The Dream Thieves is the second of the Raven Cycle books and takes place very shortly after The Raven Boys concluded.
When we last left off with the gang, Ronan had just admitted that he pulled his raven, Chainsaw, from his dreams. It’s been a few months and Ronan is struggling with his dreams – more like nightmares. He is haunted by monstrous shadows that seem intent on killing him. He also has little control over what objects he can remove from his dreams.
Adam, meanwhile, is acting strangely. Since making his sacrifice to Cabeswater, he is becoming more distant and curt with the group. He becomes violently angry when Blue won’t tell him the reason she refuses to kiss him. Often times he sees apparitions that the others do not and wonders if he is being haunted.
As if the trouble with Ronan and Adam wasn’t bad enough, Noah has begun to reenact his last moments but is unaware that he is doing so. He has trouble holding onto his corporeal form and occasionally disappears.
In an attempt to help his friends, Gansey takes them to Cabeswater in hopes of discovering what is wrong and exploring the area more. They are more than startled to find that, while they are in the correct location, Cabeswater has completely disappeared and the energy from the ley lines is fluctuating – and not in a good way.
To compound matters even more, a mysterious man known as the Gray Man has been hired to come to Henrietta to find the Greywarren, a mysterious object that can extract from dreams. This causes him to inevitably cross paths with Blue and her family, particularly her mother Maura. But who hired him? What do they want with the Greywarren? And what is the Gray Man’s connection to Niall Lynch, Ronan’s deceased father?
Let’s throw in the fact that both Blue and Gansey find themselves slowly crushing on each other but don’t want to tell Adam to spare his feelings, shall we?
I found The Dream Thieves to be more fun and action based than the previous novel. Since we are now acquainted with our intrepid heroes, delving into their individual quirks and how it affects not only themselves but each other seems like a good bet. I found myself sympathizing with all of the boys and their plights, but most especially Gansey as he tries to reconcile with life he has had with the life Adam has survived. Gansey genuinely wants to help Adam in any way he can, but often finds that is wealthy upbringing clashes with Adam’s more impoverished life.
Gansey also struggles with the fact that what happened to Adam may be his own fault; if he hadn’t pulled Adam into the search for Glendower, Adam wouldn’t have made his sacrifice. Each of the characters must confront their internal struggles and reconcile themselves with their new situations. All but Blue seem to achieve this to some extent, but there’s still time for Blue.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Dream Thieves, which left off on an even bigger cliffhanger than before. Maggie Stiefvater, why do you do this to us?
My rating: 4/5