The Raven King
Check out our episode here! The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Richard Campbell Gansey III knows he's going to die. He's known since he heard his own voice on his recording from his night sitting at the Corpse Road. He knew to sit on the Corpse Road thanks to his reading of Roger Malory's book on ley lines. He read the book because when he was ten, he was stung to death by hornets and was told by a voice that he would live because of Glendower because someone somewhere else was dying when they shouldn't be. He knows he's getting close to finding Glendower, the king he's been searching for since then. He also knows that he is a king himself.
The psychics of 300 Fox Way, just a few days after Maura and Artemus returned from being underground, decide to do a reading to figure out if there's a way they can stop Gansey from dying and to stop a darkness they all feel from coming and killing everyone and ending the world. They question the safety of Blue and The Raven Boys going into Cabeswater, but Artemus, who has been living quietly and panicky in the pantry, says that the forest loves them, but doesn't say more. After doing a full life reading using all of their tarot cards, the psychics decide that the teens are going to have to work together to solve the world ending problem and that Gansey is going to die.
Gansey and Adam are at school but Ronan is nowhere to be found, which irks Gansey who suddenly gets a discreet but not discreet acknowledgement from the headmaster of Aglionby. Adam takes this to mean that Gansey has paid off the school to let Ronan graduate if Ronan comes to class. Well, that's not happening. Gansey gets a call from his mother and his phone says it's 6:21, which it definitely isn't. His mother wants to have an election event at the school that weekend and while she and Gansey talk, Adam is drawn into Cabeswater. He shudders out of it and realizes what Ronan is doing. He's dreaming.
Ronan snuck out of Monmouth and is cleaning up The Barns. He spends his day renovating and trying to dream a protective skin to keep Gansey safe from hornet stings, but he can't quite get it right. In one of his dreams, he's face down, becoming part of the earth floor in Cabeswater and creating the dream skin, but then Orphan Girl shows up, anxious and warning of danger. As Ronan's pulling the dream skin out, darkness comes for him. He asks Orphan Girl to help him as the darkness encloses them, so he curls over her protectively. He wakes and realizes he's brought something unintended out of his dream.
Blue has been suspended from school and now she's sitting out by her favorite beech tree in the backyard of 300 Fox Way. Noah appears and is very animated and goofy and then Blue notices that Gwenllian is in the branches of the tree above them. Since Noah is always more Noah when he's around Blue's boosting mirror magic, he's doubly so between Blue and Gwenllian. Gwenllian tells Noah to show Blue what he's really like, and it's terrifying. He's barely anything more than bones and gristle. Blue asks if he's ready to move on, and he says not yet. Then suddenly Gansey, Adam and Ronan arrive.
The Raven Boys plus Blue drive to Cabeswater planning to take the thing that Ronan unintentionally pulled from his dream there. The thing is Orphan Girl, Ronan's tiny hooved dream companion, and she is currently in the back of Gansey's Suburban. They drive past Aglionby and Henry Cheng flags them down letting them know that their tailgate is open. It's not, but clearly he saw Orphan Girl in the back and wanted to let Gansey know without saying anything to attract attention. Good guy, Henry. They drive on to Cabeswater, but before they go in, Gansey gets another call from his mother and, as Blue gazes at him, Adam realizes they have something going on. Both Adam and Blue decide at nearly the same time that they need to talk, so they plan to the next day.
They enter Cabeswater and as Adam connects with it, he sees visions that are a little creepier than usual, but then Orphan Girl starts to sing and the forest responds and things are back to normal. Adam thinks of a bass line from one of Ronan's favorite types of songs and they share a smile and walk on to find Aurora, Ronan's dreamed mother, with magical music pulsing around them. When they reach her, they plan to leave Orphan Girl with her. Ronan tells his mother that the dream he pulled Orphan Girl from was wrong, and she reveals she has something to show them.
Aurora leads them through the forest and brings them to a tree, menacing and dripping with black ooze. The teens ask if the tree does anything magical or if this is all it is, and fortunately, or unfortunately, this seems to be it. However, as they're all standing around, slightly scared, the three women with Blue's face and bloody hands from Roger Malory's tapestry he discovered in the last book suddenly appear. Together they creep closer and closer to the group saying in an eerie monotone, "Make way for the Raven King," over and over. Blue grabs Gansey's hand and Adam tells him to tell the women to leave. Boosted by Blue's mirror power, Gansey commands Cabeswater to make it safe and the women rain away. The teens leave Orphan Girl with Aurora and head back to Henrietta.
