(Spoiler-free) Review | The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Good, but a missed opportunity. 3.5/5 stars

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater book cover

The blurb: 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 lie; 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.

My (spoiler-free) take:

I’m sorry the following is so vague: I’m avoiding anything approaching a spoiler!

The Raven King is the fourth and final installment in The Raven Cycle. I enjoyed book 1 – The Raven Boys and book 3 – Blue Lily, Lily Blue – very much. I wasn’t as keen on book 2 – The Dream Thieves –  mostly because it I think the characters are at their best when working together and they spend most of the book apart/not getting on.

My hopes were high for The Raven King. I was hoping for something epic. After sticking with the characters through three previous books I was expecting a grand finale, a mind-blowing conclusion which was both stunning and satisfying.

So I’m a bit disappointed that I can summarize my reaction to this book as “meh” and “eh?”

Continue reading…

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Review | Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Back on form. 4/5 stars

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater Raven Cycle 3 by Maggie Stiefvater book cover

The blurb: There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

My take:

I don’t want to repeat what I’ve already said about this series, so this will be a very short review!

I enjoyed Book 1 of this series – The Raven Boys – very much. In case you missed it, here’s my review.

But then Book 2  – The Dream Thieves – was something of a disappointment, mainly because I felt it focused too much on one character. Here’s my review of that one.

Fortunately, book 3 – Blue Lily, Lily Blue – was a return to form. The dream shenanigans in Book 2 now really do appear to have been a diversion from the main plot. With Book 3 we’re back on track; it feels like the band got back together and back on their quest. Thank goodness for that.

This was as entertaining and easy-to-read as Book 1. All the characters had something to do in progressing the action. It was a fun read, but I do start to question whether this series needed to be 4 books long. After a while it starts to feel as if the characters are running around for no reason other than to eke things out. Having said that, as long as their running around continues to be this entertaining, I won’t complain too loudly!

Overall: a return to the form of book 1. Now I just hope the final installment is even better!

 

Are you up to date with The Raven Cycle series? Waiting anxiously for The Raven King? Let me know!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

WWW Wednesday 3rd February 2016

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Review | The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Disappointing after such a strong series opener. 3/5 stars

The Dream Thieves The Raven Boys 2 by Maggie Stiefvater

The blurb: Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

My take:

I enjoyed book 1 of this series, The Raven Boys, very much and I was looking forward to getting equally swept up in the sequel. But, sadly, I was pretty bored until two thirds of the way through.

I think the main reason for my lack of involvement is that while The Raven Boys was the story of multiple characters, The Dream Thieves is mostly about Ronan. The other characters are reduced to minor supporting roles and this upset me because Ronan is my least favourite character (*sound of me hiding behind keyboard while Ronan fans throw things at me*).

The final third was better and returned to the absorbing tale-telling I was expecting after book 1. The writing throughout is still good and, when at its best, manages to convey the surreal aura surrounding all things magical. Oh, and Blue’s family of kooky clairvoyants continues to be a highlight.

Overall: I’m hoping this was the “difficult second book” in the series and the third will be better.

Have you already read Blue Lily, Lily Blue? Is it better than The Dream Thieves? Would you like to defend Ronan? Let me know!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

WWW Wednesday 27th January 2016

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WWW Wednesday 16th December 2015

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Review | The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Suitably enchanting stuff. 4/5 stars.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
What it’s about:  It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My take:

Sorry that my review will be shorter than the blurb!

I read The Raven Boys in three sittings. Each time it took about a page for me to lose track of time. The evening I finished the book I remember opening it and when I next glanced at the clock over an hour had passed.

Continue reading…

WWW Wednesday 9th December 2015

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WWW Wednesday 2nd December 2015

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