TheReadEye

"We read to know that we are not alone." — C.S. Lewis

Raven Boys series takes a new twist in ‘Dream Thieves’

The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterEvery book I read by Maggie Stiefvater is a little better than the last. Characters are livelier, storytelling is more complex, the prose more eloquent.

“The Dream Thieves” is no exception to this pattern, as it takes her “Raven Boys” series to the next level. In this book, we get more insight into the mind of Ronan, an aggressive Aglionby school boy with a whole host of inner demons to overcome.

The first “Raven Boys” book focuses on the quest of a handful of boys – Gansey, Adam and Ronan – to find a legendary Welsh Royal , Glendower, who is said to be “sleeping” and who would grant a wish to his discoverer.  Along the way, they connect with Blue Sargent – who comes from a family of psychics yet possesses no ability of her own other than amplifying mystical powers.

In “Dream Thieves,” the story line continues – but expands a bit to explore Ronan’s special gift: To pull physical objects from his dreams. Most notably, he has a young raven he named Chainsaw, which appeared late in the first book. The significance of Ronan’s abilities is the primary focus of this book, while the core characters continue – slowly – their search for Glendower.

Though it would seem the story line has taken a sharp turn, in truth Maggie skillfully connects all the events.

In “Dream Thieves,” we’re also treated to a few new characters – while also seeing further development of the relationships and challenges of the existing crew. Those include a delightful hit man (yes, I said it) and an antagonist Aglionby boy who blurs the lines between friend and foe.

Each character is fully developed, with their own special traits and their own personal demons. This is particularly remarkable as the cast in Raven Boys continues to grow, including various members of Blue’s large household of psychic women, Gansey’s and Ronan’s family and other side characters.

Maggie has a talent for writing “real” characters, or those who cannot be seen in black and white terms. No one is 100 percent the bad guy, and no one is all good. As such, it becomes more difficult to predict who wills serve the main characters’ interests and who will not. Even with foreshadowing, of which you find a fair amount in Raven Boys , you cannot predict the timing or exact events yet to come, keeping the story fresh and unpredictable.

The “Raven Boys” series is one of the most original YA reads I’ve come across — and not overly saturated with romance – making it a great adventure that can appeal to all readers of fantasy fiction.

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