The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater ☆

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“He was a king. This was the year he was going to die.”

Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Why you should read this book: Fourth and last book of the series and it certainly will take your heart, shatter it a little, then give you feelings you didn’t know you needed.

“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

It is really hard for me to write this review because it is the first time in a very long time that the release of a book has driven me almost insane. I woke up at 5 am, on a weekday, to start reading the ebook because I knew my paperback was never going to be here on time, and I am a spoilers magnet (95% of the times I am the one to look for spoilers, I’m not ashamed). At 9 I went to work and when I came back for lunch I kept reading until 7 pm, when I finished it. It was a wild day, I have never read a book faster in my life!

I started this series of books late, only a few months ago because I started following more tumblr blogs about books and there are so many posts about the raven boys and I wanted to know more about them. Then I saw how good were the reviews on goodreads so I decided to buy the first 3 books of the series.

One of the best decisions I could’ve made. The story is fantastic, magical but also contemporary, a tiny bit of drama, a tiny bit of romance and a tiny bit of everything else. I love books that are a perfect mix of everything I enjoy. Wouldn’t we love to discover dead kings, visit magical forests and take things from our dreams? I know that I would, for sure.

ATTENTION! FROM HERE ON THERE ARE SPOILERS!

After finishing Blue Lily, Lily Blue there were still a few weeks left until the release of The Raven King. I pre-ordered my paperback copy back in January but the more the release day approached the more I grew anxious and desperate to know what was going to happen!! Is Gansey really going to die? Is Blue going to find what she is going to do after high school? Is Adam going to accept who he is and stop whining? Is Ronan going to find out how to wake his father’s dreams? Is Noah going to follow the light and cross over?

So many questions that needed answers and, guess what? I got my answers, I was very satisfied by them, I got so many more beautiful things and, even if some things were left unanswered, I can’t say I’m not happy about how the book ended. Maggie couldn’t have answered every single thing because we are supposed to be left wondering what they are going to do, what they are going to see, who they are going to be. Knowing every detail of their lives would’ve taken a lot from us, we have to wonder, we have to imagine the future we want them to have. We are given inputs and we can work our imagination from there. I LOVE IT!

There is only one thing that I would have loved to see. I wanted Gansey to see the demon wasp, I wanted to see how he would react to the demon, I wanted to see him afraid but unafraid of it because Henry helped him manage his fear a little. That’s the only thing I think of. The rest was perfect!

Let’s talk a little bit about the characters, only a few of them or else this review will be Bible long.

“She was the only person who he could not dazzle, and he loved her for it.”

Gansey
Baby Gansey, our beautiful boy, our explorer and Glendower number 1 fanboy! He has always been brave but fragile, a few layers and a few masks to show to different audiences. He opens up a lot to Blue, they are perfect together and the fact that they can’t kiss amplifies a lot how they show affection to each other. He loves her so much it hurts because I want someone to look at me the way Gansey looks at Blue, a guy who thinks the world is a much better place with you in it, that every noise the outside makes is silenced when you are talking. Awww, sweetheart, you are perfect and it’s impossible not to love you. I can’t hide that I was extremely sad about the whole Glendower situation but I get it, maybe the hints were there all along and I didn’t pay attention.

“I thought you would be hairier”, she whispered.
“Sorry to disappoint. The legs have a bit more going on.”
“Mine too.”

Blue
Not loving Blue is impossible; she is smart, says what needs to be said, is brave, super strong. What’s not to love? I was in pain for her because she knew about Gansey, she knew how much she already loved him, she knew the day she had to say goodbye was near but she chose to stay with him and suffer all the way. She could’ve stayed away from him, spare him and her a little bit of pain but no, she chose to enjoy every single second they had together until the very end. Blue’s interactions with Ronan are one of the best things about this book; I can see a BFF necklace for the both of them in the near future.

“Look, Sargent,” Ronan retorted. “I was gonna dream you some eye cream last night since clearly modern medicine’s doing jack shit for you, but I nearly had my ass handed to me by a death snake from the fourth circle of dream hell, so you’re welcome.”

