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Early Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #3)

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Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater // Out October 2014Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Maggie Stiefvater
Published: Oct. 21, 2014 (Scholastic Press)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from previous books in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, The Raven Boys.

At the end of The Dream Thieves Blue’s mother Maura left the slightly cryptic note “Glendower is underground. So am I.” It’s been a little over two months since Maura disappeared and no one is any closer to finding her. The logical step is to continue the search for Glendower. So the story opens with Blue and her Raven Boys entering the cave Adam showed them at the end of The Dream Thieves to wake Glendower. Trouble is everything is pointing to there being three “sleepers”underground. One must be awakened, and the third one must not.

I love this series but was almost afraid to pick up this next installment, nervous about what might happen or if it would live up to already set expectation. Put simply, Blue Lily does. Where The Dream Thieves veered off a little from the search for Glendower, Blue Lily puts everyone back on track, kinda sorta. Considering both Maura and Glendower are underground the searches for both intersect. Blue Lily seemed to be a little more grounded, possibly because events take place in real time as opposed to so much of the book taking place in dreams. Either that or I’m getting really good at interpreting the subtext and subtleties within this magical world.

Maggie Stiefvater successfully continues story threads started in the last book, most specifically revolving around Mr. Gray. After deciding not to turn the Greywaren (i.e. Ronan) over to his employer, well, his employer Greenmantle decides to take matters into his own hands to deal with Mr. Gray’s indiscretion. It was the addition of Greenmantle and his wife that I found the most delightful. They are positively funny together and allowed Stiefvater to tie up a story thread while also using their presence as a means to a conflict we’ll see in the final book.

If you didn’t guess by the title, Blue takes more center stage in this one. School is getting ready to start again, and she’s struggling to figure out her future with feeling abandoned by her mom, coupled with fear about whether her mother is still alive and her still to-be-unacknowledged but ultimately cursed attraction to Gansey. Let’s just say the Lily Blue doesn’t lack angst, but whereas The Dream Thieves felt very emotionally volatile, in Blue Lily our characters seem as though they are beginning to feel more settled with themselves. There was more camaraderie knowing that they are all in this quest together contributing their own parts.

In the way The Dream Thieves dealt a lot with secrets (those you keep from yourself and others, those you tell, etc.). Blue Lily takes it a step further and deals with how well we know ourselves, how well we truly know others or others know us; the things we project or “mirror”to the outside world are all themes coursing throughout the book. Each character learns, or accepts, more about themselves and they’re tasked with augmenting that knowledge in order to use it in their quest to find Glendower.

So far, this has been a strong, very well written, tightly plotted series that I absolutely love. So, no pressure on the final installment, right? I guess we’ll find out in a year!

Sexual content: wonderful non-kissing, implying looks, references to sex

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