Saturday, August 19, 2017

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Date Published: October 21st, 2014

Description (from Goodreads): "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."

Why Am I Reading This? After reading the first two books in Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle, I am hooked on the series. The characters are tremendous, and Stiefvater's magical world is immersive and fun.

Spoiler Alert: The remainder of the review will feature spoilers. 

Before continuing with this review, I'd recommend reading my review of the previous book in this series, The Dream Thieveshere. In that post, I lauded the characters, emotional tension, and magical prose of Stiefvater, and all of these praises apply to Blue Lily, Lily Blue as well. This post will focus primarily on some of the new characters introduced to the series.

The third installment of The Raven Cycle introduces a few new characters to a cast filled his highly complex and round characters. In fact, I think this book needed a flat character, or someone to serve as comic relief, and that role was filled by Jesse Dittley, A BIG MAN WHO SPEAKS IN ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS. Though this tall creature seems to be more giant than man, his sort of soft and tender side plays out especially well with Blue (who he deems Ant). He's sort of a one-trick pony and serves primarily as a sort of comic relief, but I certainly enjoyed his inclusion.

The Greenmantle's though, both Colin and Piper, are the major additions, and they serve as the primary antagonists of the third book. Colin played a minor role in the previous book as Mr. Gray's boss and the man who ordered Niall Lynch (Ronan's father) to be killed, though he only received a couple lines and little character building. His character is much more developed in this installment, and his wit and snark make for a fun villain.

Greenmantle is eerie and conniving, mysterious and quirky, real and untouchable, and he parallels Mr. Gray rather closely--both start as likable bad guys, but their humanity shines through by the end of the novel. His authority wanes throughout the book, and he becomes much more human and much less powerful as the story progresses. By the end of the novel his wife Piper is much more menacing and powerful than he, flipping the narrative established early in the book. Indeed, Piper seems to transform from a minor character to a force to be reckoned with. I'm excited to see where her arc goes heading into the final book.

Like the previous two books the third begins slowly, building to a fast-paced and action packed ending. This narrative style has worked in all three books so far, though with so much still to happen, I'm hoping the final novel works a bit quicker.

The third book of The Raven Cycle solidifies my thoughts on Stiefvater, an author with the ability to blend fascinating characters, mythical kings, and magic into a mysterious world -- Stiefvater, much like many of the characters in the series, is a magician, and spending time with this series is well worth it.

Rating5/5 Stars

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