The Raven King / Opal — Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

 

TITLE: The Raven King

AUTHOR: Maggie Stiefvater

SERIES: The Raven King, #4

RELEASED: April 26, 2016; Scholastic Press

GENRE: Fantasy

AGE RANGE: YA

SYNOPSIS: The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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Spoilers ahead for Blue Lily, Lily Blue!

book 1 . book 2 . book 3

theravenkingsm

This review is so difficult to write, in the best possible way. I have started and erased my thoughts on this book too many times already (which is why the review is coming nearly two months after I finished reading it), because I feel like Maggie Stiefvater literally pulled pieces of my soul into the world of Cabeswater, and now, I don’t know how to get them back.

It was not that the women in 300 Fox Way weren’t her family—they were where her roots were buried, and nothing could diminish that. It was just that there was something newly powerful about this assembled family in this car. They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.

I do not call books my “favorites” lightly, so I do not say this carelessly: The Raven Cycle is one of my favorite series in my entire life thus far, and I am so happy that I read it, and I will carry this story, and these characters, in my heart forever. I know it sounds dramatic, but I believe books truly are a special form of magic, and this series is proof: that magic can sometimes crawl right off the pages, into your veins, and transform something in you. As you can imagine, with how much I have treasured these books, it was both a blessing and a curse to pick up the finale and watch things all come to an end, but it was a ride worth every damn second of heartache.

These days, they all had their hands thrust into the sky, hoping for comets.

Of course, the beauty in this series is credited to Maggie’s masterful storytelling and beautiful, flowery prose, but it’s also thanks, in much part, to the brilliant characters she creates and the ways they seem to come to life. When I call these books magical, what I mean is that, when you fall in love with Blue and her Raven boys, it’s hard to remind yourself sometimes that they’re not living, breathing beings, with hopes and dreams and tragedies.

She was always hugging her mother or holding Noah’s hand or linking her elbow in Adam’s or resting her boots on Ronan’s legs as they sat on the sofa. Touching Gansey’s neck just between his hair and his collar. This worry in her tone demanded fingers braided together, arms on shoulders, cheeks rested against chests.

→ Blue Sargent / Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III ←
I tried to write this review by splitting my feelings up for each character, but honestly, by the time I started this book, so many of my feelings were about each relationship that I couldn’t stand to separate them. Prickly, practical, angry Blue and sweet, cloud-gazing Gansey—I couldn’t love them more if I tried. I relate so much to Blue’s views on the world that I love her regardless, but who she becomes with Gansey (and vice-versa) meant the world to me. Watching this slow, forbidden romance come to fruition… my heart could barely take it.

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 Lynch / Adam Parrish ←
Where do I even begin with these two precious, troubled little souls? They’re both so broken and fragile, though they show it in such different ways. I love every single interaction between them both, but Ronan specifically is the character that I most cherished the development of in this series. Watching him come to face his fears and self-loathing, admitting his secrets and learning to embrace the feelings that plague him—I could have sat through hundreds of pages with only his inner monologue. I cannot possibly describe how excited I am for his trilogy, and how much I need more time with these precious boys.

“Jesus was not there, unfortunately,” Henry said. “Or perhaps fortunately. The hole was barely big enough for me.”

→ Henry Cheng ←
Henry isn’t a new character by this point in the series, but this installment is the first in which we are given a deeper glimpse into who he is as a person, what he has to offer Gansey—besides kind friendship and hilarious quips—and what moves him forward in life. I know Henry is a bit of a controversial aspect of the series, as many people didn’t like his abrupt introduction into the gang, but I loved him to pieces. He feels so lonesome in his soul, but he clicks so magnificently with Gansey that I couldn’t help cherishing their interactions, no matter how reluctant I was to accept his newfound presence in their lives.

It did not escape Adam how well they knew each other. The Orphan Girl was no random creature taken from a fitful dream. They had the well-worn emotional ruts of family.

→ Opal (Orphan Girl) ←
Of course, this review would not be complete without mentioning Opal, the little girl from Ronan’s dreams, and how much I adore her entire relationship with Ronan and Adam, and how much I want chapters upon chapters of Ronan in his protective big brother role with her. ♥ I’ve already reviewed her short story, but I’ll say it again here: she is precious, hilarious, bizarre, and oh, so lovable.

Maggie Stiefvater is an artist, a witch, and has probably sold her soul to the devil for the writing prowess it takes to make me adore a series as much as I loved this one. I would read her grocery lists, I would listen to her talk about anything and everything, and I cannot wait to see where she takes these sweet Henrietta babies next. I am utterly devastated to see the end of this gorgeous series, but damn, was it a satisfying journey.

5flowers


Opal by Maggie Stiefvater

 

TITLE: Opal

AUTHOR: Maggie Stiefvater

SERIES: The Raven King, #4.5

RELEASED: March 1st, 2018; Scholastic Press

 

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How could I possibly, in any way, shape or form, give this less than 5 stars? I’ve become so obsessed with this series and these wonderful characters, and all this did was make me crave the Ronan trilogy even more than I already was.

Opal is precious, bizarre, hilarious, and a legitimate treasure. That said, the real gem in this story is watching Ronan and Adam interact and try to muddle their way through coping with their respective traumas and futures. Every soft little moment made me want to cry and protect them. Maggie could captivate my heart and soul with five pages or less, so you can only imagine how much I cherish these 38, and how desperately I wish she could/would release more short stories to hold us over during these dark, Pynch-less times. 😭

5flowers


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Just a 25-year-old trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

3 thoughts on “The Raven King / Opal — Maggie Stiefvater

  1. The Raven King was a great read for me. I like how the loose ends were tied up, and was happy with the endings the characters were given. I want to read Opals book. I think it’s awesome Stiefvater gave her a book.

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    1. Same here! I was honestly impressed by how “clean” of an ending it felt like, because there were so many different facets to the plot and to each character’s storyline that I couldn’t believe that the ending never left me feeling like there were loose ends to worry about, or plotholes or anything. Maggie is such a great writer!

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