Just read: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Caution: MINOR spoilers in this review – the biggest one, however, is about Cassandra Clare’s The Clockwork Princess (for some odd reason) – so don’t say I didn’t, say I didn’t warn ya!
Finally being able to talk about this book in full length feels like peeing after holding it back for a very long bus drive. * awkward chirping in the background * ANYWAY!
Last time I wrote about The Raven King I could only talk about half the book (because I hid it in the wardrobe after 200 pages, so it wouldn’t stop me from passing my exams), and ended up fangirling over Ronan’s and Adam’s relationship – which I’m still not over, btw! But that really doesn’t do the book any justice AT ALL!
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 life; 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.
I’m recently finding endings to YA-series’ to be a bit of a let down. I feel like most authors are too attached to their characters to kill their heroes off or to have any character feel disappointed with the outcome of things. I mean, Cassandra Clare can’t be for real when she has Tessa end up with both Jem AND Will! Geez, that ending annoys me to this day! The thing about Maggie Stiefvater, however, is that she can make an ending cheesy, yet not unrealistically so. I cried at the end (as did Ronan), because it was so tragic and beautiful, and it cut my heart into tiny little pieces, and I NEED MORE OF THAT!
The reason why pretty much every book written by Maggie Stiefvater, but this one especially, makes you feel so crushed by the time you turn the last page is her sincere observation of characters. The characters in the book are so unbelievably well developed, they don’t just each play a part like characters in video games, they feel like actual people talking to you. And what’s more is that they develop further as the story goes on. This is the first book in which Blue actually remains decent throughout entire dates with Gansey (as opposed to her yelling at him for a) wearing boat shoes, b) lending a phone to his friend, c) trying to tell her that his parents are nice, loving people.) And that is also why everyone’s so in love with Adam and Ronan. It’s not because they are gay, it’s because seeing Ronan in love makes him likeable! You spend so much time with this bunch, they just grow on you, and it’s impossible to say good-bye!
And then there’s the MOST DEVASTATINGLY GORGEOUS THING EVER, namely that Gansey and Blue aren’t allowed to kiss because her kiss would kill him. And it doesn’t make the romance between them any less endearing or sexy, in fact, when they finally do share a kiss it’s not the best part oft he story at all. It’s not a dramatic showdown, it’s just «a girl softly pressing her lips to a boy’s.» And then shit happens. But even though this is the moment everyone’s been waiting for (you didn’t seriously think Blue would die an old, unkissed spinster, did you?), every Blue-Gansey moment before that is so much more cherishable! Their secret late-night phone calls, their drives in Gansey’s car, their shared looks and their almost-but-not-quite-kissing, all that makes their relationship and their love for each other very real.
To summarise: You will feel A HELLUVA LOT when reading this gem, starting with the cover! Every sentence is a bit of poetry and every word has a heartbeat.
Lots of love from the roots of my (still crushed) heart!