My signed paperback copy of The Raven King arrived the other day!
Isn’t it gorgeous???
It also includes a new bonus story, “Opal,” and this Opal tarot card!
And listen . . . I reread The Raven Cycle less than two months ago, but reading this made me want to reread it again. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so gorgeous. Her characters are so complex and interesting and I love them all. I cry every time I think about them.
So here are my messy, unorganized, emotional thoughts upon reading “Opal”:
⚠⚠⚠ SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS ⚠⚠⚠
DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE STORY! AND ALSO THE RAVEN CYCLE!
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BOTH.
- Opal is such an interesting narrator. In my science fiction writing class, we’ve been talking about “estrangement,” which is making something familiar strange by presenting it in an unfamiliar war. Opal’s POV is basically a textbook example of this technique. It’s so clear that she’s not human and there’s so much that she doesn’t understand – that’s she’s incapable of understanding – about humans. Yet she still has this childlike curiosity, and she’s able to love and to be afraid and to recognize death when she sees it. There’s so much to think about with her as a narrator and I really do hope we get to see more from her in the Dreamer Trilogy.
- Even just her development within this story, from saying she never wants to return to a dreamworld to encouraging Ronan to rebuild Cabeswater, and everything about her getting used to living in the “animal world,” is so fascinating.
- I love the idea of Opal and Chainsaw being dream-thing bros.
- Adam and Ronan go on long drives together help help help.
- Listen. Just everything about Adam and Ronan in this story makes my heart absolutely melt.
- Ronan, who treats his car like it’s his baby, lets Adam borrow it whenever he needs it and even offers to let Adam take it with him to school when he can’t get his own car to work. And Adam lets him!!! Adam, who used to refuse anything that smelled of “charity” from his friends. This is too much for me.
- You can tell that the two of them are still learning how to be in a proper relationship and how to communicate, but they’re trying so hard and they’re learning and getting better.
- Adam likes when Ronan talks about Cabeswater ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
- THAT MOMENT WHEN RONAN IS SAD ABOUT HIS PARENTS AND ADAM COMES AND JUST HOLDS HIM. My God. Can you imagine book 1 Ronan Lynch, the same one who drowned all his feelings in alcohol and never let anyone see him hurting, actually facing his emotions and putting his face in someone’s neck and letting them hold him??? This is So Soft I’m going to flip a table.
- The fact that Adam understands that Ronan doesn’t like to talk it out when he’s upset and he’d rather show how he feels through physical touch!!! And then when Adam is upset about not getting into his top school, Ronan understands that Adam likes to talk so they go on a long walk together and talk about feelings!! Like I said!! They’re learning how to be in a proper relationship and it’s beautiful!!!!!
- Just that whole scene of the two of them talking about Adam going to school. Ronan taking off his shoes so they’re both barefoot and telling Adam exactly what he needs to hear. Then they hold hands. I repeat: THEY HOLD HANDS. I have died and this is me writing from my grave.
- All the summer shenanigans: They accidentally set fire to an outbuilding and end up “wild and joyful” dancing around the burning building WHY ARE THEY LIKE THIS. And then they dig a pool in the field and go swimming every day. I don’t know why this makes me emotional. They’re so happy now and I can’t handle it.
- That argument they have when Ronan tells Adam to leave for school and Adam says he’s not leaving if Ronan is in danger!!! It’s so indicative of both of their characters – they’re both so stubborn and self-sacrificing and in love with each other. Just . . . everything about this.
- The Fox Way ladies come to the Barns often! I’m so happy about this! These kids need some adult guidance in their lives (and these ladies probably need people to boss around now that Blue is out of the house).
- Adam thought he’d lost everything when Cabeswater died! He thought he wasn’t a magician anymore!! But he still did it because saving Gansey was more important!!! HELP.
- Ronan focuses on making a part of Cabeswater with “that sort of rain that makes you feel happy and sad at the same time.” Is this the same Ronan Lynch who squashed his emotions with his bare hands in the first book?? I’m a mess.
- Oh no, Opal, don’t drink the windshield washing liquid.
- Who is this other dream lady that snoops around the Barns??? I’m sure we’ll find out in the Dreamer Trilogy, but I wanna know nowwww.
- Opal sometimes whispers “Damn you” to the sleeping cows because she knows it’s a swear and thinks it’ll be so shocking that they’ll wake up this is SO CUTE.
- Opal watching the cloud lady was just adorable, and I knew she was gonna die (WHY CAN’T OPAL HAVE NICE THINGS) but it still made me sad.
- Opal doesn’t want Adam to leave because she loves him and she’s worried that he’ll grow old and die before he comes back!! I’m crying a lil.
- RONAN CRIES AFTER HE TALKS TO GANSEY ON THE PHONE I am not ready to deal with this nope nope nope I don’t know what this is going to mean for the Dreamer Trilogy and the state of the Gangsey but if any of them stop being friends with each other I’m going to riot. Everything hurts.
- I have so many feelings about the character development of both Adam and Ronan. Adam stays at the Barns most of the time even though earlier he wouldn’t have dreamed of letting someone else take care of him even the slightest bit. Also, recognizing that he’s worthy of love and actually taking into consideration how Opal will feel when he leaves instead of assuming that she won’t care. Ronan is so much better about showing his love for other people. But this still have so much more growing to do! And I can’t wait to see it!
- Ronan says he doesn’t know if he’s a real thing that’s supposed to be alive. I. Can’t. Handle. This.
- He’s going to dream a new Cabeswater and it’s going to be amazing and WOW I’ve never been more excited for the Dreamer Trilogy than I am now. Maggie, I’m begging you. I need these books.
Anybody else excited for the Ronan books? What did you think of this bonus story?