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The Diviners #4

The King of Crows

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The breath-taking finale to the epic New York Times bestseller, The Diviners, from Printz winner and beloved author, 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...

560 pages, Hardcover

First published February 4, 2020

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About the author

Libba Bray

45 books15k followers
What is it about writing an author bio that gives me that deer-in-headlights feeling? It's not exactly like I'm going to say "I was born in Alabama…" and somebody's going to jump up and snarl, "Oh yeah? Prove it!" At least I hope not.

I think what gets me feeling itchy is all that emphasis on the facts of a life, while all the juicy, relevant, human oddity stuff gets left on the cutting room floor. I could tell you the facts–I lived in Texas for most of my life; I live in New York City with my husband and six-year-old son now; I have freckles and a lopsided smile; I'm allergic to penicillin.

But that doesn't really give you much insight into me. That doesn't tell you that I stuck a bead up my nose while watching TV when I was four and thought I'd have to go to the ER and have it cut out. Or that I once sang a punk version of "Que Sera Sera" onstage in New York City. Or that I made everyone call me "Bert" in ninth grade for no reason that I can think of. See what I mean?

God is in the details. So with that in mind, here is my bio. Sort of.


TEN THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME by Libba Bray

1. I lived in Texas until I was 26 years old, then I moved to New York City with $600.00 in my shoe ('cause muggers won't take it out of your shoe, y'know . . . riiiiight . . .) and a punchbowl (my grandmother's gift) under my arm. I ended up using the punchbowl box as an end table for two years.

2. My dad was a Presbyterian minister. Yes, I am one of those dreaded P.K.s–Preacher's Kids. Be afraid. Be very afraid . . .

3. The first story I ever wrote, in Mrs. McBee's 6th grade English class, was about a girl whose family is kidnapped and held hostage by a murderous lot of bank robbers who intend to kill the whole family–including the dog–until the 12-year-old heroine foils the plot and saves the day. It included colored pencil illustrations of manly-looking, bearded criminals smoking, and, oblivious to the fact that The Beatles had already sort of laid claim to the title, I called my novel, HELP. My mom still has a copy. And when I do something she doesn't like, she threatens to find it.

4. My favorite word is "redemption." I like both its meaning and the sound. My least favorite word is "maybe." "Maybe" is almost always a "no" drawn out in cruel fashion.

5. My three worst habits are overeating, self-doubt, and the frequent use of the "f" word.

6. The three things I like best about myself are my sense of humor, my ability to listen, and my imagination.

7. I have an artificial left eye. I lost my real eye in a car accident when I was eighteen. In fact, I had to have my entire face rebuilt because I smashed it up pretty good. It took six years and thirteen surgeries. However, I did have the pleasure of freezing a plastic eyeball in an ice cube, putting it in a friend's drink, ("Eyeball in your highball?") and watching him freak completely. Okay, so maybe that's not going down on my good karma record. But it sure was fun.

8. In 7th grade, my three best friends and I dressed up as KISS and walked around our neighborhood on Halloween. Man, we were such dorks.

9. I once spent New Year's Eve in a wetsuit. I'd gone to the party in a black dress that was a little too tight (too many holiday cookies) and when I went to sit down, the dress ripped up the back completely. Can we all say, mortified? The problem was, my friends were moving out of their house–everything was packed and on a truck–and there was nothing I could put on . . . but a wetsuit that they still had tacked to the wall. I spent the rest of the party maneuvering through throngs of people feeling like a giant squid.

10. I got married in Florence, Italy. My husband and I were in love but totally broke, so we eloped and got married in Italy, where he was going on a business trip. We had to pull a guy off the street to be our witness. It was incredibly romantic.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,379 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
256 reviews78.7k followers
August 15, 2020
no words, head emptyyyyyyy
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
653 reviews3,840 followers
February 16, 2020
Maybe for of a 3.5 but uhh, I can't believe how ... just okay this was.

I Loved Before the Devil Breaks You so much (and this whole series) but this was .. so boring? At one point it was almost a chore to pick it up. Nothing happens for most of it, the characters just wander around. All the momentum from the end of the last book is lost. Some of the character arcs didn't make sense to me and the climax was unsatisfying and way too easy/quick. I don't even want to talk about it, it hurts me to not give this a five star after waiting literally ten years for this series conclusion.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
February 19, 2020
Wow, I cannot believe my favorite series of all time is OVER. I sobbed pretty much non-stop for the last 100 pages and I feel EMPTY as heck now that it is done. There were a few things about this conclusion that I wish had gone differently, but overall this was such a satisfying and emotional end to the series and I loved it SO MUCH. I am going to re-read it IMMEDIATELY now that I know how everything ends up and I won't need to be anxiously flipping the pages for 10 hours straight, haha. Wow fuck okay anyway I loved this a lot and I'M GONNA GO CRY OVER IT FOREVER NOW 😭😭😭😭😭

Edit (two weeks later): Okay, now that I've had some time to think about this more, I have decided to lower my rating from a 5 to a high 3. I still loved this book and will re-read it and the rest of the series for the rest of my life, but I can't pretend that this conclusion was everything I wanted. The pacing of this one felt really off and it never really felt like the stakes were as high as I wanted them to be for the final book in a series. It definitely was not a bad book, but it just.. wasn't quite what I was hoping for :c
Profile Image for Tara ☽.
299 reviews233 followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
May 31, 2019
If Sam dies we riot at dawn
Profile Image for Lance.
448 reviews137 followers
December 4, 2021
“But if you abandoned the idea that such a paradise awaited you, and believed that you would live this life over and over again, would you not live the life you had more thoughtfully?”

“Make a better history."


