Thursday, September 05, 2013
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Last year I was enchanted by Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, and I was delighted to move on to The Dream Thieves and continue the mysterious adventures of Blue Sergeant, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah. Mystery, psychics, ley lines, living dreams, ghosts, and the fabled Owen Glendower all create a successful mix in Stiefvater's Raven Cycle.
Usually, I have no difficulty moving into a sequel, even if it has been several years since I read the first in the series. I admit, however, that The Dream Thieves didn't gel as quickly as I thought it might. (I should have stopped at that point and re-read The Raven Boys before continuing, but I have little self-discipline and could not resist persevering AND THEN going back to re-read the first book.)
The Raven Boys becomes darker toward the end, and that sense darkness continues in The Dream Thieves. The search for Glendower is still on, but in the meantime, Cabeswater has disappeared, and other difficulties continue to manifest.
Ronan's role is larger in this book, and the background of the Lynch family is more important than the first book revealed. Ronan has a power that frightens him (and you know with Ronan that takes some doing). Ronan conveys such a strong sense of self: the implied threat that his very presence gives and the grief he carries from the terrible events his family has suffered have great impact. (Hard to be clear and avoid spoilers.)
Who else is looking for Glendower and/or the Greywaren? More than one villain surfaces with selfish and evil intent. Stiefvater manipulates our emotions concerning the Grey Man and the way he is received by the psychics in an intriguing way. His character is a fine addition to the cast.
This, for me, is YA fiction at its best. Good writing, a plot that is interesting on more than one level, characters who live and breathe (flawed and fabulous and human), moral dilemmas and ambiguous situations--not a sop to young readers, but a book that respects the intelligence of readers young or old.
Although I liked The Raven Boys better, I thoroughly enjoyed The Dream Thieves and hate having to wait for the next book!
Don't read The Dream Thieves as a stand-alone. Be sure to read The Raven Boys first!
The following awards are for The Raven Boys:
YA/Paranormal. Sept. 17, 2013. Print version: 416 pages.