Jun 12
2016

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater | Series Review (Spoiler Free)

The-Raven-King-by-Maggie-StiefvaterThis is it guys, I have read the last book of the quartet I have been obsessing over. I know many of you are heaving a sigh of relief (yes, don’t hide, I can see it from here!) that it is finally over, and I know, I know I have been going on and on for the last few months about my love for it, but trust me – this book series completely deserves the adoration it receives (from me and everyone else).

For the uninitiated – The Raven Cycle Quartet comprises of 4 books (duh!) – The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue & The Raven King. I have done plot summary and spoiler free reviews for all of them, you can find them here (The Raven Boys), and here (The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue).

I am going to combine my review of the final book with a series review in this post (both spoiler free), but I will begin with the series review, and then include my thoughts about the finale.

The Raven Cycle Series

I don’t want to draw parallels or compare this book to Harry Potter and other such iconic book series’, because I feel that such comparisons set up a book/series for failure. And I don’t want to do that to this series I love so much.

But the one thing I can say is that – Maggie Stiefvater  is a very skilled storyteller, and has the ability to create a profound depth of feeling for her characters. I loved/cared about all these characters just as much as I loved/cared about Harry, Ron and Hermoine. And I am not the overly sentimental type, so that is saying a lot.

I adored Gansey (but who wouldn’t?) – he was everything good and right about this world wrapped in one self-assured, yet slightly ambivalent package.

And I loved Blue –  smart, sensible, quirky, ever curious, Blue.

I had a love/hate relationship with Adam – poor, broken, stupid, proud, Adam.

And then there was Ronan – This guy! I don’t even know what to say about him! He is repulsive, yet wonderful, obnoxious, yet adorable. Yeah, that kind of sums it up.

I was totally invested in how things turned out for all of them – not just the protagonists, but also the side characters, and even (inexplicably) the “villains”. I am rarely conflicted about how I feel about the antagonists, and this series has made me second guess my feelings about them many many times.

It has also completely changed my mind about character-driven stories. I thought I did not enjoy character driven tales, but I think I just had not met the right characters. Or well written ones. Or lovable ones.

While the characters were clearly the best thing about this series for me, I loved the plot too. It was a very original, imaginative tale, which was executed well too.  I must say that it was relatively slow paced at times, but always very intriguing. The writing was very atmospheric, which was perfect for the kind of setting this story was taking place in.

I will always remember this series fondly because of how much I cared about these strange/awesome people and their weird/wonderful quest.

The Raven King

Coming to this final book and how things wrapped up – I would say that while I found the ending satisfactory, I was also a little disappointed (contradictions, I know!), because I expected more. But that is the thing with a good series, right? No end is a good end. Partly because you don’t want it to end (sigh), and partly because you have ginormous impossible expectations!

See the thing is I always knew that this was the kind of book/series that doesn’t spoon feed you anything. It leaves you with questions, half baked theories, and possibilities – a world of possibilities!

And that is just how the conclusion was – I have questions, and theories, and more questions (which is fine), but I really needed some closure, which was sadly lacking (more on that in the upcoming spoiler-y Book Talk on The Raven King).

In Conclusion

This is the kind of book/series that infects you with verbal diarrhea, and makes you want to sway anyone with an ear to read this story. But (quite irrationally) it is also something you want to keep close to your heart, and never share with anyone, ever.

It was so good, that it made me bad, very bad – I procrastinated chores, skipped sleep (and meals) sometimes.

When this was over – I wasn’t really ready to say goodbye, but are we ever ready to bid adieu to something we love? No, right? So, I guess, for now we part – until we meet again, and meet again we definitely will, because this is the kind of series that improves on a re-read.

Series Rating – 4.5 Stars

Get this here
The Raven Boys (Amazon) | The Raven Boys (Flipkart)
The Dream Thieves (Amazon) | The Dream Thieves (Flipkart)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Amazon) | Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Flipkart)
The Raven King (Amazon) | The Raven King (Flipkart)

Have you read this series? I would love to hear your thoughts on the ending. Oh and yes, spoiler-y thoughts are welcome in the comments section. 😀 In case, you are new to this series – Read it! Now! 😛 

On a more serious note (not that I wasn’t serious earlier) – Do you guys feel conflicted when a series you love ends? I pretty much always do. Even with The Harry Potter series – as much as I loved how things wrapped up – I wanted Harry & Hermoine to be together (but of-course now I can’t see them together anymore as Ron & Hermoine have grown on me). But I feel the stakes and expectations are always bigger with a series v/s a standalone book. What do you guys think?