4.5 stars rounded up. The King of Crows, while not the perfect finale, is a solid book and ending to a series that has found its place in the deepest parts of my heart and soul. I'm not going to lie, I was initially disappointed with this finale after finishing reading it. But after thinking on the book and series as a whole, I am going to go ahead and rate this book 4.5 stars.Like the rest of its predecessors, The King of Crows is at once an actual ghost story and a story about the specter history leaves on the present. From prose, to atmosphere, to plotting and pacing, to characters, and romance, Libba Bray succeeded in crafting a multi-faceted story that I was destined to fall in love with in all aspects.

Prose. Bravo, Libba Bray. If I left it at that, that'd be sufficient I think to describe Bray's writing style and the impact it leaves on its readers. Her writing is a poem, written in blood. A gut punch, described in ink. A grainy photo, haunting and blurry. Bray chooses to frame the story in omniscient third person tense, jumping from character to character's thoughts in the same scene; what this achieves is a flowing, tense narrative that allows her to keep the pace of the novel going while not neglecting her characters and the importance their thoughts and motives have on the narrative. I don't know how Libba Bray does it, but her descriptive and almost purple prose allows her to both paint a portrait of the 1920's and all of its glamour and rot while still keeping an intimate focus on her characters. Somehow, her writing allows the reader to both see the minor and the major, and keep characters and setting both at the foreground. Her writing is superb in the way that it somehow describes character thought, muses on history and stories and more, and builds the atmosphere these novels are so well-known for brick-by-brick. All with the same finesse.

Atmosphere. I think when you think of The Diviners, atmosphere is the first word that comes to mind. Unlike the previous novel, the characters are not in the New York City for the whole novel. This time, the atmosphere takes the form of the old, intimate, and a bit claustrophobic air of small, rural, and forgotten towns of the 1920's. It's a bit quieter, but twice as terrifying as there is no city noise to cover up the risen ghosts of the past. The atmosphere casts that old, black-and-white 1920's movie magic on the series. The Roaring 20's comes alive with Libba Bray's writing and readers ache with nostalgia for this time; a time when most, if not all, of her readers weren't even alive. The atmosphere and aesthetic this book series brings to the table is honestly unmatched.

Plot and pacing. If I had to describe the plot of this book in one world, it would be homecoming: all of the characters, in one way or the other, are forced to confront the ghosts of their pasts. Whether it'd be a place where they had once lived, a person they once knew, or a combination of one or the other. Libba Bray splits off our cast into different groups, placing characters together who you never thought would be together in situations that force them to travel together. I loved this aspect of the novel. Each individual character is forced to confront something that lied in their past. Some highlights include As for the pacing, it fit well with the events of the novel and although I was lowkey a bit miffed when But honestly, yet another almost perfect facet of this book.

Characters. Hands down, the best part of this series and book. I fucking love each and every one of them. Do I have favorites? Sure (Evie, Henry, Ling, and Sam). But ultimately, The Diviners as a found family are second-only to The Crows from Six of Crows in terms of love. I just love each and every one of them individually and together. Libba Bray is a fucking master at character work; I think the best marker of this is the fact that by the start and end of this novel, none of the characters are recognizable from the way they were at the beginning of the series or when they were introduced for the first time. They've all developed so much and I knew going in to this novel, I wasn't going to get out unscathed because I was attached to all of them in some way. I would go into each of them individually, but then I'd reach a character limit on this review. Also, I love all of the romances in this novel bar one.

Which brings me to why this is a 4.5 stars rather than a full 5 star rating:

Conclusively, thank you for whoever read this behemoth of a review. I cannot express enough gratitude to Libba Bray for writing this series. A queen. While this is my least favorite of my quartet, I still love every page of it. If you haven't picked up The Diviners, go pick it up now. I promise you. It uses speculative elements to examine issues like racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. It contains all the glitter of the 1920's while not neglecting its dark underbelly. This book and series will find its way into your soul and haunt you long after you pick it up, in a good way. I guarantee you.
Profile Image for viv.
84 reviews10 followers
July 3, 2021
“Stories were power. And whoever controlled the story controlled everything. A story could bring people together, or it could tear them apart. It could spread like a sickness, infecting people. It could lead them into battle or shake them into seeing what they had refused to see before.”


This was definitely the most anticipated release of 2020 for me. The Diviners series is so near and dear to my heart – i truly feel a connection with these characters and with the story. I feel like i'm actually there in the story with them, feeling their pain and anger and hopefulness, as if they're a part of myself. I will always treasure this series forever.

Now, i have to say that this was probably my least favorite of the series. I didn't like how 'easy' the ending was and i think the pacing was a little slow. But that might've just been the fact that i wanted to know what happened so bad that i ignored reading this on purpose, so it took me almost 2 weeks to finish this. Makes sense? Great.

To me the plot twists were a bit predictable and the ending was packed up too neatly, which was really underwhelming. Don't get me wrong i was balling my eyes out for the last 150 pages but i still thought that the plot was lacking.

I love where all the characters ended up emotionally and physically except for one (good riddance).Theta, Evie and Sam stole the show for me and yes i would lay down my life for them, no questions asked.

Overall, a solid end to a dazzling series that i will definitely return to many rereads in the future.
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
439 reviews974 followers
February 28, 2020
The final instalment to one of my favourite YA series ever, a series which didn't simply sit in the YA genre, but crossed into historical fiction, paranormal, and fantasy too.

This is the final book of the series, so please don't read if you haven't read:
Book 1) The Diviners⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 2) Lair of Dreams⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book 3) Before The Devil Breaks You⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I've been weighing up the pros and cons of The King of Crows for a few days now, and I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it! Initially I did feel disappointed with how Libba Bray ended this wonderful series, but its hard to stay mad when these characters and their escapades brought me so much joy! I loved the series, but this was definitely my least favourite of all the books.

