Friday, September 20, 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves
by Maggie Stiefvater
Read: July 8 - 10, 2013
Published: September 17, 2013 by Scholastic Press **UPCOMING**
Source: From publisher at BEA*
Category: YA, Fantasy
Series: The Raven Cycle 2

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... (From Goodreads)

NOTE: The Dream Thieves is the second book in a series. See my review of book 1, The Raven Boys, HERE


I read The Dream Thieves back in July, but for some reason my brain is having a very difficult time distilling this story into an appropriate form for a review. It's not that I don't have any thing to say about it. In fact, The Dream Thieves has induced one of my longest and most extensive email book discussions, but because of that, and it's location in the middle of a four book series (or cycle), I am having trouble writing about it without wanting to just talk about everything that happens with exclamation points!!!

The Dream Thieves is book two in the Raven Cycle. While The Raven Boys began slowly and then halfway through the book - BAM - revelations came fast and furious as the pace increased, this one features a steadier balance of action and revelations that carries through the entire book. As the title and cover indicate, The Dream Thieves is very much Ronan's book. We delve deeply into Ronan's mind and family, and find out some truly delicious and heart breaking secrets. Like pretty much everyone else, I fell hard for Ronan in this book. 

Adam also gets a fair number of important moments in book two, which I'm very thankful for because after the end of book one, it was anyone's guess what role he'd play in the future. Sometimes I think it still is. However, in The Dream Thieves we're given a better picture of what the events near the end of The Raven Boys will mean for him in the future. Like Adam, I finished reading book two much more settled about his purpose in this group. Although, admittedly I am still a tad worried. I tend to think of Adam as the ticking time bomb of the operation  His direction seems stable for now, but you never know when he might go off and change the course of the series.  

For those of you who are as crazy as I am about Maggie Stiefvater's ability to build romantic tension between her characters - you know the kind that starts so subtly and is paced so carefully that you don't notice it until the characters are so crackling with tension, you think the book might catch on fire - we get some developments on that front as well. Stiefvater is a very clever in how she paces her romances, and The Dream Thieves includes some deliciously quiet scenes between our budding love interests. If you are fearful of a huge love triangle, Stiefvater is true to her word and I don't see that being an issue. That doesn't mean there won't be any romance induced drama, however. 

While The Dream Thieves may be weighted more towards Ronan revelations, I think what is most exciting about the book is that we are finding that these characters journey to discover Glendower isn't just Gansey's quest any more, although he is still at its heart. The same major players are all fully invested - Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Blue and Noah - and every one of them has something at stake. But even more than that, a connection to Cabeswater and the ley lines extends beyond those 5 to include both Blue's family and also Ronan's. Plus some truly fantastic new characters who are quickly becoming favorites. Be on the lookout for Kavinsky and Mr. Gray especially. I hope they surprise, delight and horrify you as much as they did me. Basically, Maggie Stiefvater is brilliant at adding layer upon layer of plot and characters to her story. 

In The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater has once again proven her ability to string together fantastically complicated plots and interconnect a cast of characters who at first appear to be completely unlinkable. We now have so many plot pieces and characters happening, that I can't wait to see how they'll be thrown together next. However, it is Stiefvater's small personal scenes that are her true superpower, transforming her stories into magical experiences with wonderful character depth. Two stand out to me in The Dream Thieves. The first is a beautiful and bittersweet scene that features smudgy Noah. The other is The Gansey Family's attempt to be helpful. One made me laugh, the other tear up. But they're two examples of why I love Maggie's writing so much, and why she'll forever be one of my favorite authors. 

Love Triangle Factor: Mild
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium


  1. I have had the first book since before it came out but haven't had time to read it (shocker). With all the reviews of this one I'm really anxious to pick it up! And I already ordered this since Maggie will be here in a few weeks. So excited to read this series!

  2. Adam is, sadly, such a ticking bomb. Despite Gansey's imminent death looming, I'm most scared for Adam. I love this review, though, Lauren. That scene with Noah and then the other with Gansey's family were easily the most wonderful, though I love the epilogue with Ronan and Adam too. Frankly speaking, I just want to re-read this whole book. It was so lovely from start to finish and I can't get it out of my head at all! Wonderful review, dear!

