Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle Book Three)


Samantha Joslin

The third book in The Raven Cycle series, entitled Blue Lily, Lily Blue, veers sharply back toward the search for Glendower after the dreaming and street-racing detour in The Dream Thieves. After Blue’s mother’s unexpected disappearance at the end of book two, this book is darker than the rest of the series right off the bat. The plot of this book is hard to explain because, for the majority of it, there is no clear plot. The characters are sort of looking for Glendower, but they’re also sort of not doing anything.

Stiefvater has managed to craft an irresistibly compelling series based entirely on the promise of something magical, without delivering or revealing a point to it at all. It’s as confusing as it is disappointing, but that’s not to say the books aren’t immensely entertaining. The interactions between characters tugs heavily on the heartstrings. From the ridiculously funny inside jokes to a hilarious new character, this book even more than the others will make you laugh out loud.

However bad things get, the characters manage to retain their lightheartedness and the overall feeling of the novel is, similar to the other books’, upbeat and buoyant, which is surprising considering that the first truly lasting damage is done in book three with the death of a minor character. Stiefvater’s writing takes a tumble as she doesn’t chronicle the passing in a sad or grieving way, and the mourning period is over within a few pages. Stiefvater’s anticlimactic tendencies haven’t improved by book three. She continues in her theme of a whole lot of build-up for virtually actionless scenes, but that’s not to say that the plot isn’t progressing, because that’s more true for this novel than it is for any of the others.

Things are actually happening in this book: a surprising flirtation between two characters, the development of another two main characters’ relationship, the finding of an immortal sleeper, death, betrayal, power. Some new characters are introduced and they bring with them new plot lines, which Stiefvater has managed to develop without drawing attention away from Glendower.

This has been my least favorite in the series so far, but that’s far from saying that it’s bad—in fact, even at it’s worst the book was fantastic. The Raven Cycle has quickly risen to the top of my favorite-book list and I can’t imagine it leaving any time soon.