First the positives,
⚡️ Libba Bray is a fantastic writer, whose writing pulls you into the story. She quite clearly did a lot of research, and it shone through, transporting me back to both the magic, and the dark side of the 1920's.
⚡️ January LaVoy was again magnificent as the narrator, portaying multiple characters, and sounding like a full cast was used, but really it's a one woman machine killing it!
⚡️ The setting! Whilst the other three books were set in atmospheric NYC, The King of Crows roamed all over the USA, as the characters fled the city on their separate adventures. I liked these journeys through small, claustrophobic, ignorant small town America.
⚡️ The characters! As you know, if you've read my reviews of the previous books in the series, I love those guys! They started out as a bunch of misfits, but ended up being each other's family. I loved the journey that each character (well maybe not all of them) made, as they grew up, faced their past, and I felt they were all so well developed over the series. I was so attached to them, and felt constantly on edge worrying about them, as this evil author did not shy away from killing off her characters!
⚡️ I also really appreciated that some characters got to interact with those which they wouldn't usually! Jericho and Ling's journey was really interesting. But the mix which I liked the best was Bill, Memphis and Henry! It really showcased some of the appalling racism of that era.
⚡️ I loved the strong messages of hope and love when faced with racism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia, Anti-Semitism, and oppression through class, and the eugenics programme. Many people behaved and treated people who were different appallingly, and Bray didn't shy away from that in these books. As I read this series, it became ever apparent to me, that today isn't actually all that different from a century ago. Worldwide, we have seen a resurgence of hate for those who don't fit into the white, heterosexual box, as it were. It made me feel really quite depressed really, at how little some people have moved on from that era. But these characters supported each other, and it was so precious! I love to see all kinds of people represented, especially in fantasy books!
⚡️ Sam 💖 No justification needed lol
description
Now to the parts which I felt let me down.
👎 The lack of a chilling mystery element, was really felt in this book. In the other books, there was always something to be investigated, and solved, and this book didn't really have that element, which was a shame.
👎 At times, especially towards the end of the book, the narration felt a little bit over preachy to me.
👎 The lack of NYC! That was part of the magic for me, the glamourous, yet gritty city was so atmospheric!
👎

So with a heavy heart, I think I will have to give this final book in the Diviners series a three star rating. I cant go any lower, because really I loved the world, and I would read about anything that these characters did!

I would still whole heartedly recommend this epic series to anyone though, and really enjoyed listening to it!
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Here we go friends! 🙌😬🤞
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Don't mind me, I'll just be the one crying in the corner, waiting for February 4th...😭😭😭
Profile Image for ivy francis.
544 reviews27 followers
March 22, 2020
“But if you abandoned the idea that such a paradise awaited you, and believe that you would live this life over and over again, would you not live the life you had more thoughtfully? Would you not think carefully about your choices? Would you not live with abandon —love and love and love some more?”

The real Diviner powers were the friends we made along the way.

Old joke:
i made this in two minutes in picsart and forgot to add a 'the' to the beginning but i'm proud of it so you can freak off, okay
I'm very clever, I know
August 27, 2021
| | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | |

“Who got to decide what made somebody an American? America, the ideal of it at least, was its own form of elusive magic.”


I hate to say it, or write it, but The King of Crows wasn't a very satisfying conclusion to The Diviners series.
While it isn't as drawn-out as the finale to the Gemma Doyle series (which was around 800 pages) it struck me as being similarly anticlimactic.
In The King of Crows the pacing of the story is all over the place and the characters have very rushed and unsatisfying arcs.

Nearly three years have gone by since the release of Before the Devil Breaks You. Given that this series started back in 2012, it isn't all that surprising that I'd forgotten a quite a few major plot-points. Still, I remembered the diviners, their personalities and powers, as well as their group dynamics. Libba Bray doesn't spend too much time recapitulating old events, and once I caught up or remembered what was going on I found the first few chapters of this novel to be promising enough.
Once the diviners are scattered across America however the story's upbeat pace comes to a halt. What follows over the course of the next three-hundred pages is a tedious repetition of similar scenarios.
The diviners encounter good folk, who are willing to help them or understand what it means to be different (such as the members of a circus), as well as horrible individuals and groups of people (the most noticeable being the KKK). They all come to terms with their simultaneously beautiful and terrible country/world. All the while we get random chapters showing us that ghosts are coming (phrases such as 'ghosts are coming' and 'this country is full of ghosts' are repeated so many times as to loose the initial sense of danger and urgency that they carried). The confusing showdown between our good guys (aka the diviners) and the baddies is crammed in the last hundred pages.
The narrative in The King of Crows lacked the mystery-factor that made the other volumes in this series intriguing.

In short: the story is just padding.

Characters behave as flimsy versions of their former selves (Evie and Ling, both of whom I previously really liked, were simply irritating) and had very rushed storylines that seemed to add very little to their overall arc.
Take Henry. Most of his scenes revolve around the way in which his sexuality is deemed abnormal by his society. That's pretty much it. Ling's sections also often emphasise her sexuality. Whereas those scenes that focus on characters such as Memphis and Theta seem to focus on other aspects of their lives (their general desires and fears, etc). Jericho has the most eye-roll worthy storyline which sees him .
Even the banter between the various diviners felt unimaginative. At times their conversations and discussions seem to rely on their catchphrases (Evie says something 'scandalous', Sam says something flirty, Jericho doesn't get whatever is going on, Ling is disapproving...).
None of the romances were interesting. They mostly revolved around cute nicknames (such as baby vamp) and on scenes featuring some very uninspired flirting.

