Tea & Book Chat: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)

**Warning! If you haven’t read the first three books in The Raven Cycle quartet by Maggie Stiefvater, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of The Raven Boys (book one), The Dream Thieves (book two) and Blue Lily, Lily Blue (book three) if you haven’t started the series yet!**

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater is the fourth and final book in The Raven Cycle series and it is one that I could not get my hands on quick enough (seriously, I preordered the hardback AND the kindle versions).  Having fallen madly and deeply in love with Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah, I couldn’t wait to spend more of my time in Henrietta and Cabeswater while the gang tries to navigate the mystery of Glendower.  It’s long and sometimes slow moving journey but I have truly savored every moment.  The Raven King is now my favorite book in the quartet and I can absolutely foresee myself re-reading this series for years to come.  I also have to note that I was so nervous going into this book because it’s the end of an era but after reading the prologue I was confident this couldn’t warrant anything less than 5 stars.

One of the top three reasons I keep returning to this series(as I’ve stated in my reviews of the past three books) is the characters.  I cannot let go of them.  Stiefvater created such an intricate group of friends who’s bond with one another is stronger than anything else.  They love each other deeply in the way that only real friends can and in typical high school fashion, theirs is the most important relationship in their lives.  The lengths that they’ll go for each other and the way they feel each others pain is truly inspiring and griping.  Gansey remains my favorite Raven Boy with Ronan as a close second.  I also must note how swoonworthy all of the romance in The Raven King is.  It’s the sweet kind of slow burn that’ll have you begging for more.

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The stakes are at their highest in The Raven King as the search for Glendower draws to a close.  It’s so heartbreaking to see Gansey wonder what he’ll have to live for after the search that consumed the majority of his life ceases to continue.  Plus there’s that whole event that’s been foreshadowed since The Raven Cycle that my poor heart would never be ready to contend with.  All of the characters see a balanced amount of story time in The Raven King although we see more Henry Cheng and the jury is still out on him for me.  I think I may enjoy him more during a re-read but I didn’t want him to take any page time away from my precious Raven Boys and I can honestly say that is my only complaint for this book.

Final Thoughts:  The way I felt while reading The Raven King is something that I cannot accurately describe.  I feel so attached to this series, to these characters, and to the world of Henrietta and Cabeswater that I know this is a series that will be lurking around in my heart forever.  The Raven King is a book that I hugged multiple times while reading it and after finishing it.  If you can’t decide whether this series is for you or you’ve tried to read the first book but had trouble with the slow pace, I would urge you to give it another try.  I cannot sing the praises of The Raven Cycle high enough and I want everyone to share in this bookish treasure with me!

Rating 6

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. (via Goodreads)

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week I’m choosing The Raven King which is the fourth and final installment in The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.  I recently read and was obsessed with Blue Lily, Lily Blue and it ended on such a major cliffhanger that I NEED the next one.  So much happened and there’s still so much story to be resolved.  I am absolutely in this book for the characters and Blue and Gansey are on OTP of mine.  The cover was just released yesterday and it’s every bit as gorgeous as the last.  The brushstrokes in that deer are a thing of beauty.

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The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

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.” (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #3)

**Warning! If you haven’t read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves which are the first and second books in the Raven Cycle quartet by Maggie Stiefvater, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of the first and second books if you’re not caught up on the series yet.**

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater and it’s the second to last installment we’ll have with Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah and Blue.  Unlike the previous books in the series, the first being The Raven Boys and the second being The Dream Thieves, I was immediately hooked on the story.  I read Blue Lily, Lily Blue at a much quicker pace than the others and I enjoyed how much occurs in each chapter instead of waiting until the end for a big payoff (although don’t worry, there is a major thing that happens that has me basically dying for book 4).

The biggest draw to the story are easily the characters that Maggie Stiefvater crafted.  Their friendship is so familiar and real that it’s easy to immerse yourself in their tale.  The world in Henrietta could very well be our own with a hint of more supernatural activity.  The relationships between the Raven Boys are so sweet and while their actions are subtle, you truly get a feel for how much of a family these boys are.  Blue has an internal monologue about mid-way through thr book where she thinks about how each person in their Glendower tomb hunter squad is obsessed with each other even though they don’t necessarily say it out loud.  I think those are some of the most meaningful relationships.  I’ve been a hardcore Gansey and Blue shipper since book one but Blue Lily, Lily Blue really sealed the deal on their relationship for me.  It’s such a well woven combination of innocence, passion and intrigue and my heart breaks a little more each time they’re near each other because of Blue’s first experience with Gansey’s spirit on the ley line.  I really don’t know what I’m going to do with myself if anything happens to him.

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As I stated before, Blue Lily, Lily Blue is much more action packed than the first two books.  Now that Maggie has fully fleshed out the world in Henrietta and has conveyed how strong the relationship is between the Raven Boys and Blue, much more of this installment was able to be dedicated to events occurring.  There was constantly something keeping me on the edge of my seat and everything just seemed to move along at a much quicker pace.  There are still a ton of questions left to be answered and a cliffhanger that I’m having trouble handling.  I can definitely see myself re-reading the series before the fourth books debuts because it’s the kind of story that you’ll get something new out of every time you dive in.  Because there are such subtleties in Stiefvater’s writing, I’m looking forward to enjoying the things I’ve missed now that I have more overall knowledge of what’s happening.

