Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterSynopsis from Inside Cover:

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.

Of The Raven BoysEntertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.

Review:

Since the ley line was awakened, nothing has been the same for the Raven Boys and Blue. This time the focus is on Ronan Lynch, who can literally make his dreams reality. Ronan kept this a secret from everyone until Adam sacrificed himself to Cabeswater, a magical place on the ley line. Now his dreams are becoming more dangerous, and there are people who want to use his power for their own gain.

I loved Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves, sequel to The Raven Boys. The concept of pulling something out of a dream into the real world, being a Greywaren, was pretty mind-blowing. Ronan pulled Chainsaw, his pet raven, from his dreams and made a perfect replica of the Camaro’s key. But really, to pull a living thing from a dream is quite a power.

The Raven Boys revolved around Gansey, Blue, and Adam, so I was surprised to find that the majority of the second book was devoted to Ronan’s doings. This made him appear less prickly. Most of his growth is learning to harness his power. The Gray Man comes to realize what the worst can be. And Adam works to counter the effects of his abuse and figures out what his sacrifice entails.

As for the construction of the world, it is good where dream-thieving is concerned. However, Stiefvater did not explain enough about the ley line and Blue’s psychic family for someone to start with this book and then go back to the first. Stiefvater is a great storyteller, but she fell a little short on recapping.

I pinpointed three themes. The first is finding one’s self or one’s place in the world, a common theme in young adult fiction. Both Ronan and Adam realize the power they wield and learn where they fit in the grand scheme of things, which in this series is Cabeswater. The second theme is the fact that everyone has secrets. “All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or kept-from, players or played” (Stiefvater, 1). The secrets in this book are of the deadly and the difficult-to-nearly-incomprehensible variety. Ronan was told to never tell anyone about his dreams. Once he started telling the secret, he caught the eye of a power-hungry collector. The third theme is facing fears. Ronan faces one of his killer nightmares. The Gray Man faces the one great evil that has haunted him since childhood. Blue, to an extent, faces her fear of kissing a boy (her kiss is prophesied to be the death of her true love). The extent is kissing the ghost of a boy. So, no harm done.

Another beautiful cover. It does an excellent job of showing Ronan’s ability to bring his dreams to life. One could argue that dreams come from the head. But remember Disney’s Cinderella (1950)? Cinderella sings: “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” The beloved raven is one such wish of the heart.

The Dream Thieves is a great paranormal/fantasy novel. However, if you are new to the Raven Cycle, I would recommend starting with The Raven Boys.

Genres: Paranormal YA

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

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