Book Review: The King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray (4/5)

27 Sep

When I started this series in 2015, I wasn’t aware that it was unfinished. I picked up the books as I found time and really enjoyed each one. I didn’t give myself very long between book 3 and this one since I was so excited to see how it would end! I haven’t enjoyed a book series in a long time so this was a really welcome option.

CrowsThe King of Crows (Diviners #4) by Libba Bray

Other books by Bray reviewed on this blog:

The Diviners
Lair of Dreams (Diviners #2)
Before the Devil Breaks You (Diviners #3)

Summary from Amazon:

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…

This was a very satisfying conclusion to the series. There was a lot of loose ends to tie up and I think Bray did it well. The book did seem to languish in the middle for a bit as the group made their way to Nebraska. Some of it provided good character development, such as Jericho’s time with Lupe and the development of Sam and Evie’s relationship. However, other characters didn’t grow much, like Henry and Isiah. The end brought everyone together, though, and I adored it. I kept making time to listen to the story so I could see how Bray would wrap it up.

Bray’s characters shine in this series. She does an amazing job of giving them unique motivations and showing a wide variety of people who are going to have different experiences because of who they are. The characters all had unique depth to them. These depths weren’t ignored, either. Sam’s Jewish heritage and Henry’s homosexuality became rather major parts of the story. She’s a great example of using diversity to enrich a story.

I liked so many of the characters that it’s hard to say which were my favorites. I think I’d have to say Ling if pushed. She’s very strong and independent while also being a loyal friend and daughter. She cares a lot about her parents and thinks of them often. She fights for her relationship with Alma when it gets difficult and doesn’t compromise what makes her comfortable and what she wants. Her thirst for knowledge is also really admirable.

There was something in each character that I could relate to, though Evie was the easiest. Her aversion to her hometown and wanting to feel like she’d changed or improved in some way resonated with me. I didn’t enjoy school and where I grew up. I always felt like I was different from my classmates in some way that I couldn’t describe. Once I graduated, I didn’t want to go back and didn’t keep in contact with many of those I knew. Her anxieties about going to Zenith with the circus resonated with me.


Libba Bray Author image via BookPage

The time the Diviners spent in Bountiful was my favorite part. They came together and grew very quickly. There was a lot of character development in that part of the book without seeming rushed. I thought the truth about Sarah Beth was a little obvious, but I can give Isiah for not figuring it out because of his age. I was a bit sad it came to an end so quickly, but it was a really enjoyable stretch of the book.

The amount of time the Diviners spent split up was a bit of a drag for me. It didn’t feel like a lot was developing and changing. It took a lot longer than I would have liked to see because it very much felt like a stop-gap until anything more exciting happened.

January LaVoy did the audio and she was absolutely amazing. She had different voices for each character that were unique and appropriate for them. She didn’t make anyone sound like a joke or that I shouldn’t take them seriously. I’d listen to other books by her in a heartbeat. She did a great job with this long series and really impressed me.

Bray talks in the afterward about how she had to come to terms with America’s troubled past in this book series. She started the series ten years before it was finished and didn’t realize she’d be writing the ending during such a different time. It’s published 2020, so I have to assume she was writing it during Trump’s election and presidency. A common response to his campaign slogan of ‘Make America Great Again’ was asking who it had been great for. She address in her afterward how the 1920s, known as a golden age, had a lot of dark sides that repressed minorities and how the golden age image is a memory of the majority. Even when history lets us think America was great, there’s a lot that needed to be fixed and that we don’t want to repeat. (I’ll get off my soap box now.)

Writer’s Takeaway: When I write, I’m often nervous to write a character who’s different from me in any way. I get nervous writing someone from a different part of the country, let alone a different gender, race, family background, sexuality, etc. Bray’s shown me that I should embrace it. The diversity of her characters made the series richer and more exciting and I loved every minute of it. If I want my readers to enjoy my story, I should do the same.

A great ending to an amazing series. Looking forward to more by this author. Four out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts: 
The King of Crows (The Diviners #4) Review (Audiobook) | BookLoversBlog 
Book review: The King of Crows by Libba Bray | One Thousand and One Books 
The King of Crows Review | Journey Into Books 
Mini Audio Book Review: The King of Crows (Diviners #4) | MetalPhantasmReads 
The King of Crows by Libba Bray: It broke me but not in a good way | Delicate Eternity


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