When Blue gets back to 300 Fox Way, she immediately goes to the kitchen to pound on the pantry door, demanding answers from Artemus. She wants to know why the ladies with her face nearly attacked them in Cabeswater and she wants to know where Glendower is. Artemus remains quietly and resolutely in the pantry. Maura summons Blue into the bathroom where she, Calla, Orla and Jimi are in and around the full bathtub, unsuccessfully trying to contact Persephone. Blue tells them she wants to tell Gansey about seeing him on the Corpse Road because she loves him and they all agree that she should. Talk then changes to what Blue wants out of life, to travel and do good, and the psychics encourage her to do that, maybe with Gansey's financial help, even though he's probably going to die.
Far away, the Laumonier triplets, who live as one singular Laumonier, are discussing going to visit Colin Greenmantle, which probably means going to torture and/or kill him. Laumonier know something is going on in Henrietta and that Greenmantle is no longer there and that The Gray Man is no longer working with him. Laumonier dislike Greenmantle for making the magical object trade more dangerous and for marrying their daughter, Piper. Speaking of which, one of Laumonier begins to hum and buzz and then Piper's voice comes from him. She tells Laumonier that she has an interesting object for the trade and that she's getting in on the business. Laumonier don't feel good about this and one pulls out a rosary, places it on the buzzing Piper-Laumonier and ends what was a possession. That can't be good.
Later that night, Gansey goes for a swim at Aglionby, forgetting for once everything going on in his life, while Noah unknowingly watches him. Adam finishes a shift at work then gets in his car and watches as his hand moves of its own accord, thinking it's Cabeswater, after all he did tell the forest that he would be its hands and eyes, but realizing it's probably not. Ronan dreams of his brothers and then the dream turns to a nightmare as the black tree drips and everything he's ever dreamt unmakes around him and turns to nothing. Something dark somewhere nearby on the ley line has awoken.
At Aglionby the next day, there is a school-wide event called Raven Day that Noah dreamed up when he was a student there. After a presentation, Gansey and Adam split up. At 6:21, wait no that can't be right, Gansey goes out to take part in the event but immediately begins reliving his stinging death. Luckily Henry Cheng rescues him by distracting him with soothing words and invites him to a party. Adam meanwhile is in the bathroom staring into a mirror thinking something is in his eye. Then his eye moves on its own and a black ooze seeps from a stall. Adam calls for Cabeswater to help him but it takes forever for it to come to his aid, telling him to get water. Adam floods the sink and the blackness disappears. Something just attacked him and Cabeswater at the same time.
After school, Adam meets up with Blue at Nino's and they get into a fight because she and Gansey are obviously together and haven't told anyone, which is even more evident by the fact that they're going to a toga party at Henry Cheng's together later. Adam is upset because they must have assumed that poor pitiful Adam wouldn't be able to handle it. Across town, Maura and The Gray Man are driving around, looking for something and Maura's eye begins to bother her. She leads them to the farmhouse where Colin and Piper lived. The farmhouse is supernaturally, frighteningly dark. In the bathroom, where Piper was once found scrying, Maura sees Piper's name written backwards in pink lipstick on the mirror and Noah dying on the floor. They take Noah back to 300 Fox Way and discover that he is barely hanging on to his non-life and might be a portent of terrible things to come. They ask if he wants to be sent on, and he says not yet.
At 6:21, no, 8:30, Ronan meets up with Adam and finds him scrying into the headlights of his car. Ronan offers Adam a hand up and they grasp each other a little longer than needed. Adam tells Ronan he's looking for a devil and the darkness that attacked him and Cabeswater earlier and took over his eye and hand. Ronan stares into Adam's eyes and carefully examines his hands even though they both know it's not strictly necessary. Ronan then tells Adam that the darkness is coming for him in his dreams, too.
