Those of you who follow YA author Maggie Stiefvater have probably seen—via Tumblr, Twitter, or some other media—tales of the pre-ordered copies of the 3rd Raven Boys book Blue Lily, Lily Blue. The truck carrying the pre-ordered copies from the Fountain Bookstore was in an accident. Scholastic sent early reader books instead of Blue Lily. Maggie went on tour and wasn’t home to sign the books because they arrived late. It was a long and involved process that eventually brought Blue Lily to my door, but it was well worth the wait.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue continues the story of Blue Sargent, the daughter of a town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, and her involvement with the “raven boys”, boys who attend an elite private school in the area. Richard Campbell Gansey III is searching for a long dead Welsh king, transported from England via magical ley lines that run through the earth. Ronan Lynch can pull things from his dreams, from cars to ravens. Adam Parrish is a scholarship student who still works three jobs to pay for his tuition, and Noah Czerny is dead. They are an odd team on an odd mission, but if there’s one thing Maggie Stiefvater does well—though she does many things well—it’s characters.
In the first book, The Raven Boys, Stiefvater brings a variety of different and interesting characters to life. The next book, The Dream Thieves, developed the characters a bit more, though the plot was mostly stationary. Blue Lily, Lily Blue was more exciting because stuff actually started happening. (Spoiler alert!) Blue’s mother is gone, searching for Blue’s father and Glendower underground. Something terrible happens to Persephone, another psychic in Blue’s family. Blue and her boys find the daughter of Glendower (the Welsh king they’re after). At first she seems crazy, but then she seems psychic. And then she seems somehow connected to Blue. Gansey and his friends are getting closer to finding their dead king, but everything in their personal lives is heating up.
Adam deals with the lawsuit with his abusive father while struggling to serve Cabeswater, the magical forest they awakened, and its physical and spiritual needs. Ronan, on top of being Ronan Lynch, is trying to find a way to extend Cabeswater’s power to save his brother. Blue’s mother is missing, and Gansey finds himself drawn more to Blue, even though they both know a relationship is impossible—for sake of the group dynamics and the fact that Blue’s fate is that her true love will die if she kisses him.
In all of Maggie Stiefvater’s books, characters rather than plot are her forte. She creates interesting, passionate, lively, and unique characters that readers can’t help but love. Sometimes, though, even if you have awesome characters, you still need a little plot to help carry the story, which readers didn’t really get in The Dream Thieves, but after three books Gansey and Co. actually find one of the sleepers buried on the ley line. They’re finally measurably closer to finding Glendower. And then at the end of the book, they start something big, which we will find out about in the next book.
I liked Blue Lily more as things started happening in the book, and it set up a lot of things to happen in the next book, which is exciting. Those of you who love Maggie’s other books—The Scorpio Races, Sinner, etc.—will enjoy Blue Lily, and those of you who, like me, were getting a little antsy for something to actually happen, you will like this book too. I can’t wait for the next book to find out what happens to Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah.