Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle bk 3. Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781407136639
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. The third book in The Raven Cycle carries on the quest for the Welsh King Glendower begun in The Raven boys and The dream thieves. Blue Sargent has found a place for herself with the Raven boys, Gansey, Adam, Ronan and the ghostly Noah, but things are unravelling around her. Her mother has been missing for months and she and the ex-hit man seem to be the only ones worried. As the group explore a cursed cave guarded by a strange mountain man, and discover strange and wonderful things, the mysteries surrounding the ley lines and Glendower remain tantalisingly near.
Stiefvater draws the reader into this mystical quest with ease and clever writing. The characters all develop along the way, with tantalising clues given. Blue and Gansey's growing attraction for each other is heart breaking as Blue knows that 'If she kisses her true love, he will die.' The enigmatic Adam begins to realise that money isn't everything and that friendship is really important. Ronan's power is frightening and poor Noah tries desperately to hold onto a corporeal appearance.
The group gradually get closer to solving the mystery of Glendower, but there are many problems to be solved on the way. The appearance of a new Latin teacher who is terrifying and Gwenllian, Glendower's daughter, add to the suspense.
Steifvater's plotting is unique and wonderfully creative. She doesn't write in an easy straight forward - she expects her readers to be clever and to wend their way through the plots and twists and characters that make up the Raven Cycle. This is a rich and rewarding experience and fans of the series will love this book. The cliff hanger at the end will ensure that the fourth instalment is read as soon as it appears in print or e-book.