Review: The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves,
by Maggie Stiefvater

In Maggie Stiefvater’s sequel to 2012’s The Raven Boys, the Cabeswater ley line has been awakened, but Blue, Gansey, Adam and Ronan are no closer to finding the lost Welsh king Glendower. In fact, things are more complicated than ever. Adam’s sacrifice Cabeswater seems to have worked, but he doesn’t know what the ley line wants with him, or how to hold up his part of the bargain. Blue and Gansey’s relationship is suddenly complicated by romance. And Ronan–angry, troubled, violent Ronan–travels deeper and deeper into his dreams, even while his dreams begin to intrude into his waking life. Meanwhile, dangerous people circle closer, bent on locating Glendower before they can. Ronan must find a way to channel his dreams for good, or else the ley line might disappear, ruining Gansey’s hopes of ever finding the lost king.

I’ve read and reviewed several of Stiefvater’s novels, and I have liked each better than the last. The Dream Thieves surpassed my expectations in nearly every way. The novel is haunting, beautiful and unsettling and delicious, the kind of book that gets under your skin so much that you think about it for days after you’ve finished the last page. As Stiefvater grows as an author, her writing becomes more abstract, relying on simple images to convey complex ideas, and vice versa. Her imagery is incredible. It speaks for itself: here, Stiefvater describes a political gala attended by Gansey and Adam:

The party had become a devil’s feast: will-o’-the-wisps caught in brass hunting lamps, impossibly bright meats presented on ivy-filigreed platters, men in black, women jeweled in green and red. The painted trees of the ceiling bent low overhead. Adam was wired and exhausted, here and somewhere else. Nothing was real but him and Gansey.

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Review: The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys, by
Maggie Stiefvater

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that if she kisses her true love, he will die.

Because Blue is the only non-seer in a family of clairvoyants, all of whom agree on this one basic fact. But true love–and kissing, for that matter–seem like far-off eventualities for Blue, until the fateful night when she accompanies her aunt to the graveyard on St. Mark’s Eve and sees her first ever ghost. Except he’s not dead, at least not yet. He has a name: Gansey. And the only reason Blue can see him is because he’s either her true love….or she killed him.

And soon after, Blue’s world collides with the living Gansey and his tight-knit group of Aglionby Prep School friends, nicknamed Raven Boys for the mascot stitched onto their blazers. Despite her usual aversion to Raven Boys, Blue is immediately drawn to the four friends; disturbed, angry Ronan, whose difficult relationship with his brother drives him to drink and violence; Adam, the smart scholarship student who fears going home at night because his father beats him; quiet Noah, who watches everything but never says much; and rich, handsome Gansey, whose mysterious quest for a sleeping king and a prophecy binds his friends together like glue despite their differences.

Is one of these boys Blue’s true love, destined to die if she kisses him? And what is her role in the resurrection of Glendower, the sleeping Welsh king of legend? And most importantly, can she keep Gansey from dying, possibly by her own hand?

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