Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
|Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Stunning entry into one of the best series around - brilliantly written with fantastic characters.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: October 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
I know that some publishers send packs of tissues with seriously emotional books. I believe I'm right in saying Bloomsbury did it with Sarah Crossan's heartbreaking Apple And Rain. As far as I'm aware, Scholastic didn't send them with this, unless they got lost in the post between the Bookbag and me. Really, Scholastic? You think that's fair? You send a book that had me crying by page 40 and utterly destroyed before the page numbers hit triple digits, and you can't at least throw in a pack of tissues? Good grief!
That complaint is, to be fair, pretty much the only one you can make about the best book yet in what's been an incredible series. Maggie Stiefvater is an exquisitely lyrical writer, who marries up gorgeously evocative prose with wonderful characters and a superb plot. I won't attempt a summary - if you're on board with the series, you'll know where we left off last time around; if you're not reading it yet it would merely confuse you. (Also, why aren't you reading it yet?) It's enough to say that the third in the quartet is packed full of magic, mystery, surprises, romance, and the legend of Glendower, the sleeping Welsh king who everybody seems to be searching for.
The characters are the best thing about this wonderful series; Blue - who's developed by now from a quiet girl into a heroine with serious attitude, holding her own in arguments and wielding an awesome pink switchblade - is a superb lead and the chemistry between her and the boys, both in a romantic way and as friends, is nearly unbearable at times. The Raven Boys themselves are richly-drawn with great backstories and feel like really well-rounded characters, while the two lead villains are seriously evil and there's an intriguing supporting cast, particularly a former antagonist who's playing a very different role by now.
My criticism, such as it was, of book two in the series was that it felt if anything perhaps too ambitious, with so many characters and viewpoints that occasionally one could get lost in the shuffle. I think if anything there may be more characters here, but it somehow seems to overcome that problem this time around - it's long, rather than epic, but I felt that every character's story got just the right amount of time devoted to it.
There's a cliffhanger ending, which I normally dislike, but by book three of a four-book series that's something to be expected, I'd say, and it would be truly harsh to knock even half a star off for that.
A stunning read, one of my favourites of the year, with book four being towards the top of my most-anticipated list. Massively recommended.
I would definitely recommend two more series inspired by Welsh legends, The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper and the Chronicles of Prydain, which start with The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander.
You can read more book reviews or buy Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater at Amazon.com.
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