Saturday, January 2, 2016

Blue Sargent and the Raven Boys search for Blue's missing mother and their destinies

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young adult, fantasy

NOTE: This is Book 3 of The Raven Cycle. Beware spoilers for books 1 and 2 in this review.

Blue Sargent's home is populated with women with magical gifts. Blue is a magic amplifier—her touch (or her presence) makes other magic stronger. Blue and four young men from the local boys prep school – Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah – have become a very tight-knit group, with the common goal of trying to find the underground location where an ancient king is buried. The king is in a magical slumber, waiting for someone to find him and wake him. Legend says those who wake the kind will receive a powerful favor from him.
In this third book of the Raven Cycle, Blue's mother, Maura, has left behind a mysterious note and disappeared. She's been gone for a month and Blue is worried she's in danger. She decides to go find her, and Blue's friends intend to help.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue introduced a few new characters who may have a bigger role to play in the fourth and final book of this series, which has not yet been released. The main characters find out more about themselves and how they relate to each other and the world around them, a world that includes the mundane city of Henrietta and also the sentient, magical forest of Cabeswater. The main characters are also finding and developing their skills. Adam has become Cabeswater's “eyes and ears” and now has a responsibility to keep the changing forest land in good repair. Ronan is developing his own magical power that involves the world of dreams. Others come to Henrietta – the Grey Man is visited by his “boss” who is not happy the Grey Man reneged on their deal. Gansey's professor from England comes to visit and check out the magic ley line running through Henrietta.
The second book in this series, The Dream Thieves, was in my favorites list last year, and I like this one even more. Stiefvater is a deft storyteller, and her characters are well-developed and natural. My daughter and I discussed Blue Lily, Lily Blue last night, and she told me she thinks Blue Sargent is the best, most realistic female character in all of the young adult novels she's read. I have to agree with her. The Raven Cycle has one more book to go, but based on what I've read so far, it's become my favorite YA series.

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