Title: The Dream Thieves (2013)
Series: The Raven Cycle – Book 2
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Extent: 437 pages
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.
One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.
Ronan is one of the raven boys – a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface – changing everything in its wake.
You guys… I think I’m falling madly in love with this series. I mean, I’ve always known that it’s likely my kind of thing, but I never knew just how much it is my kind of thing. This review might contain spoilers for that first book, so please proceed at your own risk.
The Dream Thieves starts a few weeks after The Raven Boys ended, after Blue and her boys found Cabeswater and all things good and awful about it. There are new villains, new magic being explored, and new challenges to overcome. Ronan, previously a sort-of-side character, takes more of a central role here, with many, many chapters devoted to his POV and his own character development.
“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.”
Make no mistake: this book is really, really, really slow. The first half mostly introduces new characters or expands on previous characters’ arcs, and the pacing doesn’t pick up until much later in the book. The plot is even more complex than before, with various characters having their own conflicting goals and motivations to ‘have a finger in the pie’, so to speak.
I love how Stiefvater develops her characters. All of them are three-dimensional and very well-written, with little details that just endear them to you. The writing is smart and thought-provoking, lending credibility that make the whole book come alive in my head. It’s not exactly emotional (yet?), but it is impactful in its own way.
“You really didn’t see the sadness or the longing unless you already knew it was there. But that was the trick, wasn’t it? Everyone had their disappointment and their baggage; only, some people carried it in their inside pockets and not on their backs.”
Now, this book is weird, but it’s weird in the best possible way. It answers some questions that I had from the first book, but raises tons more in their place. Rules are bent, twisted and broken. Characters surprised me constantly. Some people might dislike this, but I actually really, really loved it.
In the end, I’m just super glad that this book made me want to continue on with the series. Very often second books fail — the plot becoming too convoluted to follow, the characters turning into unrecognisable versions of themselves — but The Dream Thieves quite easily captured my attention and didn’t let go until the final page.