Now, when I read The Dream Thieves, I said that it was a fantastic sequel to The Raven Boys, didn’t feel like that gap-bridging novel you often get in series (trilogies mostly). However, I feel like Blue Lily, Lily Blue maaaaay have been that book for The Raven Cycle.
*Warning, this review may contain spoilers for The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Read my spoiler-free review of The Raven Boys here and my spoiler-free review of The Dream Thieves here!*
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fiction, Magical Realism, Urban Fantasy
Published: October 21st, 2014 by Scholastic Press
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.
About: Maggie Stiefvater
“I am Maggie Stiefvater. I write books. Some are about dead Welsh kings. Some are about werewolf nookie. And some are about neither.
I have been a wedding musician, a technical editor, a portrait artist, and, for several fraught weeks, a waitress. I play several musical instruments (most infamously, the bagpipes), I still make art, and I recently acquired and unacquired a race car.
Currently, I live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with my husband, my two children, some cows, three dogs who fart recreationally, a criminally insane cat, an interminable number of miniature silky fainting goats, and one 1973 Camaro named Loki.
I like things that go.”
Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed this book. But I felt as though Maggie Stiefvater was using a kind of formula up to this point. Each book thus far has introduced a new villain/contagonist that only really exists for the purpose of that specific book, and then is either killed off or moved out by the end of the book. And this book felt even more repetitive, considering the new villain was another Latin teacher. To be fair, all of the characters are related to the plot/another character in some way, but it just feels too formulaic for my taste, especially when readers go through it for the third time in the series.
This book felt like the “bridge-book” because it developed the plot, but not a lot happened. It felt like there was a lot of character development, and more expansion on things that were mentioned in The Dream Thieves, but this book definitely focused strongly on Adam and his relationship to Cabeswater.
There were a lot of “false trails”… for a lack of a better term. What I mean by this, is that Stiefvater led readers astray a couple of times in this book, obviously trying to build up for the climax of the final installment, the next book The Raven King. It added to the plot a bit, but it also felt almost unnecessary. While this book wasn’t terrible, I feel as though with a little condensing and reorganizing, this series could have been a very successful trilogy.
I loved that we could see more development (or perhaps unveiling is a better term) of a certain relationship that was hinted at near the end of The Dream Thieves…. *cough* Ronan and Adam *cough*. I didn’t realize how into this I would be, but I am so for it. Suddenly the interactions all take on a new meaning, and it really made me excited to see where things end up in The Raven King.
Talk about those relationships
I find that I am personally less and less interested in the Gansey/Blue dynamic. It begins to unfold a little more in this book, but I don’t really think I’m that into it. It could be because I just don’t really see Gansey as having much of a personality. I feel like as an author, Stiefvater has relied a lot on using other characters’ perceptions/opinions of Gansey to characterize him rather than giving him much of a personality and actually displaying that to readers to see first hand. It’s a lot of minor characters being like “Gansey, old boy!” to display his social status/friendly personality/charisma/etc., and a lot less of him actually acting in the ways he’s described. I know that there are supposed to be “two Ganseys” – one he shows to the public, and one that’s obsessed with Glendower/afraid of bees, but like, I don’t see much of a distinction between the two, especially considering he tells everyone in his life about his Glendower search/obsession. There’s not much of a difference to me.
Characters I’m loving
I also realized in this book how important the Maura/Calla/Persephone dynamic is to the book and me personally. They’ve been prevalent characters in all of the books thus far, but with Maura’s continued absence, it becomes apparent just how used to their presence I had become while reading the book. They are definitely some of my favorite characters in this book, along with Ronan and Adam.
Overall, I think this book was good, not great. A lot of things happened to further the plot, but it was just kind of boring to me, and the false-trails were more a disappointment than anything else.
I give Blue Lily, Lily Blue 3.5/5 stars.
Have you read The Raven Boys yet? I highly recommend this series, and can’t wait to see what book 4 has in store for us!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through my links compensates me with a percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links help me to continue bettering my website and content for readers. Click here to learn why I buy books from Amazon.