At 6:21, no, 8:41, they set off in search of the devil with Ronan driving and Adam scrying and directing Ronan where to go. Adam is greeted briefly by Persephone while searching for the devil, no, a demon, it's definitely a demon, but then she disappears. Adam feels a connection between the demon and Cabeswater and Ronan but can't quite figure out what it is, but he knows the demon is in Cabeswater. Unfortunately, Adam at first imagined the wrong devil and directed them to his parents' trailer. Ronan spits out the open window giving Adam's father a death stare before they drive away. As they leave, Adam feels overwhelmingly sad about leaving Orphan Girl scared in Cabeswater much like he always felt at the trailer, so they decide to go get her.
While Gansey and Blue have a delightful time together at Henry Cheng's, Ronan and Adam go to Cabeswater calling for Orphan Girl, but it's wrong. They both ask for it to be daylight but Cabeswater struggles to make that happen. At 6:21, Adam asks about Ronan's nightmares of darkness and if he thinks the wrongness of Cabeswater and his nightmares are connected. He also asks if Ronan thinks if he stopped dreaming for a while so Adam could fix Cabeswater, everything would be okay. Then things click into place and Ronan feels it coming. Adam asks if Ronan dreamed Cabeswater, and he reveals that he did. He actually just manifested it, he didn't create it, because it has existed forever in different forms. Wrongness creeps in over them and they decide to call for Orphan Girl again. She appears at 6:21 and screams as the ground falls away from her. She tumbles into a clear pool below.
Ronan immediately dives in after her even though he recognizes the pool from one of his nightmares and knows it's not water, but acid. They sink down, Ronan begging Cabeswater for the acid to become water, but it doesn't work, then he begs for air which also doesn't work. Soon, they are surrounded by plants and lifted from the pool. Adam is at the edge, also wrapped in plants, using his connection with Cabeswater to save them. They get out of the acid pool just as it turns to black ooze and flee the forest.
At 6:21, no, that's not right, Blue calls home from the toga party. Maura asked her to check in throughout the night, but the psychics haven't been answering the phone. Blue tells Gansey that something is wrong, so they head to 300 Fox Way. They arrive at 6:21 to a supernaturally dark and buzzing house, then they find Orla who screams. Blue feels like she must find the buzzing sound to make Orla stop screaming, and then they encounter Noah, who is not Noah at all. He replicates and turns to dashes and scribbles, then rushes Blue. His voice returns briefly to tell them to get away, but then he's terrifying, and starts whispering *unmaker.* Blue tells whatever is in Noah to get out of him, but then his hands turn to claws and he tries to pull out Blue's eye. Gansey grasps for her hand and asks her to help him amplify his voice to force Noah -not-Noah to be Noah again.
Six hundred miles away, at 6:21, hornets crawl into Colin Greenmantle's townhouse in Boston while he is examining his magical artifacts: a tiny taxidermied unicorn, a four-armed suit of armor, a constantly bleeding spear, earrings that claim to allow the wearer to see through walls. He sees Piper in a reflection and she's strangling him, but she disappears and he thinks he's having a drunken mental breakdown. Then, the swarm comes and begins stinging him to death. Piper appears inside the swarm as Colin dies. It is 6:22.
In Cabeswater, Piper and Neeve are with a giant hornet, the demon that Piper awoke in the cave. When she asked it for a favor as was promised for waking the three sleepers, it said it will favor her, and it has been. The demon hornet allowed Piper to swarm to Boston to kill her husband. Neeve doesn't think aligning with a demon is a good idea especially since it says it's going to unmake everything, but Piper doesn't seem to care. She uses it to call Laumonier again.
At the urgent care, everyone gathers to visit Blue. Gansey is mad at Ronan and Adam for being in Cabeswater while Blue was getting her eye nearly ripped out by a demon-possessed Noah, but then Adam thinks about Noah being possessed seems an awful lot like his hand and eye being possessed. Gansey realizes time is short, so takes this opportunity to tell Adam and Ronan the truth about his relationship with Blue. Obviously Adam already knows and Ronan just says gross, but things get back to normal after that.
In Washington DC, Declan Lynch gets a phone call from a woman called Seondeok, one of the magical artifact collectors that Niall Lynch used to deal with with Declan's help. Seondeok warns Declan that something dangerous is about to be auctioned off in Henrietta and that wolves like Laumonier, Greenmantle and others will be there to bid on it. She doesn't tell him what the item is, but warns him anyway. She says she misses Niall Lynch and that he had a beautiful mind. Declan, thinking of Ronan, agrees.
