The Raven Cycle Reread: 1.47


Ah, chapter forty-seven. The lovely part of this book where we get to dive into the age old question of whether or not it’s murder if you just stand there and let someone else get run over by a bunch of magical deer. Wait, I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we have to talk about how the-Gangsey-minus-Adam (is that what we’re calling it now? Why didn’t I think of a better name?) gets out of the tree.

The answer is simple: they throw themselves out. Unfortunately, though, we find out that Gansey saw only one snippet of Blue’s Murderkiss Vision (part 2). It’s so frustrating that Blue’s the only one who sees them! Show Gansey the steamy visions!!!!! He would be so confused and freaked out and internally chivalrous towards Adam’s feelings. It would be great.

Speaking of Adam, the guy is just standing in the middle of the pentagram, completely untouched. He’s holding the gun that Whelk just tried to shoot him with. And do you want to know where our boy Barrington is? You guessed it! Dead on the ground, having been stomped to death Mufasa-style (he’s also covered in leaves, but that’s neither here nor there).

Adam says he didn’t kill anyone, he just stood there and the trees gave him the gun while Whelk got trampled. Gansey says it doesn’t matter, if you have the ability to save someone and you don’t, it’s wrong. No matter how many cute ghosts they’ve created, no matter how much they sucked at teaching Latin. Adam has a different interpretation of justice. It’s a very philosophical debate, but the only conclusion it reaches is that the sacrifice did something to Adam that Gansey can’t see past.

And then the other two come out of the tree and Blue is ultimately very sensible and probably saves their asses.

“I think we should get out of here,” Blue said. “Earthquakes and animals and—I don’t know how much of an effect I’m having, but things are…”

Earthquakes and animals and guns, oh my!

Before they can leave, though, the trees start talking again. They’re speaking a mishmash of Latin and English, but everyone can hear clearly what they’re saying: “Boy. We know what you’re looking for.”

The rest of what they say is in Latin, and Ronan translates as best he can:

“They said there’ve always been rumors of a king buried somewhere along this spirit road,” Ronan said. His eyes held Gansey’s. “They think he may be yours.”

They waited a whole book to tell us this, but hey. Better late than never.

Thoughts and Feelings:

This fun forest wrap-up of the novel’s main confrontation is kinda fun, if only because it’s just the kids. Somehow both adults were taken out of the equation, leaving this little knot of teenagers to trudge out of the forest and back to the car Adam stole. I wonder if he gives Gansey back the keys by himself, or if Gansey has to ask for them?

But these are questions that never get answered, because Steifvater just leaves us in the woods. I know I went on a fun mechanical rant recently about how we don’t need to see people move from place to place, but I take some of that back. I want a gentle falling of action. I want a slow return to whatever normalcy this gang of friends can scrounge up. I want a denouement!

Basically, give me soft moments or give me death (not exactly what Patrick Henry said, but I’m adapting for my own purposes).

And then, the part I’ve been dreading talking about: the philosophical debate. Adam and Ronan (all sotfboy moments aside—think parking lot fight club Ronan, not baby bird feeding Ronan) are so much more ruthless than Gansey, and it hasn’t yet been this obvious. It’s not explicitly stated until Blue Lily Lily Blue, but I admire the continuity of character that Stiefvater sets up here. Adam views fairness and justice in a totally different light than Gansey does. The minutia of those differences eludes me, but I’m not a Philosophy major so I think that’s okay.

Best Character Moment:

“He killed Noah,” Adam said. “It’s what he deserved.”

“No.” Gansey pressed his hands over his face. There was a body here, a body, and it used to be alive. They didn’t even have the authority to choose an alcoholic beverage. They couldn’t be deciding who deserved to live or die.

Best Turn of Phrase:

It was like the truth, but turned sideways. He kept looking at it, and looking at it, and it still had a young man dead who looked an awful lot like Noah’s crippled skeleton. And then there was Adam, his appearance unchanged, but still—there was something in his eyes. In the lines of his mouth. 

Gansey felt loss looming.

Action: My least favorite character got straight up trampled. That’s about as action packed as it gets. 15/10

Magic: Who needs a gun when you have magical deer to do your bidding? 9/10

Comic Relief: Gansey’s position on the morality of Adam’s choices was “no beer, no murder,” and while that’s not logically funny it did make me laugh, so. 7/10

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