12.07.2013First, this is the sequel to ‘The Foxhole Court’ and there is no point in you reading it without reading that, which is *free*, first.
I do feel The Raven King is weaker, overall, than The Foxhole Court, the introductory chapter with all the backstory infodump seriously worried me (it’s cool to write a sequel, it helps nobody to give a few reminders of who everybody is, if you really must, make a character index but don’t bog the narrative down. It’s not helpful to completely new readers and it feels super awkward to your fans) and the story is so captivating I had forgotten the writing is not 10 points, which is not to say it's bad either, of course, just not as graceful and polished as it could be. Plot wise I am mightily impressed, though, maybe because I am not a plot person and this was not simply well thought logistically but had lots of character development embedded into it. The way the relationships and the development fed each other was... awesome. For me, Andrew sometimes toed the line characterisation wise, but of course there is a coherence to madness and instability and Neil is far from understanding what makes him tick. I’m dying to see him sober.
*ALL THE SPOILERS BEHIND THE CUT*
I am not sure about the ending, why do they let Neil leave? Is it a scheme to return him super fucked up so he can fuck up the Foxes in turn? And how does he get anywhere if he's so out of it? I got the feeling they actually sent him a return ticket in the first place, was that to fuck with him?
The Andrew-Neil relationship is getting way more interesting, too, like, Andrew is still insane but he's no longer impenetrable to Neil (Nathaniel is such a pretty name, and I hate Abraam. In any case I wonder about all the Biblical names, do they mean anything?). Of course, now that Neil's opening up I don't see how much longer he's going to be able to function at all, with everything he's been repressing and for how long... I was also totally with Kevin when they wanted to put Andrew away and I felt like the worst person ever when I really thought about it but... EZY. I care way too much about this stupid sport that doesn't even exist.
"Oh, you just might be the best thing to happen to the Foxes."
"I doubt that."
"I don't." Nicky beamed as he let go of Neil. "How did you do it?"
Neil neatly excised ninety percent of the truth and said, "I asked."