I realized part way through reading The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater that this was one of the first times I read the second in a series without immediately prior reading the first. Whether I’m reading them all in a row or rereading to make it so I’ve always gotten a refresher on series before carrying on with them. I used to get a little annoyed at any recapping that happened in books that weren’t the first in the series and that is so not the case anymore. If anything, with this book, I could’ve used even more recapping. If you need a recap or you’ve never read any of The Raven Cycle series I reviewed the first of the series, The Raven Boys, here. To avoid spoilers go ahead and click on that link, read the first book, then come back here let me know what you think!
Is it a sign that I’m getting older when I say I was a little confused because I didn’t remember all the details from the first book? Or is the sign that I’m older that I didn’t reread the first book because I have so many other books that I want to get to and patience is a virtue that I’ve all but given up working on? I don’t know. I know I was a little lost sometimes but I got the impression that my confusion and uncertainty was mirroring what the characters were feeling. This book focused a lot on Ronan, not only his special dream abilities, but also his history which goes a long way in explaining his coarseness. I was especially excited to see a more vulnerable side of Ronan. He went from a character that we’re told is mysterious to a character that we see as complex and therefore a tad mysterious.
This was a theme throughout the book. The Raven boys and Blue were no longer being described as a group. They are very much individuals with individual problems with themselves and with each other. This story displayed their growing pains while furthering the magical aspect of the plot. It was understandably a little messy. The more characters in any given story the more complex the story becomes. Each character needs motivation and an end goal and if everyones motivation is the same the story becomes unbelievable. Stiefvater did an excellent job of introducing new characters and giving the reader enough information about them for them to be fully realized being within the story that are motivated, flawed, and human. She did this without losing site of the story or of the main characters that we’re most invested in. This was an impressive feat because thinking back on the story there are a lot of characters to keep track of. I hope to get to the next book in the series soon to avoid any confusion my feeble twenty five year old mind runs into when confronting memory after an extended period of time. Until then I’ll be contemplating the possible results of the cliffhanger the end of this story drops us on.
Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep listening. Keep creating.