-Shantala

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy on the site through this link, I will get a referral fee, at no additional cost to you. If you do use the link – thank you for your support.

Comments

  1. You make me want to read this.. And I’m going to.. I have to read it after your posts 😊
    Nabanita recently posted…My Maths Teacher, Mrs KapoorMy Profile

  2. Lata Sunil says:

    Thats quite a recommendation. Will look out for this one.

  3. Yes, I have heard so much about this series. Somehow I havent yet had the opportunity to try them out. Your review seems promising too.

  4. Loved the hussle free review.I will be readibg this one for sure.

  5. That’s interesting reviews and very well written:)
    Vishal Bheeroo recently posted…Love madly vs hatred and bloodshedMy Profile

  6. Now I really really want to read it… I love fantasy books… I am reading one right now… but I can understand how it ends up making up procrastinate every other task.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Grimms #RIPChristinaGrimmieMy Profile

  7. Sounds interesting! books can do that to you! I have skipped all my work to lie like a corpse and read books all day!!!
    okay, one question…Is this suitable for 12 yr olds? I mean in terms of adult content and words usage.

  8. I wanted Gansey to stay dead longer! It felt like we had all this build-up, so much build-up, and then he was only dead for like, what, five pages? We didn’t get to see what a world without Gansey looked like for all these different characters, and I was sad about that. My much bigger complaint was that nobody seemed to notice or care at all that Noah was gone. I thought surely Blue and Ronan, at least, would notice, to be sad about it. Noah had just been being so sweet to Ronan in his time of bereavement, too!
    Jenny @ Reading the End recently posted…LaRose, Louise ErdrichMy Profile

  9. Oh! I love books who make me go bad like that! Saying goodbye to them is of course painful. It takes sometime for me to come back to reality. I think I’ll enjoy this series.
    Chicky recently posted…Why Haven’t I Blogged For Two Months?My Profile

  10. Such an awesome review you have given them that by that itself one would be compelled to pick them up 🙂

    Seriously, great work!

  11. Love that you made this a spoiler-free review! 🙂 I haven’t started on this series yet, despite all the rave reviews I’m still not sure if it’s something I’d enjoy, but you make me want to give it a try at the least. How wonderful that the book showed you how you can character-driven stories! I do love those!
    Bina @ If You Can Read This recently posted…Diversity & Nonfiction: Writers of Color as ExpertsMy Profile

    • This is certainly character driven. If you like that in books, you will enjoy this too. However if you are hesitant because of the genre it belongs to, i.e. YA Paranormal Romance, I must say that it is much better than the average YA book, and there is very little of romance (which could be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences). The one thing it is heavy on is the paranormal/magical realism aspect. Hope this helps. 🙂
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater | Series Review (Spoiler Free)My Profile

  12. I just started with Raven boys and i hate to say but i am finding it quite slow. It also jumps from one pov to another in the middle of chapter. Tell me its all worth it please?
    Nidhi recently posted…No-Bake Triple Berry CakeMy Profile

  13. I started on the ‘contains spoiler’ review and since I haven’t read the books, I skipped that and came over here.
    You make a compelling argument, Shan. Must add it to the list.
    Sid recently posted…AbductedMy Profile

  14. You know I LOVED Harry Potter… and I would have hated if Harry and Hermoine got together going against Ron… for me it was about friendship plus Harry liked Ron’s sister already(:… the thought that Harry and Hermoine would be together is blasphersy… I love Snape best here and Dumbledore and Harry’s owl and that elf… all chivilious charactors on their own way… What you mentioned about the series you finished now, I felt the same way reading Lord of the Rings… I loved the hobbits there and the peotry and songs… And JJR Tolkien(:

  15. I have to buy this book!!

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