“There were not quite words for it.” | Reflecting on THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

“There were not quite words for it.” | Reflecting on THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King
The Raven Cycle #4

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic Press
Release date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 438
Source: Purchased
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository, Audible
Add on: Goodreads

* Synopsis has some spoilers for previous books in the series, but my review is spoiler-free! *

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.

My Thoughts

Disclaimer: This “review” is spoiler-free for the entire series.
Also it’s not really a review. I just have a lot feelings.


When it comes to The Raven King, there are a lot of things I could talk about.

I could talk about its plot — how this book weaves every little detail from previous books together into something that is so remarkable, and so, so satisfying.

I could talk about the characters — how tangible they feel, how ridiculously over-invested I became in all of their stories. But it’s not just about the specific characters, either. There are moments when each and every character flawlessly displays these truths about how people and emotions work, truths that are so succinctly and effortlessly presented that it hurts.

I could talk about Maggie Stiefvater’s way with words — which is, as usual, incredible. The Raven Cycle‘s words will both delight you and cut you, deeply. There were moments when I grinned like an idiot, and moments (including nearly the entire last 20%, I’m not ashamed to admit it) when I was sobbing. And that’s not hyperbole. I mean literally sobbing.

I could talk about how, as the finale to a much-beloved series, The Raven King had a lot of expectations to live up to — and it did so. It really, really did.

I could also turn into a total fangirl and talk about my ships. (My shiiipssss.)

But I don’t want to get into those things in detail. Talking about details could get spoilery, and this series is one that you need to experience, beginning to end, in the right order. So, no details. No spoilers.

There’s just one thing I really want to talk about, which is: the reason for this post.

Continue reading

This modern fairy tale’s writing blew me away.

I received this book for free from Dutton. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This modern fairy tale’s writing blew me away.
The Radiant Road

Written by: Katherine Catmull
Published by: Dutton
Release date: January 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Penguin's FirstToRead.com
Format: eBook
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A gorgeously written tale of magic, friendship, and self-discovery set in a dream-like landscape filled with fairies.

After years of living in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning to Ireland, where they’ll inhabit the house Clare was born in—a house built into a green hillside with a tree for a wall. For Clare, the house is not only full of memories of her mother, but also of a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Clare soon discovers that the boy is as real as the fairy-making magic, and that they’re both in great danger from an ancient foe.

Fast-paced adventure and spellbinding prose combine to weave a tale of love and loyalty in this young adult fantasy.

A Few Thoughts

Honestly, I’m a bit speechless about this book. It wasn’t one I’d heard of before seeing it on Penguin’s First To Read website, but I snagged it there because fairies! Ireland! And then I decided to read it on a whim over my Christmas vacation last month, and once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading.

I see the word “lyrical” thrown around a lot when describing books with beautiful writing — I think that word is overused, frankly. Beautiful writing isn’t necessarily the same thing as lyrical writing, nor does it need to be. But in the case of The Radiant Road, “lyrical” is the perfect descriptor. The Radiant Road is lyrical like a song. The writing feels like there’s a beautiful melody running along underneath it, that sweeps you into it as if you’re in a dream.

Continue reading

This book will break you. (In a good way.)

This book will break you. (In a good way.)
The Song of Achilles

Written by: Madeline Miller
Published by: Bloomsbury
Release date: September 20th 2011
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, LGBTQ, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


**PLEASE NOTE** If you are not familiar with The Iliad and/or the Trojan War, this review may contain some (vague-ish, but I’m bad at judging these things, so maybe not-so-vague) spoilers. But considering that The Iliad was written nearly 3,000 years ago, I’m not putting spoiler-cuts anywhere. For what it’s worth, though, knowing the basic story beforehand does not at all influence its impact and, in fact, might even enhance it. Just saying.

I was originally not going to review this book. Ever. After finishing it, I was a mess. The ugly-crying was real, guys. It was full-on, shut-myself-in-my-room, ruined-for-the-rest-of-the-day real.

Um, I also just realized the main reason I’m writing this review is because I’m desperate to push this book on as many people as I can, so if you could just… go ahead and forget that previous paragraph… that would be awesome. Thanks. 😁

Yeah, so, anyway… The Song of Achilles is sunshine and rainbows and happiness, and you should read it!!!

Most of that sentence is a lie. The truth? You should read it.

Continue reading

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2015

I could’ve easily made this TTT twice as long, but thankfully, January we get to list our Top Ten 2015 Debuts, which took some of the load off this list. ;) I also could’ve included every single one of the books on my last TTT (Top Ten Books on your Winter TBR) as those are all 2015 titles, but there are too many good books coming out next year for me to duplicate them! It’s overwhelming! So without further ado, here are 10 (more) books I’m really looking forward to reading in 2015, minus the ones in my Top Ten Winter TBR Books and debuts (coming January)….

PS: I had fun with fonts this week… so sue me.



Continue reading

Top Ten Characters Who Must Never Die, Ever. Or Else.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten Characters Who Must Never Die, Ever. Or Else.

Basically what it says on the tin. These are characters who, if they die at any point in their respective series, I WILL NOT BE OKAY. There will not be enough capslock or tears in the world to encompass the severity of my grief. The deaths of these characters would break me. Please, authors, be kind to a poor fangirl’s  heart?

Note: I suppose, considering all of these are characters from book-two’s-or-later, their survivals thus far could be considered spoilers. Ehh. If you read the book synopses, you’ll know they make it to the sequel, at least. I’m not saying anything about their survival-or-possibly-vague fates at the ends of the books listed here, though. VAGUERY ALL ‘ROUND. NO ONE IS SAFE.


Continue reading

ARC Review: LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger

I received this book for free from Simon Pulse. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger
Let the Storm Break
Sky Fall #2

Written by: Shannon Messenger
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date: March 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Let the Sky Fall

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?


This series is so much fun. It actually reminds me a little of the vibe I get from reading Percy Jackson (though those are MG and this is definitely YA, with less silliness and more seriousness). But it’s got that light quality to it, which I just love. And Let the Storm Break is a very solid sequel to Let the Sky Fall! (Fun fact: Let the Sky Fall was actually my very first review here at There Were Books Involved, nearly a year ago! Awwwwwwwww.)

The Characters

Without fail, all the main characters in this series come across as really vibrant, and they all stay true to themselves even as they grow and are further developed. They’re all enjoyable and genuine — well, I mean, the bad guys are obviously bad, but the MC’s are great! — and they seem to be written from a very honest place, and I enjoy that rare simplicity. They’re not over-the-top or overly dramatic, they’re not forced… I love them.

Continue reading