Synopsis: If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?
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.
Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Previous books in the series:
“Reality’s what other people dream for you.”
Damn these books. Three nights’ worth of sleep because of them and I’m just finishing The Dream Thieves. I need to catch up, but firstly — this book was magical and wonderful and set my heart on fire, gave it wings, plunged it into darkness and cemented the status of the series as a new favorite of mine. Go figure.
Left with a shock back in The Raven Boys, we, or rather they, are still on a quest to find the long-lost Welsh King, Glendower. But the plot thickens when Ronan’s secrets come to the surface and threaten to explode into dreams — quite literally.
Turns out, Ronan is maybe the most special of the Raven boys. With the ability to make a reality out of his dreams, his destiny as a Greywaren is both fascinating and creepy, but that’s the norm in Henrietta so let’s move on. His self-destructive, raw and intense mind has also the potential of bringing the world to its knees by draining it of life. It felt nice to see through his eyes, despite his head being a cruel and dark place to be. He has lots of issues, but sparks of the boy under the hard facade make him as lovable as the rest: his adoration of his father, his soft attention to Adam, his unwavering loyalty and admiration for Gansey and his almost paternal dynamic with his younger brother all paint him in a different light.
His first secret was himself. He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.
My love for the spectacular girl named Blue Sargent knows no bounds. Blue is so imaginatively nuanced and incredibly cool. She’s the awesomest of the women at 300 Fox Way, despite her non-psychic life, which says a lot considering the specimens waiting for her at home. Punkish, weirdish, but a great person.
“In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them.
Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
Her raven boys.”
The character of Gansey will be the death of me. HE’S SO PERFECT. His geekiness. His posh persona. His obliviousness. His kindness. His otherworldly drive. His insatiable curiosity. His sarcasm. His view of the world. They’re all just simple counterparts of the same bewildering piece of fiction; he’s a piece of art in his individuality. He shines as no other and remains as the foundation of the story from every angle.
“While I’m gone,” Gansey said, pausing, “dream me the world. Something new for every night.”
My love for Adam diminished by a few shades. His admirable integrity was at the core of his beliefs, but after a while his pride and urgent need of independence became awfully tiring. Sure, he’s messed up since the end of the first book, but throwing hissy fits does not bode well in any scenery. He’s broken, alright. A ticking bomb. He does reach a relative balance by the final of the novel but it did not make up for those gut-wrenching fights with Gansey. Man, those broke me, because Gansey tried so much to help his friend, but it was simply not enough.
“It’s like you’re so keen on being Adam Parrish, army of one.”
Sadly enough, I realized a tidbit that did not struck me reading the first book: Noah feels like a secondary character. I love the glimpses into his personality and his strange sense of humor and his shyness, but he remains a sidekick, even if he is in the inner circle. Since we do not have his POV, Gansey’s gravitational pull that manifests upon Ronan and Adam throughout their respective chapters does not appear in his case, implicitly creating a disruption between him and the squad since Gansey is the axis of their world. Perhaps it’s because of the fact that he is indeed faded, unlike the full force and lively flame of the others. Perhaps not.
Another distinct element I felt was that, this time, the group or individual characters were not the focus; this time, the relationships, one-on-one were developed so much more and I loved every piece of the process. For instance, Ronan and Adam, a pair that felt overlooked in the sequel, now felt like a powerful friendship. Adam and Gansey hit a few bumps along the road, but they were still an intricate part of the story. Ronan and Gansey suddenly proved the brotherhood and bromance that we we’re only teased with, sharing their history. Blue and Noah was a marvelous thing and so was the Ronan and Noah exhilarating dynamic, although few and far between since Noah was, as I said, inconsistent in his presence. Even Ronan and Blue with their baby-stepped improvement.
“Ronan,” Noah said, “I have a super bad feeling.”
“It’s called being dead,” Ronan replied.
“That’s the sort of joke that’s only funny if you’re alive.”
“Good thing I am.”
And, of course, Blue and Gansey. Be still, my heart. The subtle romance unraveling between these two had me giddy with excitement and positively dreading the possible outcome of Gansey dying. That particular scene where it feels like they’re the only ones in the world turned me into a fangirl. They’re just so perfect. So cute. Every ‘Jane’ had me smiling, every hidden glance of Blue’s had me giggling and every single parallel universe Gansey conjured in his head dropped a bucket of sadness into the story. There’s gotta be a loophole. I want Blue and Gansey to create their little Henrietta heaven and live happily ever after searching kings and souls. There’d better be a loophole. My soul needs a loophole. THERE HAS TO BE A LOOPHOLE. Right? Right?!
“I wish you could be kissed, Jane,’ he said. ‘Because I would beg just one off you. Under all this.’ He flailed an arm toward the stars.”
A surprising and curious addition to the cast was materialized in the face of The Gray Man. I don’t even know what to call him — an antihero? A villain? A hero? Something in between all these, anyways. And he fit perfectly into this peculiar and odd gathering of strong, distinguished and well developed characters, primary and secondary alike. I am a definite fan of his.
And, last but not least, I need to mention the Sargent women and their immediate non-related family. The trio was back at it again and it was a delight watching them playing the innocent devils. Honestly, Calla and Maura and Persephone made me laugh numerous times and I just love their familiarity, strangeness and questionable wisdom.
I need to admit that my attention often wavered because we’re still talking about Glendower and energy and souls and all that jazz which, no matter how unique and interesting in principle, it does lose its appeal after a while. Fortunately, the focus on Ronan brought to table this imaginative (seriously, wow) idea of dream thievery and there were plenty of plot developments on that part, even though at times complicated to comprehend.
The Dream Thieves was a great follow-up with a lovely blend of everything I love: adventure, romance, emotion overload, humor and thrills. I cannot wait to see what Henrietta and this little band of misfits have in store for me next.
“If you never saw the stars, candles were enough.”