As the title of this post suggests, this is a review for Maggie Stiefvater’s newly released book The Dream Thieves. That being known, let me clarify a few things. I promise this review will contain no spoilers. Really, I promise. It also probably won’t make a lot of sense unless you’ve read the first book in Maggie’s Raven Cycle, The Raven Boys. If you haven’t read The Raven Boys, you need to stop reading this review and go read it. You’ll thank me later. If you have read it but it’s been a while, here’s a quick recap.
There’s a girl named Blue and she’s from a family of psychics, only Blue herself isn’t psychic but she does have the power to amplify other people’s psychic abilities. She’s also been told that if she kisses her one true love, he will die. Then there are these boys, called the “Raven boys”, from this elite prep school called Aglionby Academy. There’s Richard Campbell Gansey III, or just Gansey—rich, intelligent, friendly, and intent on finding the long-dead Welsh king Glendower. Then there’s Ronan Lynch, a wild card who likes fighting and car racing—also very rich. There’s Adam—not rich—who works three jobs to pay for his Aglionby education, grew up with an abusive father, and has a crush on Blue. Lastly, there’s Noah, who’s dead, which doesn’t count as a spoiler because if you have read The Raven Boys you would already know this and if you haven’t remember that I told you to stop reading this review. Anyway, Blue falls in with these Raven boys as they join Gansey on his quest to find his Welsh king and while they don’t succeed in finding the sleeping king, Adam wakes the ley line, a magical energy line running through their hometown of Henrietta, Virginia.
Now The Dream Thieves picks up the story. The Dream Thieves holds much of the same magic as The Raven Boys, bringing mythical elements into a realistic setting. Hinted at in The Raven Boys but revealed in The Dream Thieves, Ronan has a special talent inherited from his father—he can bring objects from his dreams back into the real world, which also doesn’t count as a spoiler because you can read about it on the book jacket. Adam has a special talent too, which he received after waking the ley line at the end of The Raven Boys—he’s the eyes and hands of Cabeswater, the magical place where Gansey believes Glendower is buried.
In The Raven Boys, Maggie sets the scene and introduces the characters and the story, but in The Dream Thieves she does an excellent job of expanding and developing the characters as the story progresses. Adam grows as a character, for better or worse, as he deals with his pride, his feelings for Blue, his past, and his newfound role as the envoy of Cabeswater. The reader learns more about Ronan and his family, and Ronan matures. He’s still the thrill seeker who loves the adrenaline high, but by the end of the book he learns an important lesson about the difference between thieving and asking for something. Poor Noah is still dead, but he’s there to support his friends. Blue begins to sort out her feelings for the various Raven boys, and both she and Gansey realize how important it is to grow up surrounded by people who love you because not everyone is so lucky…cough…Adam.
The new character additions to the Raven Cycle are the hitman Mr. Gray and Aglionby student Joseph Kavinsky. Mr. Gray is looking for something, the greywaren, but he doesn’t know what it is. Things get complicated for him when he finally does find it and when he gets mixed up with Blue’s mother Maura and the other psychics. Kavinsky always seem to have it out for Ronan, but his personality reflects Ronan’s more dangerous qualities. Kavinsky is also a thrill seeker and enjoys nothing more than street racing with Ronan. He also enjoys getting drunk and high, two things that only make him more dangerous, and he’s harboring secrets of his own.
All that to say, Maggie Stiefvater has done it again. The Dream Thieves is an enjoyable read with mythical story elements and wonderful characters. After waiting so long for the book to come out, I read it in a day and now I wish I had drawn out the experience a little longer. Luckily, the story is not over and now it is time to wait for the release of the third book in the Raven Cycle in September 2014.