* Warning: Spoilers for The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
By Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #3
Hardcover: 391 pages
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rated: ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
5 out of 5 Stars
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Related Reviews: | The Raven Boys | The Dream Thieves |
Categories: Supernatural, Ghosts, Treasure Hunt, ESP
I had so many expectations for this book, that I practically set it up for failure in my mind. And then I read it. Failure? Are you kidding?! It was truly perfect in every way that I wanted it to be. This series has such an Otherness to it that is impossible to explain. Is it YA? Meh. The relationships between the characters are so real, so beautiful and perfect, which is rare in YA books. I didn't think that I could love these characters any more than I did.. but I was definitely wrong. I'm going to say it now, because after reading the third book, I know without a doubt: This is my favorite series EVER. Ever. The characters are so complex and layered, so real and flawed, and I am in love with every single one of them. Even Ronan, the asshole, has my heart. Stiefvater's ability to completely immerse the reader into her worlds is wonderful and disappointing at the same time. Disappointing, only because when you awake from the world, you know that you cannot physically visit it. It's an overwhelming sadness that I haven't felt before from a story. I want to visit her mythical Cabeswater, trek through the forest where the trees speak Latin, search for the mystical King sleeping on the ley line of Virginia. Sigh. I have always held a special place in my heart for history, and more so for archaeology. From the age of 7, I wanted to be an archaeologist; to quest for ancient treasure hidden throughout our vast world. The only thing holding me back from that dream was the fact that the field itself is beyond competitive. You can only be a true archaeologist if your love for doing it is greater than your need for companionship. Sadly, I cannot see myself alone in a desert/jungle/forest, wherever, truly alone for months on end. Your life spent in a tent, in the middle of nowhere.. archaeologists are basically glorified hobos! Enough rambling.. let's get back to the review, shall we..?
In this third book, we get to see the relationship between Blue and Gansey develop a bit more. They are little things, hands touch for a moment, late night phone calls, but they are so important. The heartbreak and sadness between the two of them is overwhelming.
"She had thought it was such a simple thing to avoid kissing someone when she'd been with Adam. Her body had never known what to do. Now it knew. Her mouth didn't care that it was cursed. She turned to Gansey. "Blue," he warned, but his voice was chaotic. This close, his throat was scented with mint and wool sweater and vinyl car seat, and Gansey. Just Gansey. She said, "I just want to pretend. I want to pretend that I could." He breathed out. What was a kiss without a kiss?"
The fact that Gansey is going to die is crushing. I tried to stop myself from falling in love with him, but it was a failed mission. I knew from the moment I started reading The Raven Boys that this broken boy was going to die eventually, dammit! As the case is with Blue, I couldn't protect my heart from loving his doomed ass! Either Blue will kill him with a kiss, Adam will kill him with his anger, or he will get stung by bees. Either way, his life will likely be over by the end of the fourth book, and I hate it! And of course, we still have this...
All of these tweets saying "Maggie, don't kill Gansey!" Oh, please. That kid is going DOWN.— Maggie Stiefvater (@mstiefvater) September 30, 2014
Noah's character is heartbreaking as well. I feel so much for him, and I have no idea how Stiefvater can possibly fix him. Noah was the first sacrifice to wake Cabeswater, and now his spirit is trapped on the ley line. He was able to befriend the Raven boys and Blue, but the fact that he doesn't have a body hinders his chances at true companionship. I thought, maybe, that would be the favor that they asked of the King, but with Gansey's looming death.. I just don't know! And it's driving me insane! Adam's character is able to grow exponentially in this book. He begins to realize that, just because he is friends with Gansey, it doesn't make him beholden to him. As the economic gaps between Gansey and Adam begin to diminish, the ones between Blue and her Raven Boys grows. Her Ivy League bound boys will be heading to posh schools in their futures, while Blue will be destined to a school that she can afford. I focus on this aspect because, as a college student in a low income bracket, I fully understand the difficulties between a great education, and the ability to afford that great education. Sadly, the privileged will almost always be able to afford that education that the less privileged cannot. This point struck home to me, and I appreciate Stiefvater's analysis of this problem. Just another reason why the realism in this novel, the entire series is perfection!
