The Raven King | book review

The Raven King

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, #4
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours
Narrator: Will Patton
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Original Publication Date: 2016
Genre(s): Young adult, Fantasy

“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.”

Blue Sargent has been told her entire life that she would kill her true love with a kiss. She never believed in true love until meeting her raven boys. Until meeting Gansey. She saw him on the ley line, on the spirit road, on St. Mark’s Eve. She knows he will die. And she can’t help falling in love with him.

Richard Gansey, III had always been told he was destined for greatness. Maybe most meant it academically or politically, but lately, Gansey thinks perhaps he’s destined for more. Like finding Glendower. Like dying for something important, for the ones he loves. He knows what it means when he hears himself talking on the recording on St. Mark’s Eve. But perhaps he will die in greatness. A king.

Adam Parrish is extremely perceptive, even with being deaf in one of his ears. He hasn’t been the same since he made his deal with Cabeswater: to be its hands, its eyes. But something is wrong with Cabeswater, and with Persephone gone, he’s not sure what to do or who to hold on to. Simultaneously, he’s not sure how he feels about the way Blue and Gansey have been looking at each other. He’s also not sure how he feels about the way Ronan has been looking at him.

Ronan Lynch is a lot closer to Cabeswater than anyone could ever imagine. He knows something isn’t right with it, and together with Adam, must find out what’s causing this decay and how to stop it. But with everything out of control in his head, in his dreams, he starts losing control of his heart.

Everything is coming full circle. Everything is coming to a close. And no one is safe.


Finishing this series was painful. This book gave me so much anxiety and it honestly bled into my life outside of reading the book. I was on edge and shaking, I was so nervous about how this series would end! It’s almost embarrassing how hard I fell in love with these characters and their story. Completely unexpected, that’s for sure. Stiefvater is absolutely a master of suspense and an excellent writer of characters, among so many other things. But that stands out the most in this series, especially in this last book.

The Raven King is the epic conclusion to The Raven Cycle and is told as all the other books are in first-person POV with alternating perspective chapters. I really didn’t know what to expect in this finale, and I won’t go into the details too much so as to not spoil you—that is, if you haven’t read it yet. (I know, I’m like, 5 years late. But I was clearly living under a sad, raven boy-less rock. Thanks again to my friend Heather for showing me the light.) Like I said, I was dying with suspense and anticipation throughout the entire book, and though I was anxious, I enjoyed every minute of it. Not all the loose ends are tied up. There are some plot holes and some characters that we just never hear from again. Regardless, I loved this book so much it hurt. I’m sure Stiefvater could have written on and on and on, but I’m happy with what we got.

My issues with the story are honestly so far buried underneath my love for it. This conclusion was epic for me, and that’s all that matters. I can tell this is going to be a really bad book hangover. Worse than my book hangover after The Folk of the Air series a couple months ago, and that one was really bad! I already miss these characters and their world. The ending made me smile and yearn for more. I could really see this being an amazing Netflix series. But I would also be so afraid of them messing it up. But also I just want more. Maybe I’ll just have to buy the series for myself and re-read it again and again like Heather does. I think this is very likely.

Overall, I loved this final book in the series, and I loved the series in general. Issues and complaints are so minor they’re practically microscopic. I know the synopses of the books are vague, so please listen to me when I tell you: if you love YA fantasy, and close friend groups, and curses and prophecies and doomed love, then you will love this series. I was hesitant going into it, but midway through book 1 I was hooked and look at me now: a die-hard fan and a finisher of the series. Absolutely one of my all-time favorite series. I’ll miss these characters, but I’m so very glad I got to know them in the first place.

My Rating

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