At school the next day, Henry asks Gansey if he and Blue enjoyed the toga party then tells him he has something to show him. A secret. Henry leads Gansey to a priest hole in the basement of one of the school buildings and tells him that he was once kidnapped and held for ransom and put in a hole just like this. His kidnappers were interested in something his mother had, which he then places into Gansey's hand. It's a bee. Gansey promptly freaks out on the inside, but Henry assures him he is safe. The bee is a robot that his mother acquired in an artifact trade and is magical, not created in a lab. RoboBee can read Henry's thoughts and has been following Gansey to see if Henry can trust him. He can. Henry knows Gansey and his friends are magical and tells Gansey that his mother, Seondeok, sells magic and sent him to Aglionby on purpose, but that he just wants to be friends.
Ronan is also at school and hates it more than words can say. He gets several texts from Declan asking him to call, to text, to meet up with him, but he maybe hates Declan more than he hates school. Near the end of the day, Ronan slams his locker a few times just for funsies and then encounters Adam, who immediately lifts his mood. Ronan asks if Adam is working after school and he says he is, with a dreamer, which lifts his mood even more. They have plans to try to fix Cabeswater. Before they can do that, though, Ronan realizes Declan is outside waiting on him. He reluctantly joins his brother in his car where he is told that something bad is about to happen in Henrietta. Declan reveals that he's been selling their father's magical objects and now there's something new for sale that he's not involved with, but the sellers are coming to Henrietta, which means they might find out about Ronan. Declan nearly begs Ronan to come with him and Matthew to DC, but he refuses. Henrietta is his home.
Blue is greeted after school by Henry in his fancy electric Raven Boy car to see if she wants a ride home. She declines because she's got a reputation of hating Raven Boys to uphold, so he allows her to fake yell at him to keep up the charade. Unfortunately, Gansey drives up in The Pig right after and tells her that Ronan called him, which is serious business because Ronan hates using his phone, so she gets in his car and they drive to The Barns.
At The Barns, they are having a party. At first Adam thinks it's a birthday party for Ronan, but it's a going-away party for Matthew who is going to DC with Declan. Ronan, of course, is not leaving his home, which is now, officially, The Barns. Looking around on his own, Adam finds Ronan's room full of dreamed objects. He sees a car that plays music when its tires roll and thinks of buying himself a similar toy when he was a kid and overhearing his father say disgusting things about him to his mother and her going along with it. Before, Adam would let this dark thought drag him down, but now, in a home surrounded by friends and magic, he lets it go. Ronan comes in shortly after this thought, sits down next to Adam on the bed and kisses him. It seems that both Adam and Ronan are happier now than they've ever been before.
Neeve and Piper are in Cabeswater with the demon. Neeve, who has always wanted respect and recognition, doesn't want it like this, but Piper does. Neeve realizes everything is terrible, and she tries to convince Piper that, you know, this is a demon so even though it's favoring Piper now, surely that's not going to last. As the demon unmakes the forest around them, Piper asks it to make her a cave/house so she can take a bath, but first she contacts Laumonier to see how the progression of her magical item auction is going. Laumonier set up the auction the day after Gansey's mother's political event at Aglionby so many people could come and go in Henrietta and no one would notice. As Piper bathes, Neeve tries to run away to scry and tell the psychics, but Piper and the demon find her and unmake her.
After Declan and Matthew leave The Barns, Gansey, Blue, Adam and Ronan discuss everything (the 6:21 stuff, Noah attacking Blue, Adam's wandering eyeball, the oozing tree, the artifact sale, Henry's bee) and whether or not they should protect Cabeswater. They all definitely agree that they should. While they're talking, Maura calls to tell them about Neeve and that she was unmade by a demon who will unmake everything attached to Cabeswater. Well, at least her scrying wasn't for nothing. Since this is dire information, Adam convinces Ronan to tell Gansey and Blue that he dreamt Cabeswater, and after a little bit of shock and mocking, Blue and Gansey just accept it and move on. Since they're being truthful, Adam then tells Gansey about kissing Ronan, and again, that was just accepted and they moved on. Huge revelations taken care of, they decide it's time they find Glendower.
