Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….
Excuse my theatrics, but I want to marry and have children with this book. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys sequel The Dream Thieves hasn’t just got the most formidable title in the whole history of anticipated sequels, but it also properly delivers. It’s an uplifting, yet eerie conundrum of point of views, a mix of light and dark places, and it completely manages to effortlessly suck you into the magical world of Henrietta and Blue and her Raven Boys once more. The Dream Thieves picks up right where its predecessor left us hanging, coaxing us into the quest for Glendower at a hot and sweaty summer’s day, perfectly blending with the first volume’s atmosphere.
I did not think this book’s magic was able to get more powerful, but it most certainly did, especially with adding more of Ronan’s point of view to the story. There’s still the humour I so loved with the first book, but it’s going to darker places with a more proper introduction to Ronan’s and his brothers psyches, and his relationship with Aglionby Academy student/criminal Kavinsky. Stiefvater manages to paint a fine line between the innocent and sinister motivations of her characters and how they are defined and obscured by all the ley line’s secrets and desires, while a new villain, the ominously named The Gray Man, is out for the infamous Greywaren and his dream objects.
There’s a decent amount of romance going on (as much as I love the Gansey/Blue relationship, it’s definitely and thankfully not just about them); what really stands out about this sequel is that it puts the magical quest’s ambiguity to the foreground, and the doubts and insecurities this adventure brings out in our characters. There’s tumult for everyone – Blue’s own search for her something more and where her place is in her world, Adam’s dealing with the consequences of his choices from the first book, Noah’s longing for liveness, Gansey’s fear of losing his friends and himself in the process of finding his Welsh King, and of course Ronan’s job to keep his brothers safe from his ever-unravelling history and present, and himself from the secrets that have festered in him for years.
The Dream Thieves, even though it can be downright depressing at some points, always manages to keep up that peacefulness that The Raven Boys set out on. It’s still a hopeful story of friendship and loyalty, highlighting real struggles that every relationship would have to deal with even under less difficult circumstances. Once more, the prose is incredible, hilarious at one point, and then hounding the next, creating some serious tension that will keep you from putting this down once you’ve started. The characters remain real and vulnerable, but their struggles and how they ultimately live up to them (or not) are fascinating to observe. This book is a big puzzle box when it comes to twists and turns, so be prepared for Cabeswater and some serious power blackouts and surges in both the plot and our five favourite characters lives!