Noah
Creepy little boy, creepier that in the 3rd book, much creepier that in the 2nd book, and sooo much creepier that in the 1st book. It was a weird escalation of creepiness. I knew Noah was important even if a lot of times he wasn’t there, you couldn’t forget about him. He is dead, he is there one second and the next he is gone, sometimes for days. But where does he go? I don’t have many theories but, after what we learn at the end of the book, maybe he is a key member of the circular flow of time weirdness that is Cabeswater and the ley line, and without him a lot of things couldn’t have happened. When time is involved, everything becomes weird. Noah said something about that being the last time reviving Gansey in the past. Why the last time? How many times has he done that? Damned you, circular time, so hard to follow!! Is the last time reviving him in some way linked to Gansey reviving in our present, to the disappearance of Cabeswater? Is that why after that he just slips away? Why, Noah, why??? Why didn’t you tell us something? You just left and here I am in pain for you because, even if you were so much more, different, alive, you were still very much as dead. Poor baby! Wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!! Noah used his favour from Cabeswater to revive Gansey, okay, but was it really for Glendower or was it for something else that I’m not getting?? Please, people, let’s exchange theories, this is driving me crazy!! Besides my random rambling, I am still a little mad about the fact that we didn’t get to hear the boys and Blue say something about Noah. I wanted something to be said about him in the epilogue, something nice, a little something to know that they knew what he did, that they cared a lot about him and that they were sad because they didn’t get to say goodbye! I’m sad about Noah and will always be! WAIT A MINUTE!!!! What if by slipping away in time that last time he disappears also from the boys’ timeline in the present, and that’s why no one says anything about him because they don’t remember him?? Is that even possible? Maybe it is with circular time, maybe I’m just going mad completely. SEND HELP!!

“Adam smiled cheerily. Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable.”

Adam
At first I didn’t like him very much; he was all whiny and not very nice with the people around him. His friends wanted to help him and he refused and acted really rudely thinking they wanted to own him, make him their charity project. Adam, baby, they love you, that’s what people who love you do, they help you, they want you to be happy and live comfortably. Book after book he redeemed himself becoming one of my favourites (they are all my favourites, though) and in this last book there was so much Adam and I couldn’t be happier. Love me some Adam! Of course there is also the Ronan situation. I knew he was watching Ronan and seeing something more than only a friend. He was trying to understand what he felt and I loved the fact that he didn’t dismiss the change of his heart and he took the leap and allowed himself a little bit more of happiness. WTH, he deserves it. Good for you, baby boy, proud of you!

“His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

Ronan
My beloved, my dark knight, my raven whisperer, my baby daddy. I started loving Ronan from the start but only saw this as real love maybe after half of The Dream Thieves. I don’t really remember, it was light infatuation turned into hard-core love in the end. I know now that I love him and that I want him to be happy. I am happy for him; he knows very well a lot of things and chooses to deal with them as best as he can. The Adam situation is overwhelming for my boy; knowing Adam knows about his feelings is hard because he sees how Adam has changed around him, how many more smiles he reserved only for Ronan. Is he ready to take a chance or is he too scared to ruin what they have? He took the right decision, the PERFECT decision.
Can I say how important is Ronan? Not only for me, of course, for this whole quest? There is so much Ronan, and I couldn’t have asked for more. I want a whole book about Ronan being a farmer; The Farmer Boy.

“Ronan Lynch — dreamer of dreams, fighter of men, skipper of classes — might”

Henry
New fabulous addition to the gang!! Our Henry, half Chinese (which half? Hahaha), half Korean, keeper of RoboBee. Who is said RoboBee?? Only one of the best dream things the world can ask for! Precious little thing, not only RoboBee but also Henry. I knew he was going to be something since they barely introduced him in the last book. He makes me love him and, yes, I would love to travel the world with him. He paying, obviously, I’m broke.

The epilogue was fantastic. Maybe I wanted to know more about everything but maybe I am happy about what was given. I love how their adventures have just begun.

I will miss them with all my heart. I feel so empty right now, I feel weird.
I will read the whole series again very soon, how can I stay away from them? Not possible!

Do I recommend it? Yes, read it, long live the Raven Boys.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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The Raven King by Nora Sakavic

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“Neil was equal parts grateful and irritated.”