The King of Crows is a Disney type of villain. I remember that the first instalments of this series presented us with creepy or fascinating antagonists...but this guy is just dull. He has a few cameos here and there, scares our protagonists, does some mayhem, and is very much the novel's boogeyman.

The setting too seemed to lack its usual spark and vibrancy. Previously I loved the way in which Bray brought 1920s New York to life. In this volume however most of the 'action' is outside of New York, and we read of a series of small and forgettable towns...which do not make very intriguing backdrops.

The plot was full of convenient coincidences. What frustrated me the most was a 'revelation' towards the end, which came as no surprise whatsoever

Bray draws an unsubtle parallel between the rampant racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, othering, and other forms of bigotry of the 1920s and today's political climate (there are phrases such as 'get out of our country'). Her approaches to some of these topics came across as rather on the nose. For example when Theta learns that someone she likes was raised by slave-owners she has such an unbelievably naive 'how could she?' reaction.

The epilogue struck me as predictable....

All in all...this was an incredibly disappointing followup to Before the Devil Breaks You.
While Bray is an undoubtedly brilliant writer The King of Crows simply lacks the glamour and electricity that made the other instalments so much more engaging and atmospheric. It had a meandering narrative, with lots of repetition regarding the importance of storytelling and stories, a passage from Nietzsche which felt rather out of place, some lacklustre cosmic horror, and a cast of one-dimensional characters.

Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads
Profile Image for Katie.
Author 13 books3,346 followers
Read
December 26, 2020
I 100% expected to give this 5 stars. Now I’m leaning towards 2.5 (but rounding up to 3 because I cannot fathom looking at a 2-star rating beside one of these books). I’m so SAD.

I LOVED books 2 and 3, but this one is definitely my least favorite in the series. Looking back, I’m still not really sure what happened to fill all those pages? It was all just a seemingly arbitrary and meandering journey without much payoff. Still love the characters. Love how well-researched this series is. I'm happy with how everything worked out, but I expected much more.

Overall, an underwhelming and disappointing conclusion to one of my favorite series, but I will still recommend the previous books to anyone who will listen.
Profile Image for Althea ☾.
623 reviews1,909 followers
November 11, 2022
You can find this review and more on my blog

This series is just so well executed in my opinion.

You gotta love the books that make you fall back in love with reading so deeply. I want to create a time machine and experience this series for the first time all over again.

The #1 historical fantasy ghost story in Best Atmosphere, Best Character Dynamics (specialized in Found Family), and Best Themes

"The way narrative, especially the stories of those who have lived these injustices first hand, can be used to bring truth into the open. Story is powerful. I believe we can write a better one together, going forward. But if only we are willing to truly see and reckon with, our ghosts... and we are surrounded by them."

"They are with us always. They are talking to us. It's up to us to listen."


I will forever praise this series for taking serious themes and weaving it into a supernatural ghost/dream plot with high levels of humor and charm. While of course incorporating actual pieces of history (KKK, american eugenics movement, xenophobia, racial injustive and government sactioned abuse, abuses of power, white supremacy, +++) seamlessly.

Trust me, this book has a lot more to it than kids running after ghosts.

It has also been proven that until the end… I hated Jericho 😂



— overall thoughts: 4.75 —

The music, the life, the research, magic system, the narrative, everything that is put into the writing was gorgeous. These books have been my comfort reads for the whole 2020 that I’m a bit devastated that it’s over. On the bright side: I am excited to read every other book on my TBR because that’s how happy it makes me feel… ironic for a “horror” book.

There is so much essence in Libba Bray's writing, especially with how she weaved so many different elements into a story that makes me want to dive right in to 20+ hours audiobooks with no backward glances.

I just love how immersive the books in this series are that I don’t mind how long they are. I never feel like I was getting dragged along despite the slow pacing since that's something that everyone always comments on.

Full of iconic characters (fine, I’ll count Jericho as the typical white male) that all have their own respective character developments. It’s filled with so much pure moments in the midst of very serious themes and plots, which makes it easy to fall in love with.



Despite being a story of friends that bond together and save the day, it diverges from the typical YA formula where the whole cast gets paired up with each other romantically. They do get paired up but for the most part, platonically. The platonic relationships are just as (if not more) well written than the romantic ones. And their overall dynamic as a group builds off of each other that you cannot love one of the characters without loving the rest (Jericho is an exception).

I found this book to be the “creepiest” out of the whole series but just as intense if not more. Though, the plot may be not as magical and dreamy (albeit debatable) as the rest of the series, I didn’t mind it because it held adventure.

The whole series explores how different people can be, sometimes far from who we think that they are. But at the end of the day, it’s about understanding and loving them for who they are.

Despite being classified as “horror” I was laughing my ass off. Perhaps there are horror books that also have humor but what really sold me with each joke was just how true to the character’s personality they were. That goes for pretty much all of their dialogues (except Jericho because he’s one of the blandest characters in this entire series, at least Blind Bill kept me guessing).

You’re going to get sick of me saying how much I hate Jericho by the end of this review.

Outside of the supernatural conflicts, it’s heavy on the discussion of more societal issues that are still very present in our modern world.

“That’s all we are in the end… stories.”


Coming clean: I cared next to nothing about the actual King of Crows just because I didn’t feel the high stakes/intensity that he was supposed to be placing. He was just like this typical dark lord/presence and that was that. It felt like such a distant conflict to me that I didn’t feel the dread of him as an antagonist. I don’t even understand what his motivations were with all of this except because he wants to make their lives a living hell. I would have been more sold on it if Libba Bray stuck to the “dream” aspects and didn’t try to give everything a pseudoscience meaning. This includes if Marlowe played a smaller part and if the King of Crows was given an actual background as to why he is what he is.

