Book Review: "The King of Crows" by Libba Bray

After the horrifying explosion that claimed one of their own, the Diviners find themselves wanted by the US government, and on the brink of war with the King of Crows.

While Memphis and Isaiah run for their lives from the mysterious Shadow Men, Isaiah receives a startling vision of a girl, Sarah Beth Olson, who could shift the balance in their struggle for peace. Sarah Beth says she knows how to stop the King of Crows-but, she will need the Diviners' help to do it.

Elsewhere, Jericho has returned after his escape from Jake Marlowe's estate, where he has learned the shocking truth behind the King of Crow's plans. Now, the Diviners must travel to Bountiful, Nebraska, in hopes of joining forces with Sarah Beth and to stop the King of Crows and his army of the dead forever.

But as rumors of towns becoming ghost towns and the dead developing unprecedented powers begin to surface, all hope seems to be lost.

In this sweeping finale, The Diviners will be forced to confront their greatest fears and learn to rely on one another if they hope to save the nation, and world from catastrophe...

There will never be a time I don’t celebrate and mourn a series I love when it comes to its end. This goes double for anything written by Libba Bray, an author that has endlessly inspired my own writing. I felt this joyous heartbreak at the end of The Gemma Doyle Trilogy and not surprisingly, I'm experiencing it again at the end of The Diviners Series. In spite of my immense enjoyment of this book, I was hardly surprised Bray delivered another unforgettable end to her series. I’ll do my best to prevent spoilers when reviewing a volume in a series but bear with my excitement because I’m still reeling from plenty of it.

I’m glad I was late to the game when it came to reading this book because the delay clearly enhanced my experience. Bray never shies away from being topical with her stories and reading this book in the middle of 2020’s chaos delivered its necessary emotional blow. The lessons to learn in this story have been relevant and will be for a long time, especially with the chilling end we receive on the last page of this book. Sometimes cautionary tales from the fantastical are the best ones to add to our library and this series is no exception.

Watching our cast of lovable characters have to mix and match during the peak of survival was a delight. I love watching the dynamics of characters in any series being put to the test, especially if those characters have been complete strangers until the event in question. I learned more about and from the world of the Diviners through new and humorous interactions I hadn’t realized I’d been missing. I'm unapologetically referencing Ling and Jericho's time together with that statement. The stakes felt higher and the desire to overcome the King of Crows and his army of the dead turned desperate. I had to force myself to take my time with this book, yet even so the ending felt like it came too soon.

As before, Bray leaves us with a graceful bow and a cautionary nod towards our immediate future. One readers of all ages (and present company included) need to think about:

“Story is powerful. I believe we can write a better one together going forward. But only if we are willing to truly see and reckon with our ghosts. And we are surrounded by them.”

~Libba Bray, The King of Crows

I'll be on the lookout for any future titles from Libba Bray, but for the time being it seems that I'll have to be content with the stories our present has to tell us.

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