Across town, Henry Cheng is taking out the trash and is kind of kidnapped by The Gray Man, who is trying to find information on the artifact sale. Henry sends RoboBee for help from someone who can stop The Gray Man and soon enough, Gansey calls him. They agree to meet at a very public grocery store and Henry tells them everything he knows about the artifact sale, that many people are coming for the auction of a magical entity. Could it be Ronan? Could it be the demon? As they discuss who will be in attendance, Henry tells them that Colin Greenmantle is dead, so he won't be there. Before any more details come out about how he knows that, The Gray Man spots two of the three Laumonier in a security mirror. He sends the teens away to keep them safe.
That night, Ronan and Adam stay together and it's the happiest Ronan has ever been. He doesn't dream and he never wants to sleep again. The demon, on the other hand, doesn't sleep. He spends the night unmaking the forest, but plans to save unmaking the dreamer for last. The trees of Cabeswater fight for as long as they can, but the one that has been there the longest is defeated and the others feel they don't stand a chance. This causes Gwenllian to wake screaming. The oldest tree in Cabeswater was her mother and now she's dead. Gwenllian rushes to Artemus's pantry, demanding he come out and tell her where her father, Glendower, is. She demands he tell her about the demon. He refuses and runs out into the backyard and *into* the beech tree. Gwenllian goes back inside and declares that the demon is coming and they're all going to die, except for Artemus who will live forever.
Adam wakes the next day in Declan's bed, wondering if his kiss and night at The Barns with Ronan was actually real, and it was. He goes outside to find Ronan in the middle of the field, seemingly completely at peace. They both are. Together, they plan to dream. Gansey meanwhile is in trouble with his sister, Helen. She found out that Gansey bribed the headmaster at Aglionby to let Ronan graduate, which is terrible timing on his part since their mother is running for office. He, Blue and Henry are enjoying lunch with the Ganseys and Helen pulls him aside to ask about the bribe. Gansey offered Monmouth Manufacturing to the headmaster in exchange for a diploma for Ronan who might not realize now that he needs one, but he might someday. Helen is awed by her little brother. She also really likes Blue and wants him to kiss her. Oh, Helen, if you only knew.
Adam and Ronan begin to scry and dream, but Cabeswater is terrifying and not responding to Adam. It takes a little while for them to meet in the dream space, and when Adam finds Ronan, he's standing over the corpse of his white night horror. After this gruesome discovery, Orphan Girl calls to Ronan, which is odd because she's with them in The Barns and shouldn't be able to be in the dream, too, but everything seems to be melding together. She calls again and Ronan and Adam find her, covered in blood, beside Aurora Lynch's body.
The Gray Man and Maura are on their way to The Barns in search of the third Laumonier. The Gray Man hopes to find him searching for magical items in The Barns and not him having murdered Ronan who is not answering his phone. They arrive to find Ronan and Adam and a strange hooved girl dreaming, scrying, and sitting oddly still. Maura is scared for Adam when he doesn't respond to her, so she tells The Gray Man that she's going to go looking for him, but not to let her search for a long time because that's how Persephone died. She's gone for a count of three before Adam returns to his body, begging for them to wake Ronan and not leave him in the dream space with his dead mother. Ronan wakes and The Gray Man watches as he brings back his mother's blood. Maura returns, too, and then Orphan Girl screams. Laumonier is there. The Gray Man makes a split second decision to kill this third of Laumonier, but that means he's going to have to go on the run away from Maura to keep her safe because the other Laumonier will be after him until either he or they are dead.
Everyone meets up at 300 Fox Way after this dangerous decision. The Gray Man instructs anyone who is essentially not integral to the plot to leave for their own safety. The teens, Maura, Gwenllian and Calla remain. Noah is also kind of there, but only barely. And Artemus, but he's inside a tree. The Gray Man tells them to kill the demon and he will take care of everything else. Ronan waits catatonically in his car for Gansey to figure out how to find Glendower and to tell him what to do. Blue decides to speak to her father. She takes Ronan's language puzzle box and heads to the beech tree, knowing that the other language they couldn't figure out is the language of the trees.