The crazy things that happened as a result of his presence and what that posed to the cast was much more interesting to me than the actual being of him, if that makes sense. But you know, I really didn’t care because I wasn’t reading this series for him :) A “it’s the journey, not the destination” kind of analogy.

Again, perhaps Libba Bray was going for a realistic approach but it turned a soft magic system that worked with the plot perfectly into a “trying-to-be hard magic system”.



I also have this pet peeve because I don’t like it when a series introduces a character in the last book but they’re actually essential to the plot that has been brewing since book 1 . Especially when we don’t get hints about them, it makes the character feel like an after thought. So I’m just putting it out there.

With all of that said, I was still incredibly satisfied with the ending. Some people aren’t a fan but the way Libba Bray wrote it, was my style. And I found the ending to be quite unique.

“She realized how much it mattered who got to tell the stories that ended up in the newspapers and the history books. There is no greater power on this Earth than a story.”


I will never get over how real the characters feel, January LaVoy contributed to a lot of my enjoyment with how much she gave them life. I always appreciate how distinct each members of the cast is both in writing and voice. One line of dialogue and you’ll know who it is.

Their imperfections are definitely there from the start and it was so satisfying to see all of it come together.

I like to think that each character’s powers reflect their own personalities and a specific theme that the book is trying to deliver.

I’m gonna be honest, all of the that happen throughout this series felt so out of place and unnecessary for me? Or maybe I was just too shocked to process any of them. Although, I didn’t expect any of the them just because even when they I still was not accepting it. Make of it what you will.

Though, I see what Libba Bray did with that when I read the acknowledgements and I actually think it was genius.

“Evie was still crying and so didn't know what Sam whispered to Theta over the top of her head. She only knew that now there were two sets of arms around her, holding her close, holding her up. She only knew that she had family after all.”



I had a longer version of this section but there is a point when a review is too long and you are just going to have to trust me and read this book.

Evie ⤳ object reader
at the beginning: materialistic and cared about superficial things more
how the end translated to me: how it’s not the objects that matter the most but the memories that people associate with material things that makes them matter.

“There’s a story to everything, you just have to listen.”


Sam ⤳ “don’t see me” <3
I find it very ironic that Sam’s powers revolves making people “not see” him when Evie used to always be craving for the limelight. I really appreciated the dichotomy between those two aspects, especially since they are romantically involved and him vying for her attention since the beginning.

For the most part Sam provides a lot of comedic relief (he's not the only one) but he’s actually core to the plot. He ended up growing on me (a lot) and his terms of endearment for Evie were the cutest.

Sam and Evie are it for me. They kind of annoyed me in the beginning but their respective character developments was so satisfying and enjoyable to follow. I was shipping them the whole time you cannot fight me on this. Just seeing them find each other while being so open about it… makes me soft.

Theta ⤳ pyrokinetic
started off hiding her powers from everyone when it’s the most showy out of all of them. Do you see the irony once again?

Henry & Ling ⤳ the dream walkers
Polar opposites in personality but both have experienced first hand some of the systemic issues in this historical fantasy and in our own society.

I think it was Ling or maybe Henry that once said that being able to see a person’s dreams reveals a lot about them. They both suffer from some kind of impostor syndrome but found refuge in each other even platonically.

how it translated to me: dreaming of a different world where they could be freely to be who they were (i.e. Henry where he can simply play music and be with Louis; Ling where she can walk and be with Alma)

Which in itself is extra points for me because I always appreciate authors who can write endearing platonic relationships just as well as the romantic ones.

“You, haunted by the ghosts of dreams.”


“Ling is smiling! It’s like a Santa Claus sighting. Now, shhh… don’t disturb it.”


I just am just absolutely enthralled by these two.

Memphis ⤳ healer
The fact that Memphis and Isaiah are historically one of the most oppressed people in this group at this time period means a lot that he's actually meant to be the one curing others. Once again, there is a lot to be taken apart and deduced. I really appreciate the masterpieces that Libba Bray has written.

I may have just been too stupid to understand what happened but I didn’t like how that particular scene towards the end turned out . It just did not make sense to me and it did not have the impact that it was aiming for.

Jericho ⤳ super strength/robot guy
For a diverse cast he’s surprisingly the least interesting and flatest out of all of them. It’s not that he’s a badly written characters, I just do not agree with most of his decisions. The only times I could handle him was in the presence of the rest of the crew but every time we were following just him, I couldn’t care less.

Not to mention his power reflects his character… plain and boring 😂

I’m sorry he just rubbed me the wrong way ever since he first got with Evie and it has stuck. I hated his relationship with Evie and just how he played around with Mabel, not to mention that woman he met and decided he was in love with just because she was the tiniest bit interested in him. Including the fact that he played a big part in the pseduscience that I wasn’t the biggest fan of.

HOWEVER,

Isaiah ⤳ prophet
The fact that the power to “see the future” has been given to the youngest one that has more of his life ahead of him was a nice touch.

Blind Bill ⤳
Probably the most complex character out of all of them. I had no idea what to think of him until , which then, for some reason, allowed me to appreciate his character.

I can only ever love slow paced books if the characters intrigued me and these books always do it for me. I don’t now how Libba Bray writes as she does but she wrote these.

↣  If you like historical fantasy with atmosphere, charm, a wide range of character developments and a dash of creepy, I think that you would enjoy this a lot. . ↢

This may have sort of turned into a rant review but I whole heartedly enjoyed the reading experience. This series left such a huge mark for me and I hope that it does for you too.

