Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
“Blue was abruptly awake. She had been awake before, but she was so much more than she had been the second before, that she felt as if she had been sleeping.”
Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up just where the previous novel in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle left off. Maura is missing, Greenmantle is still searching for an object that doesn’t exist, Ronan’s mother is firmly established in Cabeswater, and Blue still cannot kiss Gansey. But she really, really wants to.
As the search for Blue’s mother and Glendower continues, the Grey Man’s boss sweeps into town as the villain-of-the-week. Greenmantle is as mysterious and emotionally detached from his villainy as the Grey Man appeared to be in Dream Thieves, allowing Blue and her boys to focus on Maura’s disappearance and their own complicated lives. Life continues on, Adam’s father, Ronan’s brothers, the women of Fox Way, and high school still have their own parts to play.
I genuinely appreciated Stiefwater slowing down a bit in this one to focus more on the relationships between our five main characters, giving more time than ever to Adam and Ronan’s friendship, Noah and Gansey’s friendship, and Blue and Gansey as well. It wasn’t too dramatic a shift, but after the events in Dream Thieves, the alliances between everyone have to shift to account for new information. As Blue remarks, “[Ronan] challenged them all to learn him again,” a sentiment that is a driving theme throughout this novel. Previously, it had seemed to them as if they had all always known each other, but the more that their search for Glendower “illuminates” their own lives, the more the five of them have to acknowledge how much they do not know about each other and themselves.
The first Raven Boys installment was a study into the intricacies and contradictions that are Richard Campbell Gansey III, and Dream Thieves dealt strongly with the mysteriousness that is Ronan Lynch, while this third and latest, Blue Lily, Lily Blue seemed to create more questions than give any answers about our impossible Blue Sargent. As already established from page one, Blue’s relationship to the supernatural elements that she is finding herself intertwined in has been as the passive observer, a battery without the ability to act. In this novel, we are finally starting to get hints that there is more to Blue than what the ladies at Fox Way were able to anticipate, or even understand. Like Adam, Blue is in for a long ride of discovery and probably a few failed attempts, but it’s so nice to see Blue having a plot that isn’t DON’T KISS THAT GUY.
If you pick up any series to begin as winter swiftly approaches, The Raven Cycle is at the top of my list. Stiefwater’s lyrical prose offset with highly practical characters in a dreamy landscape is just the sort of world you can sink into on a long, rainy afternoon. And the delightful, flawed, complicated characters will make you want to stay for a good long while.
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