The Raven King (All for the Game #2) & The King's Men (All for the Game #3)

The Raven King (All for the Game #2) & The King's Men (All for the Game #3) by Nora Sakavic

Quick disclaimer before I get into this. You might be wondering why I'm combining these two books into one review but I've pretty much devoured the second and third book as if they were one and I think it might just be easier to simply combine both reviews into one. That being said, I'll mostly focus on The Raven King anyway/state my opinions only vaguely/indicate one I move on to the third book

Blurb (for The Raven King):

The Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster might be the miracle they've always needed to come together as a team. The one person standing in their way is Andrew, and the only one who can break through his personal barriers is Neil.
Except Andrew doesn't give up anything for free and Neil is terrible at trusting anyone but himself. The two don't have much time to come to terms with their situation before outside forces start tearing them apart. Riko is intent on destroying Neil's fragile new life, and the Foxes have just become collateral damage.
Neil's days are numbered, but he's learning the hard way to go down fighting for what he believes in, and Neil believes in Andrew even if Andrew won't believe in himself.


"Can you go back to the part where I said not to argue? I remember it pretty clearly considering it happened just five seconds ago."

Sooo... this happened but I have no clue why or how. In case you don't know/remember, I really wasn't a fan of the first book at all, I even considered giving up on the series altogether because, frankly, I'm not a fan of this set up and there are a lot of elements about these books that bother me. I never even slightly got the hang of how Exy was supposed to work or why it was so popular, I think it's waaay too manipulative and unsuccessfully, annoyingly tear-jerky to assemble a cast of characters who've all had fucked up lives and are all mentally unstable but somehow start caring for each other (honestly, Skavic went too far on a lot of occasions, in my honest opinion), and the villains are waaaay beyond reasonable and almost cartoonish in their whole, self-glorified evildom (I know that's not the actual word but 'evildom' fits a lot better to someone like Riko who was so evil, Sakavic completely skipped over the scenes in which he could have proven his actual evilness because no one could have done him more justice than a fearful reader-mind. Everyone has their own terrors to fill the gaps of this narrative. Pretty well played, actually). No, honestly, the longer I thought about it the more I was convinced that these books are, to put it bluntly, hardly more than trash.

But despite my objections, I ended up devouring the second and third book. Well, not quite. I've started reading the second book while stretching and I got through about 40% of this book when it suddenly caught hold of me and sucked me right in. All the objections were still true for the second book but I didn't really care anymore; I was addicted. I don't know why or how but it's true, I've become trash for this series. So much so, that I was even tempted to restart the whole thing right away (which only rarely happens).

So what did I think about the books themselves? Well, for starters I want to reiterate that I still have the same problems with the narrative as I've had after reading the first book (in case you want to know what I'm talking about exactly, click here) but this time I actually enjoyed myself. When I wasn't reading I couldn't stop thinking about the squad and when I was reading the hours just flew by without me noticing.

Some things I'd like to mention:

  • I was disappointed with the actual ending of the series. 
  • I do not get Andrew. And neither Neil, for that matter.
  • What is up with the substance abuse? 
  • What is up with the world being so evil?
  • What is up with doctors drugging a boy beyond all description? 
  • Some characters deserved more page time; I really enjoyed Allison's character and I'd have liked to know more about the rest of the non-protagonist-squad, too (Renee and Dan especially).
  • Go Trojans!
  • Ehhhmm, what is up with the whole spiel surrounding the Ravens? How has no one reported that to anyone? Wt-actual-f?
  • The use of physical abuse reminded me a lot of my own writing from 6 years ago - I was a hella edgy teenage-writer. I guess Sakavic still is.

Neil crouched and pressed his hands to the orange paint. "I don't want to run. I don't want to be a Raven. I don't want to be Nathaniel. I want to be Neil Josten. I want to be a Fox. I want to play with you this year and I want us to make it to championships. And in spring when the Moriyamas come for me I'll do what they're so afraid I will. I'll go to the FBI and tell them everything. Let them kill me. It'll be too late by then."

This is where I talk about The King's Men, specifically:

Okay so I quickly want to go over the third book and tell you about my opinions on that front. The thing is, once I finished the second book I couldn't stop and continued right into the third one, devouring every last bit of story I could as fast as possible.

That being said, once I was about halfway through I realized that I wasn't feeling quite as invested as I had during The Raven King. I had kind of hoped for a sad ending but, realistically, I eventually only saw it panning out in a disappointing manner and that made me lose a lot of steam. Even worse, I was right and the ending left me not just disappointed but outright upset. 

Moreover, the whole romance-thingy just felt very weird to me. I never got a hang of the characters involved and I never liked the two of them so that arc made me feel nothing at all despite it being, apparently (?) a pretty big deal somehow. I'm sorry, people who really ship these two characters, but I don't get you at all.


I liked the third book less than the second book but I'm rating both 4 out of 5 stars.


Name: The Raven King
Series: All for the Game
Author: Nora Sakavic
Previous Books in this Series: The Foxhole Court (#1)
Pages: 328
Where?: Amazon

Name: The King's Men
Series: All for the Game
Author: Nora Sakavic
Previous Books in this Series: The Foxhole Court (#1), The Raven King (#2) (yeah, like you hadn't figured that one out yet)
Pages: 418
Where?: Amazon


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