Blue uses the box to connect with her father, the beech tree. When he doesn't respond, she gets mad and gives up, telling him that he has no right to be inside that tree and that if anyone does, it's her because she loves it. Artemus appears then and tells Blue that the language they are speaking is of the *tir e'elintes*, which translates to *tree lights.* When this doesn't make sense, Artemus explains that trees are a skin house to a tir e'elintes, meaning that they can come and go within them, and that they act like mirrors when on a ley line. Then he explains how he, and Glendower, came to be in Henrietta.
Glendower was to be protected by the tir e'elintes and made to live longer while he was in their protection, but there was a lot of bloodshed and human expansion in Wales, so the forests of tir e'elintes were destroyed. They fled to Henrietta and to its ley line and that's where Maura found him. She wanted to speak to the trees and he spoke back. Blue asks if she is human and Artemus tells her that Maura is, but says nothing of her, then tells her that remaining in a human form is tiring and that he wants to go back to the forest on the ley line, but that the demon is unmaking it.
Blue asks how to kill the demon and unfortunately, because the demon is made by bloodshed and death on a ley line, the only way to undo it is for someone to willingly sacrifice themselves on the line. Gansey realizes that this is why he is going to die. Later, Adam goes to sleep in Ronan's car with him, Gansey sleeps on a couch and Blue sleeps in her bedroom. She dreams of being a tree and Gansey being with her, which makes her very happy. He tells her he loves her and that he knows now why he is meant to die and that he doesn't want to, but he's going to do it. Gansey wakes, finds Gwenllian, and asks her how to find Glendower. She tells him he already knows and it clicks for him. He asks to hold her hand to borrow her mirror magic and commands to be told the way to Glendower. A magical deer creature appears to lead the way and a swarm of birds begin to follow it, singing *Make way for the Raven King.* Gansey rushes to The Pig and races after the birds.
Blue runs down to Ronan and Adam in Ronan's car a little bit later and tells them that Gansey left to find Glendower. They want to follow him but they have no idea where he's gone, so Ronan, even though Cabeswater is a literal hellscape, dreams a little firefly to help them track him. All the while he's in his dream, the demon is telling him terrible things, but he's determined to help his family. Gansey meanwhile has broken down, but serendipitously, Henry had RoboBee tracking him in case he needed help and now here he is, picking Gansey up on the side of the road. Together, they speed off to catch up with the birds which lead them to the same place where Gansey died as a kid.
Gansey and Henry split up to explore the museum mansion that is now rundown and derelict, but was once bright and lovely. Gansey walks to the exact place where he died and knows that he was saved for exactly this moment, to kill the demon. As he's thinking about his death, Henry calls to him. He found a cave that may or may not have always existed and Gansey lowers himself inside. He follows a pathway until his flashlight on his phone drains the battery and then he keeps going in complete darkness. Then, he hears the swarm. The darkness closes around him, the same dreadful darkness seeping from the trees in Cabeswater, filling him with despair. He asks Cabeswater to make the swarm something safe, and then he hears Ronan, Blue, Adam and Henry do the same. They followed him and now they're together again, but now what do they do? Henry tells Gansey to tell RoboBee to find Glendower and it zooms off.
The teens follow RoboBee to a door similar to Gwenllian's tomb door and know that it is Glendower's. They enter and instead of finding a king to wake, they find a dusty old pile of bones. Glendower is dead and probably always has been. Gansey tries to wake the bones like they did with the magical animals in the cave, but nothing happens. They leave, dejected, and without hopes of wishing for Glendower to kill the demon or to save Gansey or to bring Noah back to life.
Outside the cave, they realize that they've lost an entire day, which means Gansey missed his mother's campaign event and that the magical artifact sale will be happening soon. Gansey tells them all that he's known since book one that he's going to die because he heard his own voice on the Corpse Road and he knows that Blue saw him there. He doesn't want to die, but he's ready. They decide that they are going to go to Cabeswater in the hopes that its time manipulation will be enough for his soul to not leave his body immediately or for long so they can command it back inside his body before he is really truly dead forever. It's as good a plan as any. Unfortunately, as soon as they make the plan, Adam attacks Ronan. His hands and eyes belong to the demon now and it wants Ronan dead. They manage to get Adam tied up and blindfolded and he says he should be the one to be sacrificed since he's not in control of himself anymore, but everyone refuses.