Through her characters, they all lead back to Gansey. At the heart of this series, the heart of this quest, lies Gansey. But what struck me as insane is the fact that the reader really doesn't know much about him. Which leads me to my theory that Gansey is Glendower. Through this third book, I am still convinced that it will play out that way in the end. The psychics' visions speak of Gansey disappearing into Cabeswater, and they cannot see his actual death. Ronan is the greywaren, the one that can pull things from his dreams. Adam is Cabeswater's eyes and ears, the true sacrifice. Noah is already dead. What is Blue? Where does she fit into the whole quest? I was hoping for a few more hints from Stiefvater about her character. I can't really say much without giving away huge spoilers, but we did get a little. I just don't know how the information we get about Blue fits into the rest of the quest! Sigh.
And now, we have a basic picture of the quest itself.
"Now she saw what Maura had seen: three sleepers- light, dark, and in between."
Don't wake the third sleeper. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Who is the third sleeper and where does he fit into the quest itself?! This book left me with more questions that I had at the beginning. I'm confident that I've overlooked a dozen hints that Stiefvater added, which makes me want to reread this book immediately. I am so lost as to how she will wrap everything up in a neat little package with one book left. Ugh!
To wrap up this extensive, insane review: please read this series! It is truly incredible, heartbreaking, funny, mysterious.. all of the feels imaginable combined into a delicious series! You will not be disappointed at all. My
fangirling review is over. The end. (:
"Around them, Cabeswater hummed and muttered with life. Birds that didn't exist outside the forest flapped overhead. Somewhere close by, water ran over rocks. The trees were grand and old, furred with moss and lichen. Perhaps it was because she knew the forest was sentient, but Blue thought it looked wise. If she let her mind wander far enough, she could almost feel the sensation of the forest listening to her. It was hard to explain; it was sort of like the feeling of someone hovering a hand just over your skin, not quite touching."
""I want you to whistle or hum or sing, Ronan, and keep track of time," Gansey said. "You have got to be shitting me," Ronan replied. "Me." Gansey peered down the tunnel. "I know you know a lot of songs all the way through, and can do them the same speed and length every time. Because you had to memorize all of those tunes for the Irish music competitions." Blue and Adam exchanged a delighted look. The only thing more pleasing than seeing Ronan singled out was seeing him singled out and forced to repeatedly sing an Irish jig. "Piss up a rope," Ronan said."
"She nearly fell into the hole. No wonder Gansey hadn't seen it. There was a rock ledge and then, just- nothing. "Gansey?" "I'm here." Gansey's voice was closer than she expected. Quieter than she expected too. "I just- I believe I'm having a panic attack." "You're having a panic attack? New rule: Everyone should give four tugs before suddenly disappearing. Have you broken anything?" A long pause. "No." Something about the tone of the single syllable conveyed, all at once, that he had not been kidding about his fear. Blue wasn't sure that reassurance was her strong point, especially when she was the one who wanted it, but she tried. "It'll be okay. We're anchored up here. All you need to do is climb out. You're not going to fall." "It's not that." His voice was a sliver. "There is something on my skin and it is reminding me of..." He trailed off. "Water," Blue suggested. "Or mud. It's everywhere. Say something again so I can point the flashlight at you." There was nothing but the sound of his breathing, jagged and afraid. She swept the flashlight beam again. "Or mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are everywhere," she said, voice bright. Gansey whispered, "Hornets." Her heart contracted. In the wash of adrenaline, she talked herself down: Yes, hornets could kill Gansey with just a sting, but no, there were not hornets in this cave. And today was not the day that Gansey was going to die, because she had seen his spirit on the day he died, and that spirit had been wearing an Aglionby sweater splattered with rain. Her flashlight beam finally found him. He hung limply in his harness, head tilted down, hands over his ears. Her flashlight beam traced his heaving shoulders. They were splattered with mud and grime, but there were no insects on them. She could breathe again. "Look at me," she ordered. "There are no hornets." "I know," he muttered. "That's why I said I think I'm having a panic attack. I know there are no hornets." What he wasn't saying, but what they both knew, was that Cabeswater was a careful listener. Which meant he needed to stop thinking about hornets."
| The Raven Boys | The Dream Thieves |