cover image The Raven King

The Raven King

Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-545-42498-1

“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. [em]Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.) [/em]