Book three of the Raven Cycle
By Maggie Stiefvater
Available now from Scholastic Press
Read my Maggie Stiefvater tag
Ever since I finished this book, I've been discussing it with fellow fans. It's been a little hard since the book wasn't out yet and we had to keep the discussion quiet, so as not to spoil new developments for others.
But that is my number one reaction to this book, and this series as a whole. I need to talk about it. I need to pour over the details and make crazy theories about what I think is going to happen next. I ponder each detail: Is that a clue? A red herring? Just a bit of flavor? It's hard to believe that there is only one book to go.
The Raven Cycle has a notably slow, meandering pace. BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE picks up the pace. I thought that it didn't go so fast as to be jarring compared to the previous two books, but one person I talked to thought it moved a hair to quick in the beginning. It's very clear that things are getting serious. One of Blue's greatest secrets is revealed (to some people), there are deaths, and the book ends with one very shocking revelation.
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE adds several characters to the already crowded ensemble. My favorite was Piper, wife to the apparent villain of the story. (He comes on strong, but finishes weak.) The banter between Piper and Greenmantle is hilarious, a wonderfully conscienceless counterpoint to the banter between the raven boys and Blue. There is still time to develop the existing characters further. This is really Blue's book, with a strong assist from Adam. I particularly liked the focus on Blue's abilities and finding ways to be more than just a battery. I also liked that it seems like Blue and Gansey's budding relationship might not explode into irrevocable drama with Adam. Maybe Maggie Stiefvater could pull it off, but I am afraid of standard teen drama bogging the final book down.
So far, however, this series hasn't let me down yet. I am in love with the characters, the tone, the unexplained magic of it all. Okay, one development in particular strikes me as coming out of the blue, but I enjoyed it enough to roll with it. (Plus, it led to an adorable scene of Ronan and Adam racing shopping carts in a parking lot. Those boys.) I can't wait for the inevitable doom that is sure to come with the end of the cycle, because I have enjoyed the lead up so much.