4 out of 5 Rookish Stars
This is the 3rd book in the Raven Cycle – so beware spoilers for previous books.
Gladly, I can give this the full 4 stars I wanted to give the last one. Blue finally has a little action in this. Her range of concern has gone beyond who she will kiss and kill. The countdown on Gansey’s life is ticking away. We have new characters dropped in the mix. A lovable assassin. It’s pretty much all good. This is a more slow paced fantasy series, just as a warning. I think I’ve come to terms with that.
Cabeswater had disappeared in the last book – dried up by all of Ronan and Kravinsky’s crazy dream stealing. They managed to dream it back… and now Blue’s mother managed to get herself lost in it. For some reason, which is never really explained too well, Maura decided to go and find Blue’s father. At the time we join the story, she’s been missing about a month and it seemed nobody felt it was urgent to get her back. I mean, the psychics are trying to psychic her out and the Raven crew made some tentative forays into Cabeswater… but it’s been a month. I’d think they’d be more … frantic.
What we know, from the psychics, is that there are three sleepers. They think Maura’s job is to keep one from being woken. One is to be woken, and one is somewhere in the middle. Persephone is still training Adam how to interact with Cabeswater, and he is still making the occasional repair to fix the flow of energy. Sometimes, the way it chooses to speak to him is mad spooky. I’ve heard people say this series was creepy, and up till now, I hadn’t agreed – but this one has some scary moments. There is definitely the feeling that it’s not all Cabeswater warm and happy feelings out there – there’s stuff that’s dangerous and bites.
Death is a huge theme in this one. It’s everywhere. What is sleeping but the little death? And this is about sleepers. Mr. Gray, our friendly neighborhood assassin is sad at Maura’s disappearance and still in danger from Colin Greenmantle. For an assassin, he seems pretty cool. We meet a man named Jesse Dittley who has a cursed cave that kills the family members. So Blue experiences the joy of meeting another cursed person. For someone doomed to die by the curse, he’s pretty pragmatic about it. Adam is messing around with scrying to communicate with Cabeswater. This freaks Noah out, our friendly neighborhood dead guy, because he says the soul leaves the body and could get lost. So scrying is close to death. Death. Death. Death.
Ronan and Adam are pretty much the crux of the story. There is also this metaphorical thing going on… I can’t tell if they are being drawn to each other, or if Adam is theoretically thinking about having Ronan’s attentions. Because Ronan definitely notices him and checks him out in a very Ronan like way. Ronan is still keeping secrets, and Adam can appreciate that. Ronan wants to find a way to bring life to the things his father dreamed into being. Adam has daddy issues going on from the fight from the first book. There’s some serious badassery when the two work together to try and help Mr. Gray with his former employer. Do Ronan and Adam have a ship name? Cuz I need a ship name.
We’re finally getting somewhere with our overall plot. It sucks that Blue’s mom is missing and all, but we finally get somewhere with an actual hint that we’re on the right track for Glendower.
Aside from the Ronan/Adam metaphor (sigh) again, this rates as “jar of mayonnaise” (thank you Whitty Novels) on the diversity scale. We do have a character that is incredibly minor, named Henry Cheng. Don’t know if this means he is Asian or not – all we know is he has really great hair.
Unfortunate whiteness aside, I’m really loving this series. Can’t wait for the last one.