Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Length: 439 pages
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.
Where do I even begin with my love for The Dream Thieves? I was so excited to read this book for several reasons- 1), it was the second book of what had recently become one of my favorite series, 2), the synopsis was so alluring in ways that I can’t even express, and 3), I was drawn to Ronan as a character after being introduced to him in The Raven Boys, and this book helped me to really understand him. If I was forced to choose a favorite raven boy, it would probably be him.
As it was the case with The Raven Boys, the packaging for The Dream Thieves isn’t an absolute favorite of mine- I did really love being able to see Ronan on the cover, though, as it really highlighted the fact that much of the premise of this book surrounded him.
Maggie is magical. And honestly, when taking into consideration her ability to weave the most brilliant, intriguing, strange, complex, and developed storylines, calling her magical isn’t much of a stretch. The words that she uses to describe her worlds and her characters are so vivid- when she describes the pulsing energy of the ley lines, the reader can practically feel the energy with their own hands. When she describes her characters, and describes the uncontrollable Kavinsky or the lovable Matthew or the sinister Gray Man and the stubborn Blue, it’s impossible for them not to feel real.
God, these characters. It’s incredible how they manage to both touch and break my heart. This book was genuinely very important in terms of character development- and not just for Ronan, alone. All the characters and their relationships grew and developed throughout this book, and I walked away from this book having fallen in love with them all even more. New characters are introduced, from Joseph Kavinsky to Matthew Lynch to The Gray Man. I could go on for hours about the characters in this book alone.
Blue’s love for her boys only continues to grow in this book. We learn so much more about her as a character, and she becomes established as someone real. We see her fears, her doubts, her insecurities, and we see her relationship with Adam, and the ways in which she begins to learn about herself. The connection between her and Gansey solidifies and grow stronger, and it’s with both excitement and horror that readers begin to see just how easily their connection could grow.
The Dream Thieves was very important for Adam in particular- almost as important as it was for Ronan. I won’t lie- Adam was extremely difficult for the majority of this book, and at first glance, it’s easy to want to dislike him. But the truth is, more than anything, he worries me. He’s been hurt, and continues to be hurt, and he worries that that’s exactly all he ever causes- hurt.
Gansey becomes so much more real in this book because we get to genuinely see him in ways that we didn’t necessarily get to in The Raven Boys. He becomes less of the spirit that Blue saw on St. Mark’s Eve, or the cocky, rich, perfected and preened Aglionby boy- he becomes a real, teenage boy (who, granted, has many of the characteristics of a 60-year-old history professor) that we get to connect with. We see him. And that only makes it hurt more when we remember that he’s going to die.
My poor, sweet Noah. I hurt for Noah. He’s involved in one of the most heartbreaking kisses of all time- one that would have been otherwise impossible for both him and Blue. (<- highlight blank text for spoilers).
And Ronan. In this book, we learn about Ronan, and we learn about his gift- the gift that he shared with his father, the gift of being able to pull strange, dark objects from his dreams. We learn about the Barns, and his mother, and his siblings, and more about why he’s always so angry. We learn about the disguised, but deep, affection that he has for his friends. We learn about all the love he has buried away, and all the love that he has to coat in bitterness and venom to keep from breaking his heart. Nothing hurt me more than when we learned the truth about Matthew- Ronan created the thing he loved most in the world in a dream. He created something so good and so pure, something that he protected so fiercely (<-highlight blank text for spoilers). I fell in love with Ronan Lynch in this book.
We continue to follow the search for Glendower, the dead Welsh king, and the sense of urgency to find him only grows. No one forgets the wish that is promised to the person that finds him. But as Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah search for Glendower, other people begin searching, as well- and not all for Glendower. Some come for the Greywaren.
What made this plot so complex is the fact that it doesn’t tell one, singular story. There are different stories told within the main story that live on inside of each of the characters. Each of the characters themselves is a story, and this plot was genuinely phenomenal.
The Dream Thieves was heartwrenching, gorgeous, strange, clever, and beautiful- everything that I would expect after reading The Raven Boys. My love for this series only grew with this book, and it’s something that haunted me for days after I had read it for the first time.