November 17, 2016
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
I’ll admit it. I started this book 2 or 3 times before I could make myself read it. No, it wasn’t a bad beginning. It wasn’t slow or sluggish. It was engaging and gripping like Stiefvater’s books always are. But I also started it knowing that this was book #4 in a for book series and throughout the series one of my favorite character’s, Gansey, has lived with the prediction that he will die very soon. Quite frankly I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be there when it happened.
Take a deep breath, readers. The ending is inevitable but it is also satisfying and not sad. How can it be all three? You’ll have to read the book and find out.
Gansey’s quest has pulled him forward throughout his life as he searches for the lost Welsh king. As he’s traveled on this journey he’s pulled others into the quest as well.
Ronan is a dreamer. That isn’t to say that the hard-edged boy has an airy-fairy way about him. Nope. He’s all bluster and rage and noise. But when he dreams he can pull things, and even people, back into the waking world.
Adam is a wizard. Not only can he keep tricky, temperamental cars running, he also manipulates magic. Working together he and Ronan can do great things. Unfortunately, there’s an uneasy energy between the two and they’ll have to work it out for great things to happen.
Blue doesn’t have her own magic but she amplifies the efforts of others. She helped predict Gansey’s death before she fell for him.
Henry walked briefly through the other books but he is pulled into the group of friends in Book #4. It is only then that Gansey discovers the connection between Henry and Ronan — a magical, quasi-mechanical bee.
As the group finally learns to work together, something dark moves into Ronan’s dreams and into the forest. Unlike Ronan, a maker, it is un unmaker. It is working to unravel not only the group but the individuals in it, starting with Adam and Ronan. The question is whether they will discover what it is and how stop it before it is too late.
As always, Stiefvater’s books are hard to describe without simply retelling the entire book. Her plots are deliciously complicated and she creates a range of characters that are believably flawed and wholly appealing, even dark, surly Ronan. Share this book with the teen fantasy fan in your life and be prepared to discuss Good vs Evil as well as what it means to be a Creator vs a Destroyer.