Monday, September 9, 2013

Me on The Dream Thieves

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after... Ronan, for one, has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself. One secret is he can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things. He's one of the raven boys, a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead Welsh 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.

The Dream Thieves is just as mystical and enchanting as its predecessor and even more dangerous than I expected. The search for the long dead Welsh king hidden somewhere along the ley lines continues, but new and more deadly figures are coming out of the shadows, searching for something impossible and coveted. Things have changed for the raven boys, and things are coming together, ready to collide in a mix of fire and dreams.

This book takes readers back to Henrietta, back to Blue and her raven boys, her complicated and battered boys. If The Raven Boys was curiosity, if it was magic, if it was the unveiling of something, The Dream Thieves is the aftermath, the effects of what happened at and after Cabeswater. It's the nightmares and the monsters. There are new dangerous things they must face, new faces and new forces are coming into play with their own motives. The pieces of a larger story or event are falling into place with this book. Not completely, but a picture is slowly forming.

First they were a curious group of four raven boys, a group bolstered by the sensible addition of Blue. Now, they have problems they need to face on their own. Ronan's secrets and dreams. Gansey's continuing search for Glendower. Adam's coming to terms with who he is now after Cabeswater. Blue's future and what it will bring. Even Noah's existence. As much as they're forced apart, they'll have to come together in order to fix what's gone wrong.

There's a tone running through this book that differs from the first. Here, everything feels infinitely more dangerous than previously expected. It feels rougher, harder, heavier, deadlier. Everyone's place in the world feels slightly more precarious than previously thought.

Looking at the series so far, Stiefvater knows how to craft a story that will keep readers reading, how to create flawed and impossibly complicated characters for readers to cheer on, how to build worlds filled with magic for readers to lose themselves in, and how to write and ending that both satisfies the reader while leaving them wanting more. Wondering what's to come, wondering what will happen next to Blue and the raven boys, is just as exciting as reading what's already happened to them.

(A book review blogger sent me an advance copy she picked up at Book Expo America.)

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