'The Dream Thieves' by Maggie Stiefvater

Staff PicksMartin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

'The Dream Thieves' by Maggie Stiefvater

The Second Book in the Raven Cycle Series

The Dream ThievesHardcore fans of the first installment will want to re-read the first book since the action starts right away, and all those little subtle plot lines come racing into focus from the first page. If Book One is about myths and legends, then Book Two is about secrets. Ronan keeps secrets from Gansey, Gansey keeps secrets from Adam, Blue keeps secrets from herself, and Adam keeps secrets from everyone.
 
The ley lines are awake and powerful after Adam's sacrifice and pledge. And the ramifications of that commitment permeate the story. The first story is all about fidelity, faithfulness and loyalty. Book Two becomes introspective as each character fully takes on the realization of the consequences of their Glendower search. Ronan starts to uncover the secrets of his past, while Adam tries to keep his past a secret. Even the mysterious self named "Grey Man" has secrets he is willing to share, the fact that he is a hit man for example, and those he isn't.
 
A few of the more challenging and magical components of the story aren't given much context, and readers will have to take a lot of the story development on faith, with the hopes that more will be explained in Book Three. Too many important people and stories are too quickly resolved -- Mr. Grey's past for example -- and Ronan's lineage is hinted at, touched on, then glossed over. Adam's self-actualization comes quickly at the end of the novel, leaving so much emotion left unchecked. Blue's understanding of her feelings for Gansey are too quickly revealed and digested even for this extremely pragmatic character. 
 
But once again, Stiefvater's ability to develop secondary characters is a major strength. While a few of them seem fragmented and heavily edited, the new relationships we explore in Ronan's life help the reader understand the weight of the Glendower search. Magic and folklore are still important in the plot, but our main focus is the way this once-solid group of friends is slowly starting to grow up and apart. 
 
Another abrupt ending here as well, but with so many things so quickly resolved, you won't feel too disappointed. But you'll still feel left a little bit in the dark.