Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater

Well, she did it again.

Have you ever used a juicer? You throw whole fruits and vegetables in at the top and out the bottom comes all the flavour and nutrients and juicy goodness extracted into a cup of pure concentrated apple essence. Or carrot. Or whatever.

The point is, Maggie Stiefvater is a juicer. When she writes, she extracts all the emotion and drama and knucklebiting tension and aweful magic out of her ideas and delivers them to us in juicy, concentrated scenes of pure oomph. Every scene. Like a fist to the gut.

If you've been enjoying the Raven Cycle, you know you have to read Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I can assure you you won't be disappointed in any way. More magic. Greater understanding of Glendower and what he might be doing in West Virginia and why these particular characters are the ones who might be able to find him. More in-depth character and relationship development. You didn't think they could be developed any deeper? Oh! Adam and Ronan and Gansey and Blue. Noah, too. And the Grey Man. (I love the Grey Man.) Just, oh, my heart!

If you haven't yet started the Raven Cycle, you can't start here. (I mean, you could, because she gives enough little hints about what happened before that you probably wouldn't be too confused. But why would you?) Go get The Raven Boys—I'm sure your library has a copy—and get to know the boys as Blue does. I promise you'll get completely sucked into this story of sentient forests and dreams and psychics and ghosts and friendship and sleeping kings. And other sleepers who must definitely not be wakened.

In case you didn't realize, the Raven Cycle is more than three books long. This one ain't the end! Stiefvater is excellent at completing a satisfying story arc while leaving significant questions unanswered so you are heavily invested in reading the next book. Which we now have to wait for. (It's not a cliffhanger, though. Unless you read the epilogue. Then, yeah, not so much hanging off a cliff as stepping off it and wondering when you're going to start falling.)

Sticking with the juice metaphor, I'll say Blue Lily is the freshly squeezed orange juice I had every morning for breakfast in Morocco. (The oranges in Morocco taste so much better than any other orange you have ever had anywhere else. Seriously. You must go to Morocco just to taste the oranges there.)

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