Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater Tarot Tour & Giveaway: The Strength Card

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater Tarot Tour & Giveaway: The Strength Card

You know how much I adore Maggie Stiefvater's novels, especially her current series, The Raven Cycle, which is like nothing else I've read.

Gansey thought of how strange it was to know these two young men so well and yet to not know them at all. Both so much more difficult and so much better than when he’d first met them. Was that what life did to them all? Chiselled them into harder, truer versions of themselves?

The third and most recent installment, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, published last month and left me impatiently tapping my fingers for the final installment of the series. We've talked a lot about this series on CEFS, and everything we've said before holds true for Blue Lily, Lily Blue. There's magic infused in this series, but the real magic in found in the complex dynamics of Blue and the Aglionby boys, Ronan, Adam, Noah and, of course, Gansey. 

“You can be just friends with people, you know,” Orla said. “I think it’s crazy how you’re in love with all those raven boys.”

Orla wasn’t wrong, of course. But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.

The intricacies of the groups multitude of relationships continue to surprise me with each twist and turn. The real gem in this installment was the further complicating of Blue and Gansey's relationship, which isn't give much page time, but leaves both the reader and the characters yearning for more of what they cannot have. 

As I do with all books late in series, I won't talk much about the details, but needless to say, Blue Lily, Lily Blue only made me long for the as-yet untitled finale so much. There's a special quality this this series that doesn't come around very often. I see these books labeled as slow by their detractors quite frequently, but for me that's their strength. The plots gradually unfurl as tiny details about the characters and their world are revealed.

The Raven Cycle a real treasure and if you haven't picked up this series yet, you need to fix that as soon as possible. (Hey, and you have a chance to right here--read on for more!)


Tarot Tour

When we were asked to participate in the virtual tour for Blue Lily, Lily Blue featuring the 22 cards from the major arcana of the tarot deck, designed by Maggie herself, we couldn't say no, even though we typically don't participate in tours and promotions--that's how outstanding this series is. 

Twenty-two bloggers are helping celebrate the release of Blue Lily, Lily Blue with special tarot readings of respective cards--it's up to us to try to interpret the past, present and future of the series. You can follow along with the tour, which is running from November 1 to November 22, on its Pinterest page. 

The Clear Eyes, Full Shelves card is a real treat, if I do say so myself:  Strength.

This is one of the cards in the tarot deck which is considered to be relatively unambiguous. It was originally named Fortitude, and that concept is still key in interpreting the card. Yesterday's card was the Chariot, which represents outer strength, while Strength is the inward interpretation of that same quality.

Upright, the card symbolizes the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles, with compassion, patience and cunning. Reversed, Strength represents self-doubt and reliance on other's feelings to make decisions for your own life. It plays an interesting role in relationship readings and can indicate an intense relationship that not only can last a lifetime, but into the next. 

For our The Raven Cycle tarot reading, I thought I'd look at the group as a whole for their past. present and future as related to Strength. At this point, it's clear that this group is intertwined in a way that transcends them as individuals, and that despite their differences, their fortunes, joys and pain will rise and fall as a unit.

Our hearts must grow resolute, our courage more valiant, our spirits must be great, though our strength grows less.
— The Dream Thieves

Past

You remained focused on a singular goal in the search for the sleeping king, Glendower. While others threatened the group's mission, you worked together to overcome these obstacles. However, your true feelings were masked by fear of the unknown. As a result, the group was threatened by jealousy and insecurity, particularly as Blue deflected her complicated feelings for Gansey in favor of exploring a safer relationship with Adam. Trusting each of your own strengths and the strengths of each other will help ensure that your mission is successful. 

Present

You are drawing on the each individual's unique strengths to support the group's quest. Ronan's control over his dreams boost all of your strengths, while Adam's resolve to release himself from the bindings of his family--thanks to the support of Gansey and Ronan--helps him begin to find the strength he needs to be the person he hopes to become. Sometimes strength is found hiding within weakness, and Blue and Gansey's tentative and scary exploration of what could be between them showed that  

Future

The group will be threatened as resolve falters, with each individual facing doubt about the chances of success, and its costs. A loss will loom large, but you will find strength within yourself and within others to keep moving forward. However, do not forget that the Strength card in a relationship reading is something of a double-edged sword. Take care that you are not pushing the boundaries of trust within the group too far, for it can fracture irreparably. Do not forget that in the context of relationships, Strength indicates love that can transcend this life into another. Perhaps a sacrifice by one will test each of your resolves?

(Note: Any errors in tarot interpretation are my own. I am not an expert and simply did some cramming in preparation for this piece.)


Giveaway

The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater PLUS a Limited Edition Tarot Deck of the 22 Major Arcana Designed by Maggie Stiefvater

We've teamed up with Scholastic to give away this fantastic prize to one Clear Eyes, Full Shelves reader. You can come back each day to earn more entries and improve your chances of winning. This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only. (Apologies to our international readers--we still love you!)

Learn More

About the Author

Entertainment Weekly has called Maggie Stiefvater, “one of the finest YA novelists writing today.” Maggie Stiefvater is a writer, artist, and musician and the New York Times bestselling author of Shiver, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as, “a lyrical tale,” and by BookPage as, “beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.” There are more than 1.8 million copies of the Shiver trilogy in print. Since publication, rights to thirty-six foreign editions of Shiver have been licensed. Linger, the second book in the Shiver trilogy, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The Scorpio Races (2011) was named to the following best of the year lists for 2011: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews. In addition, The Scorpio Races was named a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association and a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. Time Magazine called, The Raven Boys, Book #1 in Stiefvater’s latest New York Times bestselling series The Raven Cycle, “A flirtier kind of horror-fantasy, aimed at teens clutching tattered Twilight and Sandman paperbacks....Stiefvater’s quirky prose has ample nerdy pleasures.” Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her family.

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