Highly Anticipated: The Raven King and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Here are two books so momentous in my anticipation that I was sure from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to give a fair review to them. Both being books where one wants to #KeeptheSecrets makes things even more of a challenge. So, just a brief taste of both of these books.

Raven King by Maggie StiefvaterRaven King by Maggie Stiefvater. Read by Will Patton. Scholastic, 2016.
This is the final book in the Raven Cycle, one of my very favorite teen series to come out lately, and one which I’ve listened to all the books (except this one) at least twice at this point. So many questions here: Can our team find Glendower? Will Gansey make it out alive? Will our crew make it to some kind of future past high school, even if they can survive the vast supernatural forces arrayed against them? And what about the various adults stuck in uncomfortable positions as well? Stiefvater does so many things so very well – the friendships and the beginnings of romance, the adults who are real people with their own complicated lives even when the teens are the focus, the building tension and the underlying magic, both beautiful and creepy. There was one point near the end that I felt utterly betrayed the preceding story, which I would be happy to discuss with others who have read the book. I will need to listen to again, to get more of the complex layers and to see if there’s any way I can get that one piece to work for me.

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling. Arthur A. Levin, 2016.
Ah, Harry Potter! How I love you, despite your flaws! Of course we had to buy this book and read it, even if it’s only approved by J.K. rather than written straight out by her. Feelings: mixed but mostly positive. On the one hand, I loved seeing our major characters again, so many of them feeling like themselves. It was wonderfully realistic to see Harry having difficulty being a dad, and also good to see sympathetic characters put in Slytherin. The scenes are short, short, short. I also have to agree with Melissa of Book Nut that Thorne and Tiffany only wrote one aspect of Ron’s personality. I was going to say that it showed that it’s written by a playwright, in that I feel that large amounts of the characterization was left for the actors to fill in rather than being written out in the text. Then I saw Akilah’s post at the Englishist about how of course plays are meant to be read as well as watched. Well… I can see her point – but then maybe that means that this is still a lot of fun, worth reading once, but not something that has quite the level of depth and re-readability of the original books. I would dearly love to see it live, if I could hope for it to come close enough and be affordable.

Finally (not being able to hear the play’s score), I am left with “Time Plot” by Tom Smith running through my head.

Did you read these?  Agree/disagree with me?

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About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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4 Responses to Highly Anticipated: The Raven King and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  1. I have to reread Raven King before I can say anything about it. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a point that I thought betrayed the story, but I know there were things I wasn’t completely sure about, particularly some of the new characters introduced in this one. But I was still very satisfied with it as a whole and as a conclusion to the series.

    • Katy K. says:

      I re-read the series, quite last minute, because Charlotte said she had been surprised by Henry… he is pretty forgettable in the previous book. And maybe the things that didn’t work for me this time would make more sense on a reread.

  2. Akilah says:

    that this is still a lot of fun, worth reading once, but not something that has quite the level of depth and re-readability of the original books

    I think that’s totally fair! I do have more to say about the play, though. Maybe I can write that post this weekend…

    • Katy K. says:

      I think you did! And I do hope they come out with an audio version – preferably with at least some of the show music included. That would make me very happy.

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