Continuing the Raven Boys cycle, Maura Sargent, Blue’s mother, has gone missing, looking for Blue’s long-lost father, buried underground in a cave along the ley line, leaving behind the mess of her new former assassin boyfriend Mr. Gray. Meanwhile Adam is learning how to be a wizard from Persephone and help Cabeswater. In trying to scry or find out more information about Maura, Persephone and Calla can only tell them that there are three sleepers buried underground. One they should wake, one they may wake, and one they should not. Though Blue and the Raven Boys (Gansey, Adam, Noah, and Ronan) attempt to try and go into a cave to find Maura, Gansey’s severe allergy to bees hampers their exploration. Luckily, Gansey’s friend Dr. Malory, complete with Dog, has come for a visit to try and study their ley line and see if he can offer any assistance. When they finally deduce where another cave entrance is, they meet a local man, Jesse, and learn of the “curse” on his cave, discovering within its depths a semi-entranced girl, found to be none other than Glendower’s illegitimate daughter, Gwenllian, who is half-mad and full little nuggets of truth wrapped deep in riddles. As they get closer to discovering Maura and the sleepers, a new danger is revealed in Henrietta in the form of Mr. Gray’s former employer, Greenmantle, who has taken the vacant position of Master of Latin at Aglonby Academy, and who is also intent upon finding his target, the Graywaren, and seeking revenge upon Mr. Gray. While Greenmantle, helped by some goons and his sharp yet secretive and glamorous wife Piper, learns more about Maura and her disappearance, he also discovers more about the caves and mysteries along the ley line. The final chapters bring death, magic, surprise, and a resolution before leaving you desperately waiting for the final installment The Raven King, delayed until March 2016.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve finished this, but I am still half in love with this series! I was crying, laughing, and (as I was listening to the audiobook, which is fabulous by the way) dying to keep reading when I needed to work. My favorite new character was Malory, who as an older British gentleman with a dry wit, made me laugh aloud continuously. I find myself just as entranced and annoyed with Gwenllian as Blue seems to be, and (!!!) I didn’t even cover how Blue and Gansey’s relationship changes in this third book! Which brings me to one of the things I am most impressed with in this series, how Maggie manages to make each character (because honestly, there are many main characters here) dynamic as they change throughout each book and overarc into the series as a whole. It is positively spellbinding, delightful, and deliciously dirty (literal dirt and strong language dirty only), and really is a treat for older teen readers and adults alike.