Book Reviews · Original Posts

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue lily, lily blue

Queens and kings

Kings and queens

Blue lily, lily blue

Crowns and birds

Swords and things

Blue lily, lily blue

By now, you, my lovely readers, know of my love affair with Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle, set in my own beautiful Virginia. If you don’t (or you haven’t read this series yet), stop now! Check out my review of the first book in this magnificent world, The Raven Boys.  Then go read it and its sequel, The Dream ThievesThen, come back here. Seriously, I recommend this series to everyone because it is beautifully written, with characters that resonate so passionately!

Alright, now down to brass tacks, as they say. Here’s the description from Goodreads of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the penultimate book in the Raven Cycle. It is miraculously spoiler-free, which this review may not be, so beware from here on out!

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.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue confirms Stiefvater’s brilliance! She keeps Henrietta, Cabeswater, Monmouth, Aglionby and everywhere just as magical and consistent as in the previous two installments, while adding more details and richness. Actually, Stiefvater shows us more of the inner workings of the gang’s daily lives, particularly showing Blue at school, Adam at work, and the boys at Aglionby, which I enjoyed. Stiefvater doesn’t take the easy way out and pretend that the quest for Glendower isn’t damaged when their senior year starts, but instead acknowledges those difficulties in the context of the search.

 

Again, the best thing about this series is the characters. You fall in love with all of them over and over again. They are unique and real, as are their relationships, and the depth each one carries within him/herself is amazing! The relationships between the principle characters undergo real tests in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. One of primary women of 300 Fox Way is missing, and the dynamic in Blue’s home changes completely as a result to bring out the uglier, stressed, vulnerable parts of everyone. The main gang (as I call Blue and her Raven Boys) are closer than ever:

“Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Ronan seems very fulfilled in this installment (which is a relief, after the events of The Dream Thieves) and he and Adam become closer:

“Adam was beginning to realize that he hadn’t known Ronan at all. Or rather, he had known part of him and assumed it was all of him.”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Adam struggles with his self-worth a lot, though, and feels very set apart from the group:

“What an impossible and miraculous and hideous thing this was. An ugly plan hatched by an ugly boy now dreamt into ugly life. From dream to reality. How appropiate it was that Ronan, left to his own devices, manifested beautiful cars and beautiful birds and tenderhearted brothers, while Adam, when given the power, manifested a filthy string of perverse murders.”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Gansey is waking up to the ways of the world. He’s much more serious now, much more aware of himself and the world, both good and bad:

“Everything had begun ugly for Adam, but he knew what Gansey meant. His noble and oblivious and optimistic friend was slowly opening his eyes and seeing the world for what it was, and it was filthy, and violent, and profane, and unfair. Adam had always thought that was what he wanted—for Gansey to know. But now he wasn’t sure. Gansey wasn’t like anyone else, and suddenly Adam wasn’t sure he really wanted him to be.”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue’s troubles at home are only added to as she and Gansey become Something, and she struggles with the knowledge of his death (which I will not believe until he breathes his last in The Raven King, as Stiefvater has promised):

“I’m glad you misdialed.”

“Well. Easy mistake to make,” she said. Might do it again.” A very, very long pause. She opened her mouth to fill it, then changed her mind and didn’t. She was shivering again, even though she wasn’t cold with the pillow on her legs.

“Shouldn’t,” Gansey said finally. “But I hope you do.”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

In this installment we finally meet the gang’s long time adversary, Colin Greenmantle, and his devilish wife, Piper, as well as two surprise guests who have been mentioned before, but never got screen time before now. New characters include Jesse Dittley, Henry Cheng, and a surprise.

As usual, Stiefvater’s writing is a joy to read, and her work is filled with such important themes and ideas communicated in such a gorgeous way with such wonderful characters in a miraculous setting that in my mind, it is a must-read. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the most serious installment of the Raven Cycle, but just as wonderful either way!

Overall rating: INFINITY STARS!!!

Now I’m just waiting for The Raven King, set to release on April 26, 2016. The irony that this date is only two days after St. Mark’s Eve is terrifying to me. As Gansey says:

“Desire and dread lay right next to each other in his heart, each sharpening the other.”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Have you read this series? Tell me what you think in the comments! Any theories for The Raven King?

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s