This review is non-spoilery – well for the beginning of it, so you can read on without worry!
I know that plenty of times, it seems pointless to say “Just read it”. That argument is weak, because why and how and when and just why are we supposed to read it? But there are so many things to be said about this series that I wouldn’t know where to start, so it’s one of these cases where I’d think it’d be okay to take that as an advice, and fall in head and heart first into this magical story-telling. I have probably too much to ramble on with these two books, and not enough coherent things to say, so I will go with this new formatting of mini-reviews, and will talk overall about the ending of the series.
I might ramble more than for mini-reviews, but…okay, I apologize beforehand if I do.
IMPRESSIVE STORY TELLING & CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”
From beginning to end, Maggie Stiefvater takes us into a whole other world I once said that this book was a masterpiece of story telling, and I still think so. There is so much to be said about the writing, the world she creates, it’s impressive and alive with a heart beating right on the page – a feeling I have experienced with very little books, to be honest, or at least not to this level.
This story, and this whole series, falls on the slow-side of the bookish spectrum. Is there action? YES. Do you get bored? NO. (At least, I didn’t). But there are things that could happen faster, there are some issues that could be resolved quicker, and so on. However, this slow developing of the story leaves so much ROOM for character development, it’s astonishing, especially given how well-crafted the characters are. All of the characters are so different from the first book, when you get around to closing the last page of The Raven King. They all grew so much, they all changed and it’s something, thanks to Maggie’s delicious character crafting, you get to experience yourself. They are just so alive on the pages.
The family’s presence and their overall weirdness has to be noted here, and loved, because they are such a big part of the story as well. It’s not about a group of teenagers – okay, it kind of is, but not only. It’s about family as well. For Blue, it’s about growing up different from her family, yet finally finding her place, what she is and where she belongs. The crazy psychics in all of this family are such a massive part of the intrigue – they are helpers, they are advisers, they are present and accounted for.
Now, onto the spoilery part of the review. Do NOT read below if you haven’t read the WHOLE series yet. (And probably go buy a copy)
Adam is probably the character I had the hardest time falling in love with, at first, but he is the one that grows the MOST thorough this series. It was fantastic seeing him putting his pride aside, growing up, standing for himself and most of it all, realizing that he COULD do whatever he wanted and be whoever he wanted.
“Adam Parrish – magician and puzzle, student and logician, man and boy.”
Ronan, there is SO much to be said about him, I wouldn’t even know where to start. To a character we barely knew and understood in The Raven Boys, he took so many different shapes in my mind and changed and grew and we got to discover his shell, and what was behind it all and, well, there is no other way to say this so I loved him so, so much. Also, so many things about his life story and how some things are ending – especially regarding to his mother – made me want to curl up and cry forever.
“It should have been impossible. No one should have been able to dream any of these thing, much less all of them. But Adam had seen what Ronan could do. He’d read the dreamt will and ridden in the dreamt Camaro and been terrified by the dreamt night terror.
It was possible that there were two gods in this church.”
I wouldn’t even know where to start or how to talk extensively about Gansey, because he is such a complex character, driven by his quest, haunted by his past death, discovering the power of his voice and overall just, he’s just so, Gansey. I wouldn’t even know how to talk about Blue either, because she is SO endearing and I love her, even if I have to say that her love for yogurt is at times a bit too much? I don’t know, I don’t even care. I love them all.
If the characters are growing, so are their relationships – and oh, how I loved how everything turned out. Blue and Gansey’s relationship was everything: from the phone calls in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, to the feelings developing and the TENSION and the frustration of everyone not knowing ; to the ending and the KISS and the love and the…I’m flailing here, SO MUCH.
“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.”
I was surprised and pleasantly happy about Adam and Ronan’s developing relationship. If I loved them together, who would have thought they’d end up like this reading the first book? I certainly wouldn’t have, and I WAS HAPPY. I wanted to take their heads together and tell them to KISS. ❤
Special mention to Henry, a good, refreshing, diverse and fun last-minute addition to a crazy little group.
Onto the ending of this…. I heard, and now understand how a couple of people felt disappointed and almost cheated on at that ending. There were so many plot twists, and the fact that the Glendower couldn’t even be awaken and everything was just…well, it kind of fell flat for a second here – because when you’re reading this kind of quest, obviously you want it to be fulfilled at the ending. That’s not what happened here, and if I do understand the disappointment, it felt kind of fitting. Because in the end, that book is about a quest, it’s about friendship, it’s most of it all about growing up and, if you ask me, this series was about the characters and their development, with magical story telling and writing that grasps you into the story and quite never lets you leave. I loved every moment of it.
If you haven’t read the whole series, you can read again this, to know that YOU SHOULD probably buy a copy of this series as soon as you can.
It might not be the best book you ever read, but if you don’t try, you might regret on missing out one of the best storytelling and characters you will meet. I realize this is high praise, so I will try not to built your expectations up too much, and shut up now to let you experiment the book for yourself.
Final rating: It’s a HURRICANE!
Do you want to read The Raven Boys series? Did you read it and enjoy it? Which is your favorite book? Share your thoughts in comments!
Maggie Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Published by Scholastic Press, October 21st 2014 / The Raven King, Published by Scholastic Press, April 26th 2016.