by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: September 11 - 13, 2014
Published: October 21, 2014 by Scholastic Press
Source: NetGalley (THANK YOU, Scholastic!!!)
Tags: YA, Fantasy, ley lines, Welsh kings
Series: The Raven Cycle, Book 3
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
NOTE: Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third book in The Raven Cycle. My thoughts may contain some spoilers for The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves (click on the titles for my reviews). If you're keeping up with this series, you shouldn't miss Maggie Stiefavater's recaps of the FIRST and SECOND books.
What can I possibly say about the series that has everything? Including reviews that are more insightful and inspiring than my own. I've gotten so overwhelmed with trying to come up with something interesting to say that I may have just gone off on my own tangent all together.
What I'm going to do for you today is explain this book in two tweets by author Maggie Stiefvater herself. Ready? (These read from bottom to top, btw)
So I bet you're wondering what that has to do with Blue Lily, Lily Blue, besides causing mass panic, because maybe I'm saying that STIEFVATER ISN'T GOING TO FINISH WRITING THE FOURTH BOOK!!!! Don't worry! That's not where I'm going with this at all. But what I am saying is that true to Maggie Stiefvater, the strength of this installment is the prose and characters, and I would argue, most especially their relationships.
Of course there's plot in here as well. And it does move the story along. However, Blue Lily, Lily Blue is definitely number three in a four book series, or cycle in Raven Boy lingo, written by an author who prefers why to what. Thinking of this in math terms: if you add the questions asked in this book to the ones still lingering from the previous two cycles, then subtract out the few revelations we are given here, you are very much still in the plus side of the questions vs. answers equation. Thankfully, Stiefvater is pretty brilliant at why, and this is another stunning addition to the series.
I am a reader who likes to Know What Happens. In other words, I value plots, which is the reason I rarely DNF. But I don't like to skim either, because while plot is important to me, I will fall in love with a book for its language and characters. For the first point, I will admit to getting a tad antsy during the reading of Blue Lily, Lily Blue. This book especially has a lot of crazy events happening, and without the final book completing the picture, I'm definitely wondering what was going on in parts of this installment. I can't wait to figure it all out, or more likely, have it all revealed to me in the finale. But I'm also just so incredibly invested in this series and worried for my beloved characters that I Must Know how it all works out for them.
As stated, the strength of this book is in the relationships between its characters and in its gorgeous language and imagery. I am endlessly fascinated by the fact that all of this author's characters are based on real people, both in appearance and personality. Though Stiefvater admits to doing quite a bit of mixing and matching and embellishing of the real people. As usual we have some new and eccentric character additions to this storyline, One who looks like her dog. One who speaks and looks like a giant. One who might be crazy. I didn't love these newbies as much as the characters we know already, but I sure spent a lot of time being amazed that people like them exist out there somewhere.
I care about this series so much because I have been made to care so deeply about Blue and her Raven boys - Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah as well as Blue's family and friends at 300 Fox Way, including the Gray man. What is so evident in this installment in particular, is how clearly these characters all care for each other. The longing in these pages is palpable, and pairing off and wanting is all the more obvious here. But so much more than who is with whom, these characters all hurt for each other and try their best to protect each other. They are just the most delicious grouping of individuals, and while I'm eager to find out all the whys and hows whats at the end, I'm not sure how I will possibly say goodbye to them when it's all over.
1) Adam coming to better terms with himself and his role in everything.
2) Aching moments as Blue faces wanting what she's told is impossible.
3) Secret glances and much longing between Blue and Gansey.
4) The identity of Greenmantle. Also Malory.
5) Information about Butternut, aka Blue's father.
6) What Ronan's second secret means.
7) Characters deciding what they will ask Glendower when they wake him.
8) Lots more of Blue's family, especially Persephone, Calla - and where is Maura?
9) Noah continuing to be insightful and tragic. I just want to hug that boy.
10) A lot of crazy magical things going on. Some big surprises there.
11) Bonus! As per usual, an abundance of compound words that look similar but all have different meanings (I continue confuse myself with these) - Glendower, Graywaren, Greenmantle, Cabeswater. They're all present and accounted for.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium? We have another big surprise at the end, but this conclusion felt less stressful to me than the last one. Obviously we have one more book to go and everyone has one huge question about that:
AHHHHhhhh! This is one moment I don't think I'll ever be ready to experience.