The third in the Raven Cycle series, I read Blue Lily, Lily Blue in January 2016. At the time, this is what I had to say:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Blue Lily, Lily Blue continues the trend started by The Dream Thieves and focuses on the character development of one of the core team members, with the lens on Blue this time. I was glad to see Blue’s abilities get built up a bit, what she can and cannot do, and what her role is in the team. It fixes one of my biggest gripes from the other books, that I felt Blue was sort of along for the ride, there to be needlessly confrontational from time to time. It was great to see some action on her part, especially at the end when she truly takes matters into her own hands and begins using her new-found abilities with confidence. I’m looking forward to what I assume will be a more Gansey-focused finale.
Regarding plot/pacing: I feel like a lot happened in this book yet very little happened all at once. I think this could be because the first half is spent building up the energy and momentum for two things: entering the cave and finding Maura. I felt that there was a lot of waiting going on in the beginning and it bothered me that even though the plot itself (Maura’s absence, Greenmantle’s looming presence) lent to a faster pace it didn’t really deliver that. The last 150 pages, however, are impossible to put down, charging right along to the end before stopping in its tracks and leaving you screaming for more.
Pacing aside, it really is a great read. The characters are what drive this one, even when the plot might be slow for stretches. You are endeared to Ronan, Gansey, Adam, and Blue, invested in their success and their relationships. Stiefvater does a great job taking these characters and firmly planting them in your heart which will, I’m sure, make the inevitable ending to the series even more heartrendingly painful.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue didn’t hold up to Dream Thieves for me, but I feel that would’ve been tough for any book. At 50% through The Raven King, I’m a bit disappointed to find that the pacing issues I felt plagued Blue Lily are present here, too. I’ll have more to say on that matter in the next couple of days, once I finish up Raven King and can put all my thoughts on it into words.