Stiefvater keeps readers guessing in Blue Lily, Lily Blue

BLLBOh my! Piper, you are a very selfish, stupid woman.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series, is quite the whirlwind of plot twists, surprises, deaths, and intrigue.

So much was going on in this third installment that I am not even sure where or how to begin this review, so I’ll start with my favorite part: Malory’s abhorrence of American-made tea. It’s true that Americans cannot make a proper cup of tea. In fact, the way we make tea is absolutely criminal. Heating a mug of water in the microwave and then dropping a tea bag into it is not in any way, shape, or form an acceptable means of making tea. It’s no wonder Malory was so appalled.

Kind of how I am appalled by Steifvater’s English use of Glendower. Owain Glyndwr was a Welsh prince, a man who spent his life fighting the English. He’s probably turning over in his sleepy grave at every use of the English spelling of his name. Seriously, use the Welsh and correct spelling. Anything else is just disrespectful!

In BLLB, the characters find themselves questioning who they are, how well they really know themselves, and how well they know their friends. It’s an interesting study on how Cabeswater has changed them all into someone they don’t recognize while simultaneously coming to better understand the persons they have morphed into. This is especially true of Adam, who can feel the ley line thrumming through his veins. He’s coming to understand the power and the danger of the deal he made with Cabeswater, and he’s discovered a part of himself that is dark and cunning and ruthless. He has a moment where he finally comprehends that he is not the poor boy from the wrong side of the trailer park. It was a moment that I’ve been waiting for it, and in typical Stiefvater fashion, it was succinct and perfect:

For so long he’d wanted Gansey to see him as an equal, but it was possible that all this time, the only person who needed to see that was Adam. Now he could see that it wasn’t charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth.

There were so many personal discoveries like that throughout the book (don’t worry, I won’t spoil any more of them), which is what I loved so much about this book. While the whole group is on a journey to discover Glydwr (see, proper name usage), each individual is on a journey to discover him or herself, and Stiefvater fed us these little clues and tidbits throughout, but never gave away the whole person. I can honestly say that after finishing BLLB, I still have absolutely no idea what to expect in the next book, and I am rather glad because I enjoy being completely gobsmacked at developments I never saw coming!

The only thing I can say is that I will be surprised if this story can be finished in a mere four books, and if it takes more than that I will be delighted because I’m not ready to let go of these incredible characters or Cabeswater or Henrietta.

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