by Maggie Stiefvater (2014) ♥♥♥♥
“He left bloody fingerprints on the rock, but there was something satisfying about that.
I was here. I exist. I’m alive, because I bleed.” – Maggie Stiefvater; Blue Lily, Lily Blue
I’m trying to get the Raven Cycle finished before YALC and I think I’m actually going to do it! This is the third book of a four book series and brings us closer to the inevitable event that was described in the first chapter of the first book, The Raven Boys.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue centres a lot more around Blue than in the two previous books and the focus of the book is that someone has gone missing. Blue has lost something and needs to find it and get it back but not all visions are correct and people can betray.
I can’t say much about the book without giving away things that have happened in TRB and TDT but I will say this: BLLB gets a lot weirder… I mean, the whole series involve psychics and fate-telling and fortunes etc, but this book steps up another level till I wasn’t even sure what was real or what was happening any more – I wouldn’t be surprised if in the last book, half of the stuff that has already happened actually turns out to be false or a dream.
We see the introduction of a new character (won’t say their name because it will give it away) and this person is crazy, like proper just singing everywhere and not making any sense, so that just adds to the ‘what is happening’ vibe I got from this book. Also, Greenmantle comes into this book more and we get to understand him as a character (weird) and just how much influence he has over people. His partner is also very strange and I get the feeling that they are both sort of psychopaths because they talk of death and other horrible things like they’re discussing a dinner menu so I think it’s safe to say that they are insane.
BLLB stays within the main plot of finding Glendower but this book strays away from finding him as the group find something else which leads to, at the end of the book, finding another thing which could be very bad for everyone in the next book. However they still don’t seem any closer to finding Glendower than in the first book and I’m finding myself excited to read the last book so I can finally discover if they do find him or not and who gets the favour.
The favour has been mentioned so many times (if they find Glendower and wake him, he’ll grant a favour) and everyone has pretty much agreed on what the favour will be but I’m thinking it won’t happen and basically I’m preparing myself to say goodbye to one of the characters, because we knew what would ultimately happen to them from the start of the series, but I kept hoping that they’d find a way to stop it. It isn’t looking very likely at the moment though.
Which brings me to SPOILERS so if you haven’t read BLLB or any of the Raven Cycle series, then:
SWIM AWAY from the spoilers – krill.
Right so, Blue’s mother is missing and we don’t know why or how or what, just they she randomly took off. Okay, just leave your only child with a load of psychics and a hit man you have a crush on, that’s fine – I’m sure she’ll be fine.
These psychics – honestly.
Okay so the group go looking for Blue’s mother in a cave because she’s underground (???) and apparently there’s three sleepers – one they must wake, one they must not and another that no one seems to care about. So naturally, the one they must NOT wake gets woken at the end, but let’s focus on the events leading up to this.
Maura is underground preventing the third sleeper that must not be woken, from being woken and is joined by Blue’s father, Artemus, for some random and unexplained reason. (Blue doesn’t seem that bothered to meet him either.) Meanwhile, Greenmantle and his strange wife, Piper, are trying to find Maura so they can have leverage against the Grey Man who is in love with Maura (happened a bit fast but whatever) whereas Adam is spending his days going to school, working and repairing bits of the ley line everywhere since he is now Cabeswater’s errand-runner. But he seems happy enough.
So lots of things are happening, but nothing really to do with Glendower. Gansey’s friend, Malroy comes to visit and, to be honest, doesn’t really do much and I feel he’s a bit redundant in this book. Ronan is more of a background character in this book which works given he was focused on a lot in TDT and isn’t really involved much in the plot, except that we learn that he dreamt up Matthew-
Kind of makes sense now, why Ronan and Declan have this strain between them and why Matthew is quite the opposite in personality to both of them – Ronan dreamt him when he was young, and obviously needs to find a way to keep him alive because if Ronan dies, so do his dreams – which includes Matthew.
But apart from that, Ronan isn’t involved much, except for the odd one-liner that always lifts the tone of the story and makes me smile. I particularly liked it when Ronan discovers that the psychics have a list of the people that will die in the next year, to which Ronan replies: ‘you have a death list? How f***ing dark is that?’ – you’ve got to love Ronan. I think he may be my favourite character, just for the humour he brings to the story.
This brings me on to mention one of the big revelations of the book – when Adam finds out about the ‘death list’ and quickly figures out that one of the raven boys is on it. I was like – ooooh stuff just got real.
Adam has turned into some sort of all-knowing wise old man because he makes deductions and figures stuff out a lot sooner than everyone else.
So Adam questions Blue and figures out it’s Gansey who is to die, which brings him back to the vision he had in the weird rotting tree of the first book – when Adam kills Gansey and Ronan shouts ‘are you happy’ at Adam. BUT what is really strange is that Adam, when in one of his training classes with Persephone, asks Persehpone how he can stop Gansey dying, but actually says how can he stop from killing Gansey to which Persephone just randomly disappears and is found dead.
I mean, seriously what is happening? One minute she’s alive and talking to Adam, then he lets slip that he’s going to kill Gansey because he’s seen a vision of him doing it and when Persephone is all like what do you mean, you’re going to kill Gansey? and then he buggers off to avoid the situation by getting a drink, to return and find Persephone gone – and the seat is cold and the store assistant tells Adam that he came in alone??? So wait, Persephone wasn’t ever there? Is Persephone real?
Please someone explain what’s going on.
And then they find Persephone dead between the two mirrors that no one can ever step between (cos that makes sense) and that’s it – she’s gone.
Then the group go to find Maura and bring Gwenllian along who they found whilst looking for Maura and who is just crazy and makes no sense, and they finally find Maura, with Artemus, trying to avoid waking the third sleeper.
The number three keeps getting mentioned throughout this book and I don’t know why, but it makes it harder to resist opening the door and waking the third sleeper when there’s more people present – so why did Maura go find the damn thing in the first place and why didn’t she tell Artemus to sod off? Sorry but this doesn’t make sense. If Maura’s job was to make sure the third sleeper doesn’t wake, why not shoo people away from the door, including Artemus?
And then the dreaded thing happens at the end – the third sleeper gets woken by none other than the peculiar Piper and NEEVE – knew she’d come back and I knew she was up to no good.
I did find this book really strange to read and I sort of just went with it and didn’t question what was going on but instead just tried to pretend it was all normal and stuff. But I really love the humour that the author includes in the book, like near the beginning when Noah (we really didn’t see a lot of him at all) appears in the counsellor room with Blue and messes around and talks when Blue just has to ignore him since the counsellor can’t see him – that was quite funny and of course, all the lines from Ronan so that helped break up the strangeness of the psychic, ley lines, dead-people-sleeping-but-don’t-wake-one-of-them-up thing.
However, overall I’m really looking forward to reading The Raven King and a bit sad to be finishing the series! It’s always sad finishing a series but because I’ve read this one so fast and started it once all the books were released, I don’t feel too attached to the story. When you’ve been waiting every year for the next book to come out and have just had the one book for a whole year till you can find out more, I think you grow more attached to the story because you’ve gone on the journey and haven’t just been able to just grab the next book and find out what happens – that’s why I love discovering a series half way through or from the beginning, because of the journey. But it is nice to pick up a book and read all through the series every now and then!
Anyway, have a brilliant day and let me know if you’ve read this series and what you thought of it!
Oh and this was one of my favourite quotes from the book because it’s truth:
“Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning. Every lesson in the universe had to be taught billions of times, and it never stuck.
Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.” – Maggie Stiefvater; Blue Lily, Lily Blue