“We’ve got to be the heroes of our own stories. The story never ends... and we are all storytellers telling a story.”
Profile Image for sofia (sam willows).
286 reviews354 followers
April 25, 2020
sometimes when a little while has passed since i read this series i kind of forget why i love it so much, but the second i pick them up again to read just a single sentence i remember how much i adore the diviners. king of crows was a beautiful conclusion to that series i love so much
Profile Image for Olivia (Stories For Coffee).
578 reviews5,585 followers
May 26, 2020
I cannot believe this series is finally over. I've been reading this since high school and finally closed the door on this saga as a 22-year-old. The Diviners has been such a journey exploring a vast array of identities as an oppressive supernatural being threatens to upend society as a whole. While I didn't love this novel as much as the previous 3 installments, this one still pulled at my heartstrings, tied up loose ends, developed these characters' personalities flawlessly and continued its message that the history of this country is plagued by the ghosts of the past and if we don't listen to what they have to say, we're doomed to repeat the horrors that have occurred.

I'm so sad that this series is over, but I'm so grateful for the journey I went on with it.

CONTENT WARNING: Death of an animal, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism eugenics, abuse, a few uses of racial slurs
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
September 22, 2021
not gonna lie to y'all, i got rid of my physical copies of this series and ALMOST decided not to even listen to this one because it had been so long since the previous one came out. however, i'm so happy that i did because libba bray was generous with her plot recaps, and i forgot how much i ADORE this cast of characters. ensemble casts in books can be difficult for me to read sometimes because i choose favorites and don't care about the others, but there isn't a single character in this circle of friends that i'm not hooked on. the action in this book was always interesting even though it took me a bit to finish, and i think everyone knows by now how high of quality these audiobooks are. ms january truly deserves a raise for her oscar-nominated performance.

the ending was a bit confusing and seemed really speedy and easy for such a long series, but i liked how this book tackled the subject of the ghosts of america's past, as well as political and social issues we still face today. it's a clever commentary from multiple angles, even though

i would definitely recommend getting these books on audio and listening to them all back to back, but if there ends up being a year or two in between when you listen to the books, they also pick back up nicely without leaving you strande. as always, i cried during the epilogue of this book because i'm a sucker for wrapping things up after having lived with these characters for about five years.
Profile Image for Layla.
316 reviews347 followers
August 28, 2021
~ 1.5 stars ~

I only added that extra 0.5 because I'm a nice person... sometimes.

This book was horrible. At least it was in my subjective opinion. I cannot describe in words how painfully boring and well...painful, this was. I had to force myself to read this.

I did not like the plot. It tried you know, it really tried to wrap up this story well, but was not successful. There was so many meaningless things that happened and plot conveniences that made no sense. Neither did the villains to be honest, they were so ill developed. Everything felt too easy.

I also didn't like any of the characters or the way it dealt with so many relationships. Some of the banter was good, and Henry and Ling are my favorites, but not even that could make up for the mess of everything else.

Overall, to summarize, I don't care. My experience with the first 3 books were very mediocre and frustrating at times, so by the time I reached this book, my interest was non-existent and I was only reading it for the sake of finishing the series. The audiobook was pretty good though, I guess.



Buddy read with Yeganeh! Big thanks to her for sticking with me even though it bored us both out of our minds.
Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
618 reviews234 followers
July 18, 2020
“But if you abandoned the idea that such a paradise awaited you, and believed that you would live this life over and over again, would you not live the life you had more thoughtfully?”

I’m continually impressed by Libba Bray; this finale was everything I needed and more.

The King of Crows follows the Diviners on a perilous journey away from the series’ typical 1920’s New York setting. Their journey to defeat the King of the dead and his army.
When Isaiah comes across a girl named Sarah Beth in a vision, she claims to know how to defeat the King of Crows.
After a disastrous turn of events, the Diviners are left the subject of a country-wide manhunt. In a desperate attempt at escape, the group is forced to split up and travel separately across state lines, hoping to meet in Bountiful, Nebraska. The place where Sarah Beth resides.
She may be their only hope, and with chances of success looking thin, they’ll take anything they can get.

Libba Bray’s writing throughout this entire series has been a constant positive. It’s hard to overlook the skill that comes with portraying a different time period with such finesse. Everything from the dialogue, worldbuilding and characters to the historical accuracy in events perfectly encapsulates what I’d imagine America in the 20’s to feel like.

The Diviners as characters have grown especially close to my heart in this last instalment. I loved seeing the new pairings having to travel across the country together; it made for some great new friendships and serious bonding. Ling and Jericho were an utter delight as companions. Evie, Theta, Sam and Isiah were each their own wonderful, and even better working together as a makeshift family. Henry, Bill and Memphis truly made the book for me; their chapters in south, warring with people’s racist and homophobic tendencies was heartbreaking. I never could have anticipated those three would become the trio I most love.

My only complaint is that the ending felt slightly rushed. I would have liked final battle prolonged, and the epilogue extended as well. The King of Crows’ takedown was a little bit disappointing, though I was overjoyed at who got to do it. With the way things wrapped up, there seems an opening for a new series. Libba Bray? I would be overjoyed.

“Stories were power. And whoever controlled the story controlled everything. A story could bring people together, or it could tear them apart. It could spread like a sickness, infecting people. It could lead them into battle or shake them into seeing what they had refused to see before.”

Profile Image for monica kim.
202 reviews6,070 followers
May 19, 2020
the diviners series is, i think, one of the most ambitious fantasy series i’ve read. i’ve been reading these books for so many years now, and honestly, i can’t believe it’s finally come to a close. for me, i really enjoyed this conclusion. i love how libba used it to play with the standard narrative of good vs evil, i love how she mixed the character pairings to give us a whole new range of growth, and i love everything she had to say about this country and the ghosts we still refuse to acknowledge. i don’t want to go into more than that bc spoilers, but i’m just so thankful i got to experience this story.
Profile Image for Sara (sarawithoutanH).
439 reviews2,877 followers
May 19, 2020
Actual Rating: 3.5/5

I hate to say this was my least favorite in the series. Although I love the characters and I liked the ending overall, there was just something off about the pacing for this book. It just didn't hit the same as the other books. I think series enders are just hard to do.

