“A secret is a strange thing.
There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need to at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.
And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it.”
Maggie Stiefvater has quickly become one of my favorite authors, both within the Teen genre but also amongst authors in general. While she predominantly writes for the young adult audience, her writing is mature, elaborate and entrancing and the story lines she creates are addictive and so complex you can easily lose yourself in them. Her The Raven Boys was a truly enjoyable read and the most recent addition to the series, The Dream Thieves, made me love Stiefvater even more.
The ley line has been awoken and nothing is the same. The dynamic between Gansey’s group of friends has changed dramatically; Adam has become angry and withdrawn, Noah flutters in and out of existence, Blue’s role is becoming something much more personal and perhaps most importantly, Ronan’s secret is finally coming to light. Ronan has always been different, the self-proclaimed bad boy of the group, but even he is unaware of how powerful his mind is and how horrific the results of his dreams can be, especially when they cross the line of sleep and surge into reality. This skill is also gaining attention from strangers; a classmate will teach him the full extent of what he can create with his mind and a traveling murder man named Mr. Grey will begin a hunt to kill him and the power his mind possesses. Meanwhile, Cabeswater and the ley line is flickering, drained by some unknown force and Adam, being the closest with its mythical strength, will seek to heal it with the help of unlikely friend. When all of these elements surge together, Gansey will come one step closer to finding his lost King and Blue will lose the most important person to the very same forces that hide Gansey’s treasure.
There were numerous developments in The Dream Thieves that I loved, most of which centered on character development. It’s a point I have made before; so often in the teen genre the characters suffer for the sake of a fast-paced story line. However, Stiefvater walks that shaky line perfectly and the constant progression of her characters is hands down one of the greatest joys of this read. The first novel was very much about Gansey and Noah. The Dream Thieves focuses on Ronan and, to a lesser degree, Adam. I loved Adam in the first book and was unsure about Ronan. After finishing The Dream Thieves that opinion switched; now that I understand Ronan better he has become my favorite while Adam has slipped slightly in the hierarchy. I came to love everything about Ronan, especially when you are given glimpses through the rebel exterior (anyone who had read the chapter with the baby mouse will understand). Another highlight was how the physic women of the Sargent house play more influential and involved roles in this book. They all have their unique quirks and, especially in this book, seem to have specific roles to play in the search for the sleeping Welsh King.
Lastly (but certainly not least), the myth and history of the story remain just as strong as they were in the first novel. If the characters weren’t enough to keep you hooked, then the search for a magical woodland that is losing its power and the effort to gain control of the amazing (and horrific) creations birthed from dreams will certainly do the trick. Stiefvater knows how to tell a story that leaves you hanging at the end of every chapter, clinging to the possibilities she may weave in the next.
The second installment of a series can sometimes conclude with a certain sense of indecision, whether due to the change in the story’s direction or a sudden shift in character temperament, but neither of these are a concern with Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves. As each book appears to focus on certain characters, hopefully the remaining two books (yes, it’s a cycle not a series) will give us a better understanding of Gansey, Blue and the vision that involves them both.
Devon – a1000booklife
Other books by Maggie Stiefvater: Shiver (2010), Linger (2011), The Scorpio Races (2011), Forever (2012) and The Raven Boys (2012)