Make way for the Raven King, the Raven King!
I finished reading the final book in the Raven Cycle, The Raven King and I wanted to share some nonspoiler/slightly spoilery thoughts here. But, to keep things brief at first, my review of the book is that it was awesome!
Overall, the plot of the story was fast paced but in a reasonable way. It was not all about the quest. There were hiccups along the way. There were many losses, and heartbreaking moments. I particularly loved Orphan Girl and Aurora Lynch, Cabeswater, and Ronan. This is kind of a shock for me, because I was very intimidated by this boy. But, I have warmed up to him a lot, and I felt intense pain for him.
There were some instances in the story where the pressures of growing up seemed very daunting. College, friendship, quests were on everyone’s minds and there was the question of how to juggle all of these things along with their responsibilities as key players in the ley line’s existence.
My favorite relationship in these books has been Ronan and Blue’s friendship. Hands down, they were amusing as they tried to deal with the tension between them. And, the best moment ever is “Sargent, you asshole.” My heart just melted at the image of Ronan bumping fists with Blue, this beautiful strong girl.
The introduction of Henry Cheng left me with mixed feelings. As someone who is an introvert and something who learned English as a second language, there was something so…comforting in seeing a clever boy like Henry deal with the insecurities that come with speaking another language, how lost one feels in between two cultures (and for him, it was even more dramatic, because I have to factor in magic into this). I am not sure why he made me uncomfortable, though. The way he behaved before the group got to know him, it was kind of in bad taste. Was he just trying to fit in? I am not sure.
Ultimately, the story centers on a key relationship between Noah and Gansey. Noah will always be one of my favorite characters ever, even if he confused me at first. His limbo status, the pain and fear, and the desire to be alive all made him endearing and yet so heartbreaking. He went through so much, and I miss him already.
Blue’s father was frustrating, and yet I came to understand his hesitation to participate in the quest. Kind of. Still, I am not a fan of his, to be honest.
I won’t get into romantic relationships, because spoilers are unpleasant. But, I liked who ended up with each other and such.
Idealism and Wishes
Ultimately, what ended up happening when the group “meets” the Welsh king was so fantastic, and it reflected so much on their age, their expectations, the naive dreams one has.
But, it was mostly a step towards growing up, this releasing of an expectation. I love that.
I am so glad I read this series, and that I have copies of the books to reread again. If you have not read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.