I'd still *highly* recommend reading this series because the themes and characters are just too good! This series brought me to tears and laughter more than once.

I read this as part of the #DivinersClub readalong. Watch our liveshow here to see more of our thoughts: https://youtu.be/VW4sO-B1DRY

Booktube | Instagram | Twitter
Profile Image for Matilda.
948 reviews3 followers
April 14, 2020
Not my favourite of the series but OH JEEZ this series is something else.
Profile Image for Yeganeh.
522 reviews193 followers
January 9, 2022
buddy read with lovely Layla ! i loved my journey reading this series with you and we rant and crashed this series a lot although we were bored the hell out of our seat.
~ 1.5 star ~

Goodness gracious, was this the end??



I'm going to sign up therapy session after this cause feel like I was watching grass grow this whole while. I was convincing myself to just read this book and leave it be without a review or probably a short one . but oh boy I’m so hot I need to cool down myself!

🛑SPOILERS AHEAD. You've Been Warned.🛑

━━━°.•☆•.°━━━
Let's start with good thing(it's short though)

Sam proposing to Evie that scene was just... sweet! I can't say i loved it or something because i was to busy not caring about everything this might slipped from my hands! Honestly their relationship was something obvious from the beginning of this series and the unnecessary love triangle should have been solved way sooner.

Another thing was when Jericho died! Loved that! I hated him throughout the whole series and when he died i was like... great! Not sad about it.

The other thing was when blind bill killed Sara Beth. That was extremely satisfying and i hated Sara Beth and seeing her be killed was something she deserved .I’ll get more into detail about this.
Yeah i think that was it!

━━━°.•☆•.°━━━

Now onto the rant part!

*cracking her hand’s bones*



First of all Sara Beth . she single-handedly was ruining everything. she is the one who took them out of NY and separated the diviners. She is so obviously evil. she was the one talking to Isiah i was betting she's using him like blind bill. And the fact that no one noticed annoyed me the hell and it just screamed plot convenience. It was so frustrating to read them all interacting with her as if she's a cute innocent little girl and it took a decade for Evie to read one of her items to find that ??? like she is just loathful bye.

I was nagging to Layla about why no one rescues Sam and then when it happened it was too goddamn quick and easy and don’t get me wrong, i like him as a character but Evie rescuing Sam from that guy?? Jake Marlow was so not making sense. I thought his rescuing is going to be something i should be invested in and cared about and put me on edge of my seat or stuff, but nope, it was just very easy and rushed like a lot of thing is this book.😕

━━━°.•☆•.°━━━

I have gone into detail in my last review for Before the devil breaks you about the relations so not gonna do that again but, this is like a trope that annoyed the shit out of me and still did happened in this series until the last pages and it's about EVERYONE ENDED UP WITH LOVE INTEREST .



and i just wanted for this series with loads of characters to not fallow this tradition, and see single people to be represented and it didn't because everyone has to have love interest.

Jericho and that girl from the circus or whatever group they were traveling with. Jericho did not deserve to end up with a love interest after what he did to Evie(and not just that but just please that didn't make any sense to read about a rushed plot for this 2 character to fall in love).



Now I’m not acting selfish or whatsoever but some couples like Sam and Evie, Memphis and theta... they were meant to be and it did make the story a little tasty. but oh my god, ling and Alma didn't need to happen. David(with no absolute characterization!) And Henry didn't need to happen. (Fight me!)all I'm saying is that being single is “TOTALLY OKAY”🙄 and we need to show that in YA.

━━━°.•☆•.°━━━

Another thing, Isiah’s resurrection was completely absolutely unnecessary! Made zero sense and completely cancelled the glimpse of emotion i had for that . and when i say made zero sense IT made no sense at all. because his head was bashed in with rock and then he was pushed in river and drowned (so bloody creepy I know ! for bray to kill a kid like that?? That was so awful)



I don't see how he could come back to life and specially when we know he is already dead and MEMPHIS can't heal the dead we know this it's been established and so libba bray thought it's going to make the readers happy to just resurrect a dead character. Why? And don’t let me get into the fact that how stupidly Memphis bargained with “The king of Crows” for his healing power and Isiah because, who the heck with a right mind will accept a word from the bad guy in a story😐?????? Anyway, there was no payoff for him to be back .that totally cancelled all the zero emotion i had when Isiah died.it just tainted now because the resurrection trope was done not well at all.

━━━°.•☆•.°━━━

Speaking of death, jake Marlow’s death was stupid and not making any sense at all and therefore wasn't satisfying whatsoever and this is one of our main villain of the series.in fact, the way this book is written, it's called the king of crows for god's sake but it's as if jake Marlow is the bloody main villain and yet when he died off page or off-screen , there was no satisfaction in his death.

The King of Crows is a Disney type of villain. I remember that the first installments of this series presented us with creepy antagonists(which again not my favorite but still…) but this guy is just dull. He has a few cameos here and there, scares our protagonists, does some mayhem, and is very much the novel’s boogeyman.



The King of Crows himself almost felt like a parody at this point.

Another reason i hate Jericho and doesn't care for his being, is because in last book when Mable died and all the other characters, where the fuck he ran off? And in this book when we saw him for first time in will's apartment or wherever , Evie didn't addressed anything and he already knew Mable was dead and i know there was nothing between them but he just didn't react to anything or where the hell he was when everyone was grieving??

