Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle (Book 2)
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 30, 2014)
Age range: 14 years
Language: English
ISBN-10: 054542495X
ISBN-13: 978-0545424950
Age range: 14 years
Amazon Review: 4.5 stars

Book blurb as seen on Amazon:

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.

I love Stiefvater. I’ve adored everything of hers I’ve read so far. Okay, so that only amounts to three books, but they were three good books. I am simply swept away by her imagery and prose and the deep wells that her characters swim in full of dark secrets, longings and desires.

But after reading The Dream Thieves I am beginning to understand why some readers do not appreciate her style. There were points in the book when I was seriously confused. Did I miss something? Was there a clue or a reference I’d overlooked? Or had I simply forgotten details from The Raven Boys which I read some time ago. It’s highly possible I had forgotten information from the The Raven Boys, but more likely this is just Stiefvater’s style. I remember feeling the same way reading Book 1. Stiefvater states information like the reader already knows it, leaving out all the back story. While it may be slightly frustrating at times, mostly I find it intriguing. She is a master at creating characters who have lived long before they hit the page and they are fully fleshed people with stories you don’t get to hear every detail. She always leaves me wanting more, which is far better than wishing the book had been shorter!

In this novel, we get a much closer look at Ronan. To be honest, I’m not a bad boy kind of girl. I’m not usually attracted to that kind of character. And I detest the character who is perpetually angry and striking out at the world. But Stiefvater managed to entice this grumpy, recalcitrant boy into a character even I wanted to know better. The story line in this book is far more about Ronan than the other characters this time, though they each get a fair portion of play. And I especially enjoyed the scenes with Noah and Blue. They were adorable, poignant and bittersweet.

But Ronan is the focus and we see why he has become this angry bomb always threatening to go off. Plus the story line woven around his character is gripping and mesmerizing and you can’t take your eyes off the potential train wreck, hoping it won’t derail, but wondering how fantastic the fall out would be if it does. And Stiefvater doesn’t disappoint. This was as spectacular as the first book.

We also see a great deal of Adam’s predicament with his sacrifice to Cabeswater, Blue’s troubles with love, knowing she will kill her true love if she kisses him and knowing Gansey will die before the year is out, but I didn’t feel we saw much of Gansey. Since the first had a great deal of him, I guess it’s okay that he was a little absent in this novel, but I hope to see more in the next book.

I don’t like to give away too much, as you can see from my vague review, but I loved this book. It was as magical and entertaining as the first, and I can’t wait to read the third!

My Review: 4/5 stars