Book Review

The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves

  • Author: Maggie Stiefvater
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: September 17, 2013
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Series: The Raven Cycle #2

CONTENT WARNING: blood, violence, death of a parent, murder, alcohol use, abuse, drug use, death

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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.

These books have been burning a hole … on my shelf? Is that even a term? Oh well, it is now. Ever since I finished the first book, I couldn’t wait to get into the rest of the series. Unfortunately, responsibilities and earlier due dates prevented me from diving right in until now. But WHOA.

Reading this after I’ve already gotten attached to each of the characters and had a little time to mull over the story in the first book was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t help but love each of the characters in this story — they’re all so well-created, even the side characters, and each and every one adds something to the story. And I couldn’t help but notice how all of the MCs are broken in their own way, despite having a range of coping skills, mostly unhealthy. Gansey is obviously fixated on finding Glendower, Blue can’t let her guard down around the guys and experience her true feelings for a *certain someone* without being afraid that she’ll kill him if they kiss so she bottles things up, Noah is … having a rough time just existing, Ronan just holds everything in and gets angry and drunk, and Adam is struggling with reconciling who he is and who he wants to be with how to get there without accepting help:

“That might have been good enough, if he hadn’t known what else was out there. If he hadn’t grown up next door to Aglionby Academy. If you never saw the stars, candles were enough.”

While there is a little bit of romance running through the story, it certainly isn’t a central theme. It’s more of an underlying thread, and due to Blue’s restriction, it can’t be acted on. However, it does create a little tension with hints of a love triangle. But at its heart, this is much more of a found family story. The protagonists are something much deeper than simply friends, and have become something of a family:

“She’d never been good at having casual friends. For Blue, there was family—which had never been about blood relation at 300 Fox Way—and then there was everyone else. When the boys came to her house, they stopped being everyone else.”

There’s plenty of action throughout the story as well. The pacing was a little slow up until the middle of the book, but then it took off like a rocket. I flew through the last half of the book, mainly because I just couldn’t put it down. There’s so much going on, that even though the perspective shifts through multiple characters, I always wanted to see what was happening from the different POVs. In addition to the characters on their original mission to find Glendower, there’s something funky going on with the ley line, people are hunting for Ronan’s secrets, a lot of background info is slowly revealed along the way, and some romance is in the air. And underneath all of that is the ticking clock on Gansey’s life:

“Then there was the awkward moment that arrives when two thirds of the people in the room know that the other third is supposed to die in fewer than nine months, and the person who is meant to die is not one of the ones in the know.”

This is definitely a great second book. It finished with an ending that simultaneously left me feeling satisfied and desperate to jump into the next book immediately. But above all, it’s a world I don’t want to leave just yet.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 11

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