Review of The King of Crows by Libba Bray

I finally made it through The Diviners and have some thoughts to share on this final installment.

Title: The King of Crows

Author: Libba Bray

Publisher: Atom

Page count: 547

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fic

Average Goodreads rating: 4.01

My star rating: 3

Before we begin, it’s safe to say that I was highly disappointed with this concluding novel and it now sits firmly in last place in my ranking of the series. I have a lot of very specific grievances with The King of Crows but I’ll keep this as spoiler free as possible.

Gee, really?

I felt like The King of Crows was written by somebody else as it lost the spark that made this series so special. The heaviness of the themes and the plot wasn’t balanced out by any banter like the other novels so it started to feel like quite a lot of effort to read the story. The pacing was also off and there were many long periods of the book where nothing was really happening and dare I say I got bored a few times.

One of my gripes with Before the Devil Breaks You was that I felt that Bray was too heavy handed with certain themes and in my opinion this got even worse here.

Come on, Baby Vamp

I was disappointed to find that the Diviners were separated throughout most of this novel which is the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen. They were also split into odd combinations that didn’t serve the plot too well and again hindered on the banter levels.

The author also wrapped up each characters narrative arc in a nice bow but I felt that it was all too rushed and some of the special moments that we were waiting for just didn’t feel special. To be fair, there was a couple of classic Diviners moments between my favourites but they were just few and far between.

Ghosts on the road

The plot was the most disappointing aspect of this novel. It was rife with conveniences and laziness which is such a shame when the author worked so hard in the previous books to leave breadcrumbs to build to an explosive ending. There’s a lot of specific moments that I could go into but to avoid spoilers I’ll just say that the ending was a particular low point in my opinion. It resolved too fast and with little explanation as to how things were possible considering the knowledge we had going in to this book.

A few of the ‘big’ reveals were obvious to me from the beginning so didn’t surprise me the way I think the author intended and the ‘big bad’ was also resolved far too easily. I think there was room for Libba Bray to push the idea of who the ‘big bad’ was and do a twist on a twist but she didn’t take the opportunity. Don’t even get me started on the last page…

Series wrap up

From this pretty negative review, we can all agree that I was disappointed with The King of Crows but my feelings on the series as a whole are still positive. I loved The Diviners and Lair of Dreams continues to be my favourite installment. The series is magical and doesn’t shy away from the murkier side of American history whilst making a concerted effort to afront what it means to be American and how tough it can be to unpack that especially in the context of the 1920s.

I would recommend you give this series a go despite the final book being just okay. Have you read The Diviners yet?

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