Friday, June 3, 2016

What we're reading: The Raven King

The Raven King has finally arrived. Those of us who have read (and re-read) and loved the first three books in this series by Maggie Stiefvater are so, so happy to finally get our hands on this one. If you are one of the people who has not read this series, I wrote a pretty complete synopsis here on our main library blog, so I won't repeat it--you can go there and get everything you need to know to continue with this review.

All caught up? Okay, On to the final book...

The truth is, I don't know what to say about this one. I simultaneously loved it but was disappointed in some respects.

The character development is, as usual, intensely individual, engaging, poignant, gripping. The writing is gorgeously lyrical. (One favorite quote: "They were all growing up and into each other like trees striving together for the sun.") Stiefvater is an amazing storyteller--you can't put her books down once you pick them up, and you move into her world view and embrace it as real.

But...

  • Loose ends left dangling.
  • Things that went unexplored that felt like they should have been.
  • Things undiscussed that I really wanted to be settled.
  • Resolutions that felt distinctly anticlimactic to me after the fantastic build-up.
  • And that classic but clichéd device that makes me cringe every time I see it used...THE EPILOGUE.

You are hanging breathless on every word...something eventful happens...you turn the page, and...it's one week later. It's six months later. It's 10 years later! And you didn't get to experience whatever it was that the whole book was leading up to, it was dealt with in the subtext and now here we are, tra-la, tra-la, all resolved. Nooooo!

So while I was happy to spend a few days immersed in the land of the Raven Boys again, I'm not so sure that I'm done with them, even though they (and presumably Maggie) are done with me! I'm a little bit sad.

One of you teens who can't wait to read this get it done and then chime in here with YOUR review. I will be intensely curious to know your reaction!


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