I know I haven’t said much about the Raven Cycle books as I finished them, but that ends with The Raven King. I thought “Oh, just save them and do a mini review at the end of the month or something. You don’t want to ruin the series for the 4 other people in this world that haven’t read it.”
This is not something I can do. So here’s a kind of review of all of them and mostly a review of The Raven King. Well, ish.
(Beware the spoilers if you continue. I’ll try and keep them to a minimum but that might not happen because boy do I have THOUGHTS.)
Because Jesus God THIS BOOK DESTROYED ME.
I need a support group because I cannot handle this.
Honestly, I feel like it destroyed me for reasons that weren’t even the main reasons. Like, okay, so Gansey had to die because obviously we knew that from the beginning.
No, it was fucking RONAN LYNCH. I swear, I cannot tell you the last time I was this attached to a fictional character. I don’t even think he counts as a full on main character, because really that was Blue and Gansey. But I am INVESTED in Ronan. SO MUCH.
Let me just.
Lets Talk About Ronan
So first and foremost, I love the way that they talk about him being gay. Or, rather, I love the way that they don’t talk about it. It’s not a huge thing. No one throws a fit. There’s no “OHMYGAWD CAN YOU BELIEVE HE’S GAY HE LIKES BOYS WHAT DO WE DO HOW DO WE HANDLE THIS IT’S WRONG” nonsense.
It’s just there, and it’s fine. It’s not really treated any differently from Blue liking Gansey. I think, in a way, that made it more powerful. If it had been made into a huge deal, it would be a major point. It would have basically been dressed in a neon green suit with LED lights lining the whole thing and a tophat with a spotlight saying “LOOK THIS CHARACTER IS GAY LETS TALK ABOUT IF IT’S RIGHT OR NOT!” while dancing to a William Hung song.
By just being there, like a fact not a point, it made it more normal, and fine because it is normal and fine.
Also, Ronan is a beautiful cupcake who needs to be hugged a little forever and the fact that he finds someone to make that happen is marvelous.
There’s also the fact that Maggie Stiefvater juST OUTLINED A RONAN SERIES. Which I need, like, a week ago.
Being the End of a Series
Endings always make me sad, and I think I go into them with over-high expectations. This one was good though. The main promise was, naturally, delivered, and in a really good way. I feel like it didn’t hit me all that hard, because I mean, we all knew it was coming because we’re told in, what, the first chapter or two of the first book? And it’s repeated C O N S T A N T L Y.
So you know Gansey dies. Big deal. It really honestly just seemed like more of a “Just let’s get this over with and move on, talk about something else” kind of thing.
The way that everything else was wrapped up was wonderful though. Except maybe Noah, who just kind of disappears. I’m assuming that he finally moved on, in the way that he was scared to before, but none of that is quite clear and he just vanishes.
But Blue and Gansey and Henry, actually, ended up in good places, while Adam and Ronan just. They are exactly where they need to be and if Maggie Stiefvater changes that well then I’ll probably do nothing.
Then again I might just throw all the books at the wall and scream and scream until they take me away to a psych ward and put me in a padded room.
(Clearly I have Pynch issues but CAN YOU BLAME ME?)
All in All
I loved this series so much and I’m so glad I finally read it. I’m going to have to read all of her other things now. Mostly because I can’t really handle the withdrawal from this series, and also because I really liked her style.
I like the way that she ended it with most of the ends tied nice and pretty, while letting some hang decoratively over the pretty paper she used to wrap it in. It felt complete, but not perfectly so, where you can’t imagine their lives continuing on.
This is a really great fourth book. I’m also glad she didn’t go with the trilogy + a prequel strategy that seems to be so popular in young adult. It’s just four straight books, all with their own thing, and nothing really tacked on at the end. It wasn’t dragged out for too long and it wasn’t cut short so that it warranted a prequel. It just was, whole and complete, and I appreciate that so much.
In case you missed it, check out my review of The Raven Boys here. I’m going to say bits about the other books probably in a monthly round up (or maybe after I reread them because I listened to them so fast that they ran together a bit).
Have you read this book/series? What did you think about it?
(Is there any chance that someone out there knows about a good Pynch support group? Because I would be willing to get shirts and bring brownies to the meetings.)