Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Goodbye Letter to The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater | Book Review-ish

The Raven Cycle #4
First Published: 2016
Young Adult, Fantasy
Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.
For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.
I can't believe that it's over. I don't even know if I have the words right now. I feel inadequate compared to the flourish with which this story expressed itself. In my head, I have something more. A way to articulate the thoughts and the feelings and the friendship I found within these pages.

How do I review something like this? What can I say, what can I not?

Blue and Gansey; you two were the reason I went on this journey. It wasn't just the idea about your doomed love and your stolen glances and touches, not so stolen now, although I cannot deny it's a part of it. I cannot pretend I wasn't waiting for THE kiss with a voyeuristic sense of anticipation.

It was that Gansey was a king, a leader, a dreamer.believer, with charisma to spare and attachments no one can sever. If your found family chooses to forget the good in themselves, you'll remember it for them. And I loved you for it.

It was that Blue was magic without being magical herself, a quirky mass of righteousness and hypocrisy (but not in a bad way), a soul desperate to explore and expand and get out of its own skin. To touch the sky. And I loved you for it.

The two of you quieted something in my when I read of you.

Adam and Ronan; I wasn't counting on you two when I started this series. You sneaked up on me, starting out as two of my least favorite people in the book and developing into something more.

It was that Ronan was gruff and abrasive at first glance, but inside he was color and magic and fantasy. A chaos on the verge of breaking down, anytime. As Adam said himself, so much of Ronan is posturing, and beneath it all you find loyalty, love, and dreams.

It was that Adam was so self righteous and above everything at first, but then you realized he's been hurt one too many times to accept unconditional love--what is love? How do recognize love?-- and affection, and friendship. And so he stumbled and he stumbled until he was faced with the truth of love and life.

Of all the stories, your journey affected me the most. You inflamed something in me, a fierce need to see you both settled in a semblance of a HEA. I did not expect to spend most of the final book thinking of you guys. I did not expect your relationship to be THE relationship when I thought of The Raven Cycle.

I started this series anxiously waiting for one KISS. I finished it looking forward to another.

Noah; my cinnamon bun. The one character in this all who would always draw the short stick. You did not deserve any of what happened to you, and yet you kept your spirits up (no pun intended). I wish I could hug you and tell you everything would be okay. I wish that was the truth.

Cabeswater; You magical, fantastical creature. How you protected your magicians. How you fought. How willing you were to come to your humans' aide, when you could. All you wanted was to make their dreams reality; how could you know some dreams are nightmares?

I fell in love with all of you, as you've all fallen for each other. Your friendship is the stuff of legends, and all consuming thing that has it's own thoughts and feelings.

This strange, fantastical journey feels like a dream, one I did not necessarily want to wake up from. I wish there was something more, another book, or three, because I don't feel ready to let you all go.

You gave me the ending you deserved, you gave me the series finale I've been hoping for, but it could never be enough. I could never really tell you goodbye, my weird, otherworldly friends. I could never think of you and "the end" in the same sentence and have it make sense. You're more than words on a page.

Truly, something more.

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