Five Thoughts on Maggie Stiefvater's The Dream Thieves
The second installment in Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle series, The Dream Thieves, is out today and I've been pondering just how to write about it. I've come to the conclusion that this series is so very complex, while also being subtle, that it's nearly impossible for me to "review" the books in this series in a traditional sense.
In lieu of an actual exhaustive review of The Dream Thieves (you can read our not-review of The Raven Boys here, by the way), I thought I'd completely cop-out and provide you with a list of five things I'm still pondering after reading The Dream Thieves.
#1 The Dream Thieves is even more dreamy and atmospheric that The Raven Boys.
It was mint and memories and the past and the future and she felt as if she’d done this before and already she longed to do it again.
These novels are rooted in their atmosphere, intricate mythology and tangled relationships that they're going to either work for readers or leave them wondering what the hell they just read. And I mean that in a good way--I adore this series and believe it's different from anything else on the shelves at the moment. Reading this series feels more like I'm experiencing the story, rather than reading a book--it's just that immersive.
It's strange, because as with the first book, The Dream Thieves is action-packed, but what's stuck with me from both has been the overall feeling associated with the books.
#2 There is so much Ronan in The Dream Thieves--and that's a fantastic thing.
...Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.
Ronan was hands-down my favorite of the boys in the first novel. He's dark and complicated and always seemed to be trying to bury his internal turmoil. He gets a ton of page-time in The Dream Thieves, as does his crow, Chainsaw. In this installment, we learn about Ronan's past and his secrets. The element of his character that's stuck with me most is his complicated relationship with the other boys, particularly Gansey.
#3 I have developed a complicated Gansey = Gatsby theory that I'm all-in with, regardless of whether or not said theory holds even a single drop of water.
There were many versions of Gansey, but this one had been rare since the introduction of Adam's taming presence. It was also Ronan's favorite. It was the opposite of Gansey's most public face, which was pure control enclosed in a paper-thin wrapper of academia. But this version of Gansey was Gansey the boy. This was the Gansey who bought the Camaro, the Gansey who asked Ronan to teach him to fight, the Gansey who contained every wild spark so that it wouldn't show up in other versions.
Laura added to this theory by postulating that Adam = Gatsby before he was The Great. Does this mean that Noah is Nick Carraway? These are the sort of lengthy text message conversations that Laura and I have.
#4 Contrary to what people say, this series does not have any variation of geometric love.
In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness. Her raven boys.
I know people are so used to love triangles, thanks to recent big books like The Hunger Games and Twilight, but please, please, please stop saying this series has any sort of geometric love. It's more complicated than that. Blue has different sorts of feelings for each of the raven boys, and they make sense in the context of the story. I have theories about the romantic endgame for Blue, but I fully suspect those theories to be blown out of the water by the fourth and final installment.
#5 The Gray Man is one of the most confusing, nuanced, bizarre and intriguing villains I can recall.
However, as delightful as Anglo-Saxon poetry was to the Gray Man, it served him better as a hobby than as a career. He preferred a job he could approach with pragmatism, one that gave him the freedom to read and study at his convenience. So here he was in Henrietta.
The sections of The Dream Thieves told from the Gray Man's point-of-view were actually some of my favorites, which was not the case with the bad guy in The Raven Boys. His motivations, his weirdness, it's all just so different and never verges on caricature.
Needless to say, the third novel is one that I'll be beating down doors to get my greedy hands on next year.
Find more CEFS posts about Maggie Stiefvater's books here.
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FYI: The first book in this series, The Raven Boys, is still $2.24 for Kindle.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by the publisher.