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The Raven King (Raven Cycle Series #4)

The Raven King (Raven Cycle Series #4)

4.3 20
by Maggie Stiefvater

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All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect


All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 02/01/2016
“What a strange constellation they all were.” Such is Richard Gansey’s assessment of the teenage magical dreamers, psychic amplifiers, scryers, and ghosts who have been his closest companions in his efforts to find the sleeping Welsh king Glendower over the previous three books of the Raven Cycle. The search for that king—and the fact that Gansey is supposed to die this year, probably from a kiss from Blue—has hung over each novel, and it all comes to a head now. Despite Stiefvater’s use of repeating phrases (“Depending on where you began the story, it was about...”) to create an air of finality and heighten the mythic scope of Gansey’s quest, the path to what readers have always known was coming is swirling, chaotic, and unpredictable, drawing in robotic bees, real wasps, a cloven-hooved girl, a terrifically powerful demon, tree spirits, fast cars, and a couple of eagerly anticipated kisses. The playful, imaginative force of Stiefvater’s writing works its magic once again, and most readers will finish this saga not with regret or disappointment but with hope. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Blue Lily, Lily Blue:

* "Blue Lily, Lily Blue is, simply, a triumph." -- Booklist, starred review

* "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "We have not yet finished loving these characters and exploring their world." -- The Bulletin, starred review

* "Stiefvater's razor-sharp characterizations, drily witty dialogue, and knack for unexpected metaphors and turns of phrase make for sumptuous, thrilling reading.… Readers will snap up the final installment the second it's available." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "The prose is crisp and dazzling and the dialogue positively crackles." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for The Dream Thieves:

* "Richly written and filled with figurative language... this story of secrets and dreams, of brothers and of all-too-real magic is an absolute marvel of imagination and an irresistible invitation to wonder." -- Booklist, starred review

* "Mind-blowingly spectacular... Stiefvater's careful exploration of class and wealth and their limitations and opportunities astounds with its sensitivity and sophistication. The pace is electric, the prose marvelously sure-footed and strong, but it's the complicated characters . . . that meld magic and reality into an engrossing, believable whole." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "A paranormal thriller... this installment [is] more tense and foreboding than its predecessor -- and every bit as gripping." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "A complex web of magical intrigue and heartstopping action." -- The Bulletin, starred review

* "Readers who want a moody chill and appreciate an atmospheric turn of phrase will want to spend more time in Henrietta." -- School Library Journal, starred review

Praise for The Raven Boys:

"Stiefvater is a master storyteller." -- USA Today

"A dizzying paranormal romance tinged with murder and Welsh mythology." -- The Los Angeles Times

* "Simultaneously complex and simple, compulsively readable, marvelously wrought." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "A tour de force... such a memorable read." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "One unexpected and wonderful surprise after another... a marvel of imagination." -- Booklist, starred review

* "The Raven Boys is an incredibly rich and unique tale, a supernatural thriller of a different flavor... Fans have been salivating for Stiefvater's next release and The Raven Boys delivers." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Equal parts thriller and mystery, with a measured dash of romance sprinkled on top... Maggie has woven such a unique, intriguing narrative that I struggled for comparisons." -- MTV.com