And when Evie told him about will dying, we were fade to... black? Will was one of, if not the most important person in Jericho’s life-let's not get twisted, i hate Jericho to even care who he cares-but in terms of him as a character he loved will as almost like a dad and when he was told of will's death instead of getting his reaction and emotion, it faded to black and we just went to next scene and that pisses me off that the Author didn't bother to write this and completely cancelled Jericho even more(if that could even happen, someone be extremely cancelled) which is stupid.

━━━°.•☆•.°━━━

The plot was full of convenient coincidences. Full of random pov’s and characters popping out for the sake of story being called “smartly written” .What frustrated me the most was a ‘revelation’ towards the end, which came as no surprise whatsoever.

Ahhh i think that's enough. I could really go on for hours but I'm to lazy to do that just like the writing of this book and I’m going to have to stop. I know a lot of people have read this book and loved it and I’m very happy for them but i was never one of y'all who think this series was amazing to begin with and I really wanted to love this series something that many reader want to feel but it didn’t happen and at some point I stopped caring about what to feel and what to not because I couldn’t help it. My journey with this book is over and to sum it up, I’m glad I’m finished with this!

Profile Image for Karima chermiti.
788 reviews153 followers
November 14, 2021

3 ‘for Nostalgia sake’ Stars

The King of Crows was sadly a disappointment. I admit I had great expectations for the final book in the series considering how great the story was in the three previous books but even if we take the high expectations out of the picture, this book is still a letdown.

Stories were power. And whoever controlled the story controlled everything. A story could bring people together, or it could tear them apart. It could spread like a sickness, infecting people. It could lead them into battle or shake them into seeing what they had refused to see before.


It’s true that the ending was bittersweet but it just wasn’t satisfying, not after everything the characters and the readers went through together. The King of Crows is by far the weakest book in the series because it had so many glaring flaws and so few redeeming qualities.

The thing that I loved about this book and it really stood up to me as something risky but with satisfying payoff was how the author explored different dynamics between the diviners. That was something I didn’t expect but I actually liked the interactions between characters that rarely interacted before. It made the group of friends feel more tight-knitted with more chemistry and more genuine care.

Simplifying people was a way of not having to think too much about them, to make them fit into your own story. People were inconvenient, though. Behind the idea of a person you constructed to suit yourself, the people you loved had their own stories- whole worlds going on inside- and you ignored them at your peril.


But that was not enough to save the book in my opinion. I think the problem that took away from the experience and hindered my enjoyment was the pacing; It was atrociously slow and it made me struggle to stay intrigued and engaged by the story. The story meandered a lot and for a huge chunk of the book nothing really happened and even the events that took place were far and in between and they felt repetitive as well with no real stakes.

The book also focused more on secondary elements of the plot than the central conflict which felt forgotten and sidelined for the majority of the story. The diviners series has a very rich mystery and an overall story that links all the huge cast of the characters together in a seamless stunning way but the final book doesn’t use that to its advantage, not fully at least. The atmosphere is still as immaculate as before and the spooky vibe of the world is still as strong as before but the mystery feels stale here and it loses a lot of its intrigue.

There is no greater power on this earth than story....


Even the ending didn’t hit the mark for me; it was too rushed and easier than I thought it would be. Some of the choices that were made in the end took away from the emotional impact of what came before and I always find that to be cheap and underwhelming.

Anyway, Clearly, I didn’t enjoy this one, not as I wanted but I still love the series so much. I spent a lot of time with the characters in their worlds, in their heads and I went through all the feelings in the world as I took this journey with them.

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Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
415 reviews691 followers
December 12, 2020
I am disappointed. This was such an unsatisfying conclusion. I loved the first three books, but this was just not it. There was so much build up, in the first three book and the first half of this book, they were so good and than comes the ending, which was so meh. I had such high hopes and such high expectations and they just where not met.

I really like the first half of the book. The book started immediately unlike the first books, which took their sweet time until we got into the plot. The first half was so amazing and entertaining, then comes the second half which was so boring, until the last 50 pages. It dragged so much. This book could have been so much shorter, but sadly the author decided to let the plot drag in the end.

I loved the characters, I always loved them and I'll forever love them. This book does not exist in my mind, it's separate from the other books. I considered The Diviners a favourite series until this book, now I cannot do that since this kind of ruined my enjoyment for this series.

I may be harsher than I should be, but thsi is actually how I feel. I wish this was better. I've read the first books nad their were phenomenal, and my question is why couldn't this be the same. Not only that this book dragged a lot, but it was also very predictable. We had so much build up in the first books for this epic finale, the diviners had to defeat this extremely powerful entity, this King of Crows and I feel like in the end it was so easy to defeat it. This charatcers faced so much shit for this, seriously?! It just didn't felt right and it flet so unsatisfying.

I really wish that I loved this book more than I actually did, but sadly this was a pretty big disappointment. I still recommend the first three books in the series, but sadly I cannot recommend this book too.

Now I'll go a bit into spoilers so if you haven't read this book and you don't want to get spoiled, do not read further. I need to talk about something and I cannot do it without spoilers so I can't stress it enough, if you haven't read this book yet, DO NOT READ FURTHER.

So I predicted that Sarah Beth was in league with the King of Crows. It was so freaking obvious. She was against anything that the deviners wanted to do. And she also mentioned that she talked with the King of Crows in the past and by how childish she was it was impossible for her to have gone against the King of Crows. And she was also talking about her gentlemen a lot. It was way TOO OBVIOUS.

Jericho's death was also predictable. Like he has lived for half of his life on borrowed time. It was inevitable that he will die in the end. This was something I predicted from the moment we were told that he lives because of what Marlowe did to him.

I hate how this two things, the first one an important plot twits, the big plot twist in this book, and the second one something that was supposed to be shocking were both so predictable. You could have seen both from a mile away!
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