Book Review: “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” by Maggie Stiefvater

The long-awaited third installment of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle has arrived, and I can guarantee it was worth the wait!

If you need a refresher on what happened in the previous book, The Dream Thieves, I highly recommend Maggie’s own recap, which can be found right here. Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up right where the story left off. Okay, three months after the story left off, but the main problems the characters were facing remain the same. Blue’s main concern is finding her mother, who disappeared into Cabeswater, but there’s a whole host of other issues the crew has got to deal with as well:

  • Mr. Gray’s employer has followed him to Virginia, seeking a satisfactory explanation for why he didn’t complete his task. And he’s decided that the best way for him to do that is to pose as a Latin teacher at Aglionby.
  • They’re closer than ever to finding where Glendower is sleeping.
  • Noah’s acting weird.

Add in a bit of star-crossed romance (Really, just a teeny-tiny bit. A teeny-tiny good bit.), and you’ve got a great adventure. So much action happens in this book that I don’t want to reveal much more of the plot, but I promise you’ll be tearing through this book in no time!

The hallmark of the Raven Cycle is, for me, how Stiefvater effortlessly makes all of the things I think are awesome – magic, history, Latin, etc – cool. Not that these things weren’t already fascinating and wonderful before, but she does an excellent job of actually imbibing them with all of the cultural connotations of cool as well. Maybe what I really mean to say is that she makes them bad ass. And that’s a ton of fun to read. But as much as I love that, I think I love Stiefvater’s character development more. Gansey, Blue, and Adam, especially, all come to life on the page in a way rarely seen in YA fantasy fiction. They develop as individuals as well as a group, and the reader truly gets a look into the inner life, struggles, vanities, and eccentricities of each character. And somehow she manages to do that while still moving the plot along at an admirable clip. HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

Those are my two favorite elements of this series, and they’re both present in spades in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, as Maggie Stiefvater skillfully continues to tease readers with the secrets of Glendower and Cabeswater. Seriously. I really don’t know how I am expected to wait for the final installment now.