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2012 Blue Ribbons list

VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2) - Jewel Davis
The highly anticipated final installment of Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle has arrived with Blue and the Raven Boys—Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah—continuing their quest to find Glendower, the legendary sleeping king who can grant one favor. The search for the king is halted when a nefarious entity awakens and sets off a chain of reactions that leads to the death of multiple characters, the destruction of dream creations, and the arrival of a crew of unsavory magic smugglers who descend upon Henrietta, the small magic-infused Virginia town. Shady villains, ghosts, new helpful magical beings, angsty romantic decisions, and destined-to-be kisses round out the page-turning narrative and lead to a tense climax. When the king is found, he is not the favor-granting savior everyone expected him to be, and Blue and Gansey’s ill-fated destinies finally crash into reality, forcing them to choose between what they desire for themselves and their responsibilities to everyone else they love. Stiefvater excels at building an intricately layered narrative with twisting, unpredictable turns, and her ability to introduce new, complex characters and storylines while also tying up previous loose ends is remarkable. Stiefvater’s exploration of character-driven themes that young adults experience in their own lives provokes a visceral reading experience that is enhanced by the magic and mythology surrounding the series. Readers who have invested in the series for years will not be disappointed, for the characters they have come to love are tested and found worthy in their sacrifices and redemption. Reviewer: Jewel Davis; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Michele Hughes
In the fourth and final book of "The Raven Cycle" series, the situation appears dire for Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. They continue to seek Glendower, the sleeping Welsh king, believing that he will awaken and grant them a wish; but now they are racing against an ancient, hornet-like demon that threatens to unmake everything the friends care about, including the land of Cabeswater and Ronan's other creations. Blue and Gansey deepen their romantic relationship, ever mindful of the psychic prediction that her kiss will mean his death. Ronan and Adam also explore their feelings for each other and begin a romantic relationship. Noah, their spirit friend, slips in and out of himself, occasionally becoming possessed and aggressive. A flock of ravens leads Gansey to the site of his first death, where wasps stung him in childhood. There he finds a cave in the basement; and together with his friends, he discovers Glendower is dead. As the demon slowly unmakes Ronan, Gansey knows the only way to stop the demon is to sacrifice himself. Blue kisses him; he dies; and the demon is vanquished. Ronan begs Cabeswater to die in order to revive Gansey. When Blue bids Gansey to wake up, he awakens in the place of the Raven King they had been seeking. Although readers may be disappointed that Glendower is dead, the substitution of Gansey as the Raven King will satisfy. Stiefvater's achingly beautiful prose shines in this darkest volume of the four books in the series, which seems more like a nightmare than the earlier dreamlike books. Newly introduced, well-drawn characters add complexity to the relationships. An epilogue provides a happy ending for the friends, although by that point, regrettably, Noah has already faded away. Reviewer: Michele Hughes; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This is a roller-coaster ride of a finale to an engrossing series that mixes mythology and magic, modern friendship and love, and betrayal and loss. The characters' high-stakes struggles and seemingly ill-fated futures keep readers turning pages and holding their breath until the satisfying last page.
Kirkus Reviews
A group of Virginia teenagers finally finds a long-buried Welsh king in this conclusion to the four-part Raven Cycle. A demon has infected the magical forest, Cabeswater, killing Ronan's mother, Aurora, and threatening Ronan's brother, Matthew, as well as Ronan and maybe the whole world—Gansey knows what he has to do. It's all been foretold, and readers have been waiting for it since Blue saw him on the corpse road in quartet opener The Raven Boys (2012). For three out of four novels, Stiefvater combined extraordinary magic and visceral reality in a way that felt entirely true. Here, the magic scatters in all directions, and too little of it makes sense. The characters—Ronan, Gansey, long-dead Noah, Blue Sargent, newcomer Henry, and especially Adam—are as multidimensional and fully realized as ever; Ronan and Adam's budding romance is beautifully told. The writing sings—each sentence, each paragraph marvelously wrought. Yet at the point where the story needs to make the most sense, it makes the least, prophecy and magics piling up on one another in a chaotic, anticlimactic climax. The ending feels trivial, almost mocking the seriousness of the rest of the quartet. Stiefvater couldn't write a bad book, and this isn't one, but it is a disappointment after years of glorious buildup. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Raven Cycle Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)
HL760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Shiver, Linger, Forever, and Sinner. Her novel The Scorpio Races was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association. The first book in The Raven Cycle, The Raven Boys, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and the second book, The Dream Thieves, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She is also an artist and musician. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children. You can visit her online at www.maggiestiefvater.com.

