The search for Glendower is coming to an end, but so is Gansey's life. A sickness has fallen over Cabeswater, making it difficult for Ronan to escape his nightmares and create new dream objects to help Gansey in his quest. There is also the third sleeper, a demon who is intent on destroying everything that Ronan has dreamt up, including the dreamer himself. With the help of the dreamer, the magician and the psychics daughter, Gansey must find his King and use his favor to kill the demon and stop the distruction. However, nothing is ever so simple in the life of Richard Campbell Gansey III, and sacrifices will have to be made.
SPOILERS ALERT! This will not be a spoiler free review as I have a lot of things to talk and cry about. If you're here wondering if you should read this series then YES YES YOU SHOULD GO READ IT (also check out my reviews on the first three books that are relatively spoiler free)
Ok with that being said OH MY GOD THIS BOOK!! Although this series has been slowly killing me this is the one that has finished me off. I honestly don't know where to start because this book was just so amazingly perfect, but I guess I should start with the plot.
This whole series has been a build up to finding Glendower, a Welsh King who Gansey has been searching for for years. When Gansey was killed by a nest of wasps and resurrected, he heard a voice who he presumed to be Glendower telling him he had been brought back to wake the King, who had been buried on the ley line. The build up to finding him has been extremely exciting throughout the books, but this one finally brought the search to a close and OH MY GOD I WAS NOT EXPECTING IT TO TURN OUT THE WAY THAT IT DID. Gansey's world came crashing down and I was so shocked and upset for him. It was so sad that his dreams were shattered and he had no idea what he was going to do next. All this happening extremely close to the end of the book made me really anxious, as it seemed as if it wouldn't all be wrapped up into a happy ending. I was definitely on the edge of my seat and I read the last 50 pages extremely quickly (I also may have told my mum to go away at one point oops sorry mum!)
This book was definitely the darkest in the series, but it was also the most exciting. I loved that the favor they were going to ask Glendower had to completely change due to the awakening of the demon, and Ronan had to deal with nightmares that weren't his own. I also loved the addition of Blue's father Artemus, and finding out the reason why Blue was able to amplify psychic power. I found the triplets acting as if they were one person extremely creepy, and I loved how there were multiple villains so it was difficult to determine who the main threat was going to be. I also loved that Henry got more of a storyline in this book, and became a big part of helping Gansey not allow his fears to control him.
I loved how although Gansey tried go on alone to finish the quest, his friends soon found him and told him he was being stupid for trying to do it alone. I feel as if the protagonist going off alone at the climax of a book is something that happens frequently, so I loved that the rest of the characters came back to remind us that Gansey isn't the protagonist, and that they are all important to the plot. I was literally heartbroken when the demon took over Cabeswater, taking the “hands and eyes of Cabeswater” with it. Adam attacking Ronan due to the demon taking over his body was one of the most heartbreaking moments in this book, and seeing Ronan not wanting to fight back and allowing Adam to attack him because it was Adam actually brought me to tears. I also hated that Adam blamed himself and wanted to sacrifice himself because of it. Honestly this scene was probably the one that broke me the most.
I know that I keep ranting about how amazing the characters are in this series but I HAVE TO TALK YET AGAIN ABOUT HOW AMAZING THE CHARACTERS ARE IN THIS SERIES. One of the things that I absoutely adored was that there wasn't an obvious protagonist. In the majority of YA novels, it is clear that there is one protagonist that the story follows, and although other characters are important, the story is clearly not about them. I loved that this wasn't the case with this series. In The Raven Boys, I was pretty certain that the plot would revolve around Blue and Gansey, and that a lot of it would focus around the point of Blue not being able to kiss him. However throughout the series the romance between Blue and Gansey was extremely minimal, and once they did finally kiss, it was in an attempt to save Ronan and Adam, and it was in no way romantic. I was actually shocked to find out that the romance between them was in fact not even the main romance of the book, and the main romance was in fact between..... RONAN AND ADAM. YES, THE MAIN ROMANCE IN A YA FANTASY BOOK WAS A GAY ONE BLESS YOU MAGGIE STIEFVATER. But oh my god I honestly could not believe that happened. At the end of The Dream Thieves, it is revealed that Ronan is in love with Adam, and throughout Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Raven King their relationship slowly progressed, and when I say slowly I mean this is probably the slowest burning relationship i've ever read AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! I loved Adam slowly falling in love with Ronan, and all the times he flirted with him and knew Ronan wasn't a person he could mess around with. The kisses between them were extremely sweet, and I adored how Maggie focused on their thoughts and feelings rather than explaining the physical details of the kiss. It was extremely well written and I feel as if more authors would benefit from writing kiss scenes in this way rather than talking about tongues and groping. Basically I love this relationship very much and it is honestly one of my favourite fictional relationships of all time.
Speaking of Ronan and Adam, I felt as if they became the protagonists of the series rather than Gansey and Blue, as I felt a lot of it was down to them and their abilities. There were far more scenes of Ronan and Adam working together than there was of Blue and Gansey, and I felt that these two really were what made the book so exciting. Although this is a book about mythology and magic, the characters felt very real, and had personal problems that had nothing to do with magic, such as Adam being abused and Ronan being unsure what to do with his future. I felt as if these were very important themes that would usually be in contemporary books, so I loved that they managed to be perfectly incoperated into fantasy.
The epilogue was perfect, and I loved how the characters all had exciting futures. I also loved that Ronan and Adam didn't have to sacrifice their futures for each other, as Ronan got to work as a farmer while Adam fufilled his dream of going to college while still staying in a relationship. I feel as if this never works out in most YA, and the characters either have to give up on their dreams to be together or sacrifice the relationship, so I loved that these two didn't have to do either of these things. I also loved that Adam got the chance to settle things once and for all with his parents, and that although he knew he would never have a decent relationship with them, he was finally at peace with it.
I honestly do not know how i'm going to move on from this and read new books, as I don't think anything is going to come close to comparing to this series for me for a long time! I am constantly wanting to discuss this amazing series so if you've read it (and i'm guessing you have otherwise oops spoilers alert) then please come discuss all the things with me!