Title: The Raven King
Author: Nora Sakavic
Why you should read this book: Because it is beautiful and I say so.

Summary from Goodreads:

The Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster might be the miracle they’ve always needed to come together as a team. The one person standing in their way is Andrew, and the only one who can break through his personal barriers is Neil.

Except Andrew doesn’t give up anything for free and Neil is terrible at trusting anyone but himself. The two don’t have much time to come to terms with their situation before outside forces start tearing them apart. Riko is intent on destroying Neil’s fragile new life, and the Foxes have just become collateral damage.

Neil’s days are numbered, but he’s learning the hard way to go down fighting for what he believes in, and Neil believes in Andrew even if Andrew won’t believe in himself.

“You laughed at Riko on Kathy’s show. If you don’t go, he’ll say you’re too afraid to face him! For shame, Neil.”

I don’t know what to say. I am heartbroken, I am angry, I don’t know what to say. I’ve already said that. See? I can’t think straight. It is a horrible feeling.

I loved this book and I’m loving this series. I wouldn’t have expected to be this obsessed with it. The sport is weird, I still don’t understand how it’s played, the background criminal stuff is a lot over the top but it contributes to the greatness of this book. I know this is not for everyone. You have to be able to stomach a lot of hard and dark issues. It is plenty dark, this sequel, a lot more than I expected. THE LAST CHAPTERS, HELLO?? What is wrong with you people?? This is not okay, I am in a loss of words, I want everything to be nice, I want rainbows and unicorns and my Foxes happy and healthy. It is a lot to ask? I think it is because this book was the end of a little piece of my heart I not going to see again anytime soon.

Neil is still a strong and straightforward character. He has grown from the “I don’t trust anyone” guy he was in the first book. He is starting to see the Foxes as something more than time to waste until his next escape. He sees them as friends and family, he knows them more, he speaks more to them and he is less afraid of the world. He takes bad decisions but they are for the best, he means well, how could he know that the evil scorpion king was in for blood and destruction. I knew Riko was crazy and a sociopath of enormous proportions but this was too much, too much of everything even for him.
Neil is facing dangers he is not suppose to face but he is doing it because he is finally understanding there is more to life (or what is left of it) than exy.
His questions about a certain thing made me giggle a little. He is still trying to figure himself out but I think everyone else knows it already. I just hope he doesn’t wait too much to get what we got chapters and chapters ago.

Andrew threw his hands up. “Newsflash, Nicky: Neil isn’t normal!”

Andrew is my favorite character, besides Neil of course. He has bottled up so many issues it is hard for him to be honest with others. He doesn’t give his trust easily but it seems that he is willing to try opening up with Neil. Andrew’s past is a dark one, so hard to digest, it was terrible to read, I’m still shaken a lot. Nobody had to go through that and grown ups should believe a teenager trying to telling you something is not okay. Andrew is fragile, broken, he needs someone to help him go through what he is going through now.

That’s Andrew for you: making sense since never

The team are very supportive and much more present in this book. Andrew’s lot doesn’t socialize with the other half of the team, it has always been like that but maybe things are changing, I hope for the best because the team can only be stronger if every single one of them learns to know the other. Renee was a nice surprise, revelations were made, pasts uncovered. Dan is such a nice female character, I like her a lot with her love for the game and wanting to bring her team to victory. They couldn’t have a better captain.

About time Aaron, I was going to shake you a little if I didn’t see something more from you. I was happy to discover what makes him Aaron and what is it he has hidden inside to make him that cold. Open up, Aaron, things are stinky, the world is falling down but you’ve had more than one chance to turn everything in your favor. Don’t waste it. (view spoiler)

I can’t wait to read the third and, alas LAST, book of the series. I don’t know if I’m ready to say goodbye, NO, I’m 100% sure I’m not ready. This is going to be hard. Prepare to see my gloomy self until I finish reading it. The joy will migrate from my inner self to somewhere sunny. My soul will be cloudy and stormy. I warned you. Things are going down!

Do I recommend it? Of course, 500% yes, I still feel the need to break something.
Rate: 5/5

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