  3. I've read so many fantastic reviews for this one -- but it's one I started then put down and haven't yet picked back up! I couldn't remember what happened the in the first book so the quest wasn't making sense to me in the second. I think I'll be better off reading the first over then reading this one. I love Maggie's writing and the way she challenges both her readers and her characters.

  4. For the record, Ronan's been my favorite since book one. Also--can we have book 3 now? I'm DYING. I loved discussing this book with you! This series has been and I think will continue to be the hardest reviews I write each year.

  5. I'm nervous to read this one Lauren! I loved The Raven Boys, and Ronan was actually one of my favorite characters in that book as I'm always drawn to the dark and damaged ones, but I fear I'll end this book with more questions than when I started which is the reason I'm hesitating. Your review is so stunning and so very convincing though, so I think maybe I'm going to cave and pick it up sooner rather than later. Also, I love Noah. That is all:)

  6. Like Keertana said, I love those two quiet scenes you mention, as well as the epilogue with Ronan & Adam. *sigh* Such an incredible series.

  7. I am so excited for this book! I think Maggie's strength is in creating these magical words that feel SO real and believable. Her intricate but unfussy plots, enigmatic characters and gorgeous prose are some other reasons I adore her books. I'm really excited to hear that Ronan plays a key part in this installment of the series because my heart broke for him in the first book. He's definitely one of those characters that incredibly complex and I can't wait to peel back the layers to see what's underneath. Another Maggie strength --- characters that are beautifully tragic. Like Noah. Poor, sweet Noah. I have no doubt this is one of those series' that keeps on getting better the further we go down the rabbit hole. So excited!

  8. Okay so I only just started reading The Raven Boys yesterday, I know I'm so slow on jumping on the bandwagon, so I'll definitely be coming back to your review once I've read the first book. I'm so glad that you enjoyed The Dream Thieves Lauren. I haven't had much luck with the books I've picked up by Stiefvater before, but I'm hoping The Raven Boys will win me over! :)

  9. I can't wait to fit this into my review schedule-The Raven Boys was one of my favorite reads last year and I'm expecting great things from this sequel after all the good buzz I've seen!

  10. Just wrapped up reading the Raven Cycle #2. I LOVED it. This one I thought was far more exciting and nail-biting than the first book. I'm with you on the new characters, Kavinsky was so easy to hate and The Gray Man, I'm still undecided which side he's on. I think he's more good than bad at this point. This is my first experience reading anything by Maggie and I'm very much impressed with her writing. Definitely will be checking out more books from her, thinking of reading The Scorpio Races soon, I hope.

  11. Love this:

    "However, it is Stiefvater's small personal scenes that are her true superpower, transforming her stories into magical experiences with wonderful character depth. Two stand out to me in The Dream Thieves. The first is a beautiful and bittersweet scene that features smudgy Noah. The other is The Gansey Family's attempt to be helpful. One made me laugh, the other tear up. But they're two examples of why I love Maggie's writing so much, and why she'll forever be one of my favorite authors. "

    Yep. Especially Noah! Gah, I just love him so.

    I love that this book slowly but surely brought me around in my feelings about Gansey. It's kind of surprising because Ronan stood out so much to me in The Raven Boys--I was beyond thrilled to have his story in The Dream Thieves--but now after reading it, it's GANSEY who I am falling for. I do hope that the next book is "his". Didn't we talk about that somewhere in our MASSIVE emails chains??

    And I love how we have gotten so much fantastic input on this book and series from blogger friends. It really has made the experience of reading this book so much better!

    Fantastic review!

  12. I remember having a LOT of diffculty reading the first book and even contemplating putting it down at first but halfway into it like you said BAM it just picked up the pace and i remeber being a hundred percent invested in it by the end. I can't wait to get my hands on book two! I hear it's pretty good and i'm excited to get inside Ronan's head although i really want to read more about GANSEY! Great review ;)
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog


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