in the shadows thanks to a bargain made by a tertiary character.
As readers of this series, we've become attached emotionally to these characters, and even Blue's quirky extensive family including Orla, Jimi, and Calla. But, one of the more interesting additions to the Raven Boys quest is that of Henry Cheng who more than makes things interesting. Henry is a very interesting character who was a minor character in a previous book. In quick sequences, he sees what he's not supposed to be able to see, becomes friendly with both Gansey and Blue, and doesn't squirm away from a challenge once he's involved in the hunt for Glendowner.
This is a book that took a strange twist several times over. We've already known about Gansey and Blue and the fact that she is fated to kill her true love with a kiss. We also know that this is the last year that Gansey will have before he is fated to die. Stiefvater made, to me, a surprising move by putting Adam and Ronan on a course to be together. I dare say that the relationship between Adam and Ronan made a whole lot of sense. Adam is the magician, Ronan is the Dreamer of Dreams (Greywaren). Together they can spin the most unlikely of scenarios and make them realistic.
After everything Gansey has been through to find Glendowner, what happens next? Does he, and Blue travel on yet another adventure? Is Blue's curse finished? Will Grey Man and Maura continue as a couple? Will Artemis and Gwenllian put their pasts behind them?I would have rated this story higher, but unfortunately there are way too many loose ends that needed a whole lot of explaining. I dare not go any further for fear of spoilers. No, I do not regret starting out this journey. I just wish that perhaps things were a little more straight forward.