Final Thoughts:  Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater is the flawless third installment of The Raven Cycle quartet.  Any reader who has been following the story will be delighted to immerse themselves back in the world of Henrietta and piece together more (but not even close to all) of the legend of Glendower.  I didn’t mention Maura, Calla, Persephone and Mr. Gray in my review because I’m just so enthralled with the Raven Boys and Blue, but their story is eventful and heartbreaking as well.  If you thought the pace of the first two books were too slow, I would definitely encourage you not to give up on the series because you’ll get constant the action and answers you’re craving in Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

Rating 5

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

BookTube: Top 5 Wednesday: Halloween Recommendations

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday category is Halloween recommendations which is appropriate since Halloween is only 3 days away! For some reason my subconscious decided to type decorations instead of recommendations in the first sentence which shows much being festive is always on my mind on some level so that’s normal.  Are there any specific books that you recommend for Halloween?  Doing my video has given me the desire to re-read some of Neil Gaiman’s books<3

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Kristin

Bout of Books TBR!

I made a last minute decision to join in the Bout of Books readathon despite feeling slightly burnt out by BookTubeAThon.  My goal is to read 4-5 books this week (Bout of Books runs from August 17th – August 23rd).  Here’s what’s on my TBR!

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: The Dream Thieves By Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)

**Warning! If you haven’t read The Raven Boys which is the first book in the Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**

The Dream Thieves is an amazing follow up to The Raven Boys.  This book focuses heavily on Ronan who is by far one of the most interesting characters in the series.  We’re introduced to his ability to pull objects out of dreams and bring them into the real world which is something that he hasn’t shared before.  We also learn a lot more about Ronan’s family history and about his father and the relationship between him and his two brothers. Ronan is the most mysterious of the Raven Boys so it was such a pleasure to find out more about him and learn about where his tough exterior formed from.  He is also befriended by a terribly destructive character, Joseph Kavinsky.  The dynamic between the pair is tense and wildly unexpected.

I really enjoyed the relationships that began to develop in this installment.  We’re introduced to the Gray Man who is sent to Cabeswater to hunt an object called the Greywaren.  He ends up being a potential love interest for Blue’s mother Maura and their dynamic is nothing short of the strangeness you would imagine between a psychic and a hitman.  Admittedly, the Gray Man’s storyline was a slow start for me.  Adam’s character is also evolving into an impatient and unpleasant person which causes Blue to have some serious reservations about their relationship.  Her and Gansey continue to get closer which I am all for!

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The Dream Thieves is a much quicker paced read than the first book in the series.  There were many more action scenes and having the background of the first book, Maggie Stiefvater was able to explore more of the magic in Cabeswater.  In The Dream Thieves, nightmares come alive and the dream sequences are hauntingly beautiful and gorgeously frightful.  There is SO MUCH symbolism which will not be entirely evident until the end of the book.  The plot continues to be complex and allows the reader to further develop so many feelings for all of the main characters.  I still think about the final action sequence in the book and my mind is just blown.  I cannot wait to read the third book as a result!

Final ThoughtThe Dream Thieves has so much character development and a beautifully complex plot.  Maggie Stiefvater’s beautifully crafted story interweaves everyone’s fates in such a haunting and harmonious way.  Similar to The Raven Boys, the beginning of the novel is a slower read but there is so much payoff at the end.  If you liked The Raven Boys even a little bit, you absolutely must continue the series because The Dream Thieves will blow your mind.

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Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after… (via Goodreads)

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Tea & Book Chat: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1)

I thought now would be the perfect time to write and review the first book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series since I’m just about finished with the second one!  I read The Raven Boys in the latter half of 2014 and I enjoyed it very much.  The story is about a girl named Blue who comes from a long line of psychics but does not possess the power herself.  Her presence has the ability to “make things louder” for other psychics when they’re conducting readings and ever since she was little she’s been told that if she kisses her first love it will kill him.  Blue joins her aunt in their annual visit to the ley line in Henrietta and for the first time ever, she interacts with a spirit directly.  She later learns that the boy is around her age and he attends the fancy prep school near her.

Blue becomes involved with this particular Raven boy, Gansey, and his three best friends, Ronan, Adam and Noah in their quest to find this King, Glendower.  If I were Blue, I would absolutely want to be involved in unraveling the mystery that the boys have been after for so long.  And I particularly love Gansey.  He’s so eloquent in his delivery and he really truly means well even if it doesn’t always come across in his actions.  I also loved reading about the women who live with Blue.  Each of them is psychic so the household is one of the more interesting ones I’ve read about.

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What makes The Raven Boys SO good is that Maggie Stiefvater is excellent at crafting and telling a story.  There are so many elements to this story and while a lot of them were explored in the first book, I can definitely see why more books are on the horizon.  The original plot and the magic of it all are really what drew me in and kept me furiously turning the pages throughout the book.  I love how as fantastical as the world in the novel is, it still manages to seem realistic and as if it could be occurring in a small town somewhere as we speak.

If you’re the kind of reader who doesn’t like waiting for things to come together, I would urge you to power through the beginning of the book because, trust me, the payoff is WORTH IT.  I’m so excited to be starting the second book and I think I may even look up this Scottish King Glendower so I can appreciate some more of the mystery surrounding him.2

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before. (via Goodreads)

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