While all this is happening, the artifact sale begins. The Gray Man meets with Seondeok and talks about a future plan where one day they will be free of all the violent people that come searching for magical items. Seondeok likes this plan and also likes that The Gray Man has one third of Laumonier's blood on his shoe. Laumonier was the one who kidnapped Henry, so obviously she dislikes them. As they talk, Piper flies into the gathering on a swarm of hornets carrying the demon. She shows it off and when everyone is disgusted and terrified instead of intrigued, she asks it to control those who try to flee. Then she demands it do frivolous stuff, but all the while, it is whispering frightening things into everyone's heads, including Laumonier, who then shoots their daughter. The demon drinks her blood and begins to rise, more horrendous than ever.
Adam is tied up in the backseat of Ronan’s car so he doesn’t know what’s going on when everyone else starts to freak out. The road ahead of them is flooded with blood and flower petals, which if you will recall from book two, is what Ronan’s parents said about him when he was born. Suddenly, the driver’s seat of the car bucks and Adam worries something is happening to Ronan. Something is happening. He keeps blacking out and pulling random things back with him when he returns to consciousness. The demon is unmaking him. He’s dying. Adam immediately begins to scry, trying to find Cabeswater, trying to find help for Ronan without using his hands or eyes. He finds Persephone who tells Adam that he made a deal with Cabeswater to be its hands and eyes, not the demon. As soon as he realizes this, he is himself again.
The demon continues unmaking Ronan. It’s difficult, but it knew it would be. Every time the demon pulls Ronan into the darkness, he reaches for the light. Every time this happens, Ronan wakes and pulls whatever he reached for into the world with him. Gansey realizes he must make his sacrifice now or Ronan will die. He tells Blue and she hates it, but they knew it was going to happen. Together they stand in the middle of a field and she kisses him. Just before Gansey dies, he commands that his death be used to kill the demon, then he slumps out of Blue’s arms.
As Gansey dies, Noah relives his life and Gansey’s. He relives his murder and the time he spent with his friends and the times he was so angry for dying that he grew to immense proportions and broke things. He spends the rest of his time circling, because that's how life is spent after death instead of in a straight line. He's been waiting for the moment of Gansey's first death in order to tell him that he would live because of Glendower and Gansey's second death so he can quietly slip away from time entirely.
Blue, Adam, Ronan and Henry don't know what to do without Gansey. Ronan is tearful, Adam is dead-eyed, Blue is desolate, Henry is… creative. He tells them it's not supposed to end like this and that they are Gansey's magicians! Surely they can do something! Adam saved himself from falling debris, Ronan pulls stuff from dreams, Blue just killed someone with her mouth! They are magic! Also, Gansey has died and come back before, why can't he again? The first time was because Noah died, so Adam suggests maybe they should ask Cabeswater. Ronan says it doesn't have enough energy left to help, but that's not what Adam meant. Maybe it has enough left to die for Gansey.
Cabeswater isn't a forest, it just looks like one now. It has died and come back over and over again forever. It doesn't know if it can use its magic on something so small, something that doesn't live forever, but it tries. It listens to Blue and Ronan and Adam. It takes Blue's sadness and adds it to its creation. It takes Ronan's despair and wonder. It takes Adam's wistful regret. As each piece is added, another tree falls. Finally, the forest is gone. "Make way for the Raven King" it says as Blue tells Gansey to wake up.
After graduation, Adam drives Ronan's BMW from The Barns to the trailer park to visit his parents who did not attend the ceremony even though Adam invited them. They're as dreadful as always, but Adam wants to try to have a life with them in it. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't.
Across town, Gansey, Blue and Henry are on a sort of scavenger hunt for Blue's graduation present from Ronan. They are planning an epic road trip and soon enough, they find what Ronan meant for them to find: a field full of Mitsubishis and one very special orange Camaro that Blue will like very much. It's the one he dreamed with Kavinsky that ran perfectly well but had no engine.
Ronan, Orphan Girl, now called Opal, and Chainsaw are walking in a field that used to be a magical forest on a ley line and come across a wheel from a Camaro. Ronan decides that they're going to have a lot more adventures together in that car and on the ley line. He takes Opal and Chainsaw back home to The Barns where he thinks of everything he liked and didn't like about Cabeswater. He thinks of how, if he made it now, it would be safer and better able to reach out and connect with other similar places along the ley line. He climbs up on the roof and Ronan begins to dream.