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The Raven King (Raven Cycle Series #4) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
vampiregrl123 12 months ago
I could not put this book down. My Instagram was filled with so many pictures of this book because I couldn’t stop obsessing over it. I was so emotional while reading this book. I loved reading all of the different storylines and seeing how they all fit together as the novel progressed. I liked that for the most part Stiefvater had two different way to start the chapters. Its amazing how after three books her writing still amazes me. Can we talk about how we finally got a Ronan and Adam kiss??? I squealed like a school girl when it finally happened. I’ve been waiting so long! Their scenes are some of my favorite. I love Noah, but some of his scenes were torture for me. I just want him to be happy, but he is trying so hard to stay and help everyone. I’m not going to lie, I kind of saw the ending coming. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it. I think a lot of readers knew what was going to happen. I am both sad and happy that it is over. Stiefvater has said before that at the end of the Raven Cycle, she wants her readers to want. And I do, I just don’t know what, which was exactly what she wanted. Thank you Maggie for giving readers such an amazing series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The-Broke-Book-Bank More than 1 year ago
I don’t know how I feel about The Raven King. I read the first three books in a row this February. But I didn’t read the final installment until May. Now, I kinda wish I just read them all in a row. I wasn’t into it at first like I had acclimate to it again instead of being submersed. Eventually, I was involved but it was after I cared about the new characters and the plot started moving. Which is much later than expected… The ending is open and fitting for the series. Especially since Maggie has talked about a Ronan centered series on Twitter. I’m interested in that because I love Ronan but I’m afraid I might have to make myself wait for its completion so the magic isn’t lost again. Her writing is amazing as always. It kept me going even when I wasn’t engaged. I made tons of bookmarks, notes, and highlights because of the writing. Too bad I didn’t transcribe them before my time was up. It’s a pity I wasn’t reviewing in February. I rated the first three installments 3 stars but don’t have notes on why. Hmmmm. Based on enjoyment The Raven King earns another 3 stars. The writing earns 5, the ending 4, the pacing 2, and the characters 3.5. So… Going with the gut feeling: 3 stars.
jcsbookhaven More than 1 year ago
The Good My goodness this one is hard to review especially trying to avoid any spoilers so it will be very vague on purpose. OK so I didn't even want to start this series because the blurb in the first one suggests that a character will die and I'm just not alright with main characters dying so I decided not to even put myself through that. I did though. I read it. I will say that this series ended on a note that felt right. It is an amazing journey with some very well developed characters that continue to grow in each installment. This one shows different sides of characters that you think you already know by this point. You don't know though. Not until you've read this one. I loved how every thread was brought together and we got some great wrap ups. I love how there were still surprises and crazy twists to throw at us. I love how even if you went into this expecting something, it was still a little shocking when it happened. The story moves at a wonderful pace. We get a more in depth look at characters that were just briefly mentioned previously. I was a fan of the addition of Henry especially since there was a lot less of Noah. Then there's Ronan and how he is so much more open. How he's accepting Blue and they're bonding a bit. Their little moments together were some of my favorites. There's Gansey with his NEED to wake the sleeping King. He has the drive to accomplish something more and then the ability to realize his life is already something more. Adam has a huge character realization for which I was glad. I especially loved seeing him let go of his past hurts. Blue...I don't think there's any way that I would've held it together the way she did. The Bad The repetition of certain things, while they were in essence proving a point, got a little on my nerves after a while. The Romance There was some great romantic parts in this one. Again, no spoilers, but it was big on romantic love, new beginnings, and life-long friendships. Conclusion Raven King is a great conclusion to a magical series. It was full of drama, action, magic, character growth, and mystery. It was everything you expect and everything you couldn't possibly. Definitely recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
The only reason I gave THE RAVEN KING four stars instead of five was because I wanted a little more resolution for this amazing cast of characters than I got. Otherwise, this was a sweeping, magical ending to a sweeping, magical series. I meant to read slowly and savor the grand finale, but as soon as I picked up the book I had trouble putting it down. One of those stories I know I'll be reading and re-reading for many years to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
God, i loved it. It was an amazing trip to take. The only thing i think would make it better is a time jump. 10 years afterThe Raven King, catching up to where things were left. A Cabeswater-revived Gansey, a tree-light Blue, a newly dreamt Cabeswater, wrecked Camaros, maura and 300 fox way, the greyman, henry and his mother and so much more. It'swistful thinking but this series has been so grand, how could you not want to to invest mote time in this world?
mdemanatee More than 1 year ago
This will be short and sweet, because I am against even the hint of spoilers. I got my hands on The Raven King earlier than anticipated because it was not marked a strict on sale by the publisher. This means that booksellers can put it out for sale when they receive their shipment. Which means some readers can get their hands on it before its official release. Stiefvater never really takes the plot path I expect, which is probably why she’s considered a master at her craft. This series is a little more windy than most supernatural series. We have a clear goal of finding Glendower, but often through the series we aren’t really actively pursuing it as much as we can. Part of this, in my theory, is because the character’s themselves are afraid to see what comes after the end of this journey. Part of it is that it is more in fact about the character’s journey. The thing that struck me again about Stiefvater’s writing this go round is how specific it is. Even with the humor and the quips, it is obvious, in the most natural of ways, that every word has been considered for precision. This is a tight novel. It is clear that Stiefvater had a path, even if I occasionally got lost along the path. For instance, the side characters could be distracting, because we didn’t really get to follow their journey. And yet, Stiefvater somehow managed to make a short, clear journey for many of them anyway. Still, it’s or core group that shines here. If Stiefvater excels at making minor characters count, her main characters are heartbreaking simply in that I cared about them so much. The ending could feel a little rushed, but really it was probably just the necessary harried pace with the increased stakes. And, after 4 books, any ending at all feels sudden.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"If you can't be unafraid, be afraid and happy." Gansey has been searching for his lost king for years. In the years after he died--and was brought back--Gansey is certain that finding Glendower is his destiny. Surely, such a quest is what he was saved to complete? Along the way Gansey's unlikely friends have joined him in the hunt: Ronan, a dreamer inextricably linked to the ley line and the magic of Cabeswater; Adam, who bargained away his autonomy to become Cabeswater's magician; Noah, whose grip on his life is becoming more and more tenuous the longer he is dead; and Blue, the girl from a psychic family who is not psychic at all, the girl who is going to kill her true love with a kiss, the girl who loves Gansey. For months now, Gansey and the rest have been creeping closer. Glendower is almost found. Dreams and nightmares are building. A storm is coming. Every quest has an end, but this time no one knows what they will find when it's over in The Raven King (2016) by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven King is the final book in Stiefvater's widely acclaimed Raven Boys Cycle. It is preceded by The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue. This book should definitely be read in order with the other books in the series and (obviously) has spoilers for the earlier books. It's always bittersweet to come to the end of a much-loved series. With characters like Blue and Gansey and Ronan and Adam, it's especially hard to say goodbye. But The Raven King is the conclusion these characters deserve--possibly even the one they have earned--after everything they've survived and accomplished in the rest of the series. Like the rest of this series, The Raven King is extremely well done with flawless writing and a tight plot. Although some rare readers might find the ending a bit too perfect, this book is also an excellent example of what you have to always trust the author. The Raven King is a story where all of the characters are hurtling towards very specific goals and destinations only to realize that in the end the destination wasn't the point at all--it was the journey, it was the people met along the way (particularly when it comes to the new characters introduced here). A completely satisfying conclusion to a stunning and evocative series. Possible Pairings: Loop by Karen Akins, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis, The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, It Wasn't Always Like This by Joy Preble, The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, Pivot Point by Kasie West, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff *A copy of this title was acquired from the publisher for review consideration at BEA 2016*
ShopeSS More than 1 year ago
4.5/5 Stars I can’t believe that our journey with this series has come to an end, and what an end it was! Maggie has really weaved a story with The Raven Cycle series that has you loving the series even more than you thought possible, after finishing up with The Raven King. The way Maggie tells a story is amazing, in a sense poetic. All the characters you can’t help but to have some sort of tie to, and can I just say “WOAH” to some of the things that happened with these characters in this book? I’m trying to write this as vague as possible because I don’t want to say any spoilers. What I will say is that if you have read this series and haven’t read The Raven King yet, you need to and be prepared to fall even deeper in love with it.
ashleyann120 More than 1 year ago
Great ending to a great series. Maggie Stiefvater has such a beautiful way of writing that makes you think and makes you view the world a little differently as you read her stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Time is cyclical in the book and it has an open ended ending. In other words, she didn't end the book. Weak ending to a good series with new characters thrown in that scream spin-off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Maggie Stiefvater fan. Her writing is poetic. The Ravens King was beautifully written, but the story was slow to grab me like her other works have. I wasn't a fan of "depending on where you begin the story..." it really annoyed me, but that's just my opinion. It was a good book, strong writing, but slow to hook me. The end was a bit bland even though it seemed happy enough. Idk...it just seemed bland for a series ender compared to some of her other books. I'll still read all her books though!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
Of course it was brilliant. There aren't words. I may try to properly review after a reread, but I'm not in the right state of mind to do it now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cover is pretty
Chancie More than 1 year ago
This was such a strange book to read, and it was such a journey. For most of it, I didn't like it. There, I said. It felt like it was too crammed full of too much with too many characters and too many loose ends, and so much of it felt pointless or didn't impact things enough. I could name names, but that's spoilery, so I won't. I really struggled because I was angry. I didn't want this to be the last book. It didn't feel fair to the series; it didn't do it justice. I was angry. And then, according to my e-book, I reached the final 20%, and before I knew it, I was a puddle of tears all the way until the very end. Because THAT was the book I was looking for. There was what I wanted, the same writing, the magic, the emotion. It felt like the ending didn't belong in the book it was attached to, but maybe that's okay. I'm still deciding. The climax is an emotional roller coaster, and I felt everything. Betrayal, hurt, emptiness, loss, heartbreak, terror, hope, joy, everything in between. It's been twelve hours since I finished it, and I'm still a shell of a person and trying to sort through all of my feelings. I don't think that the entire book does the series justice. I don't agree that the entire book is beautiful and amazing and brilliant. The last quarter, though? That is. That is the ending this series deserved. However, everything leading up to it feels messy and underwhelming, but the very ending feels worth it. This series was incredible, and if I could, I'd do it all over again for the first time.