Maggie Stiefvater is one of the coolest, most fantastic, most awesome human beings ever. And she happens to be an author. A really, really good author. I had the chance to sit at her lunch table a few years ago when she came with Libba Bray and Meg Cabot for a Northern California indie bookstore luncheon. It was a ton of fun, but what I really learned was Maggie is hilarious, and so wickedly smart, it only makes sense that her books are phenomenal. And today one of the most amazing books you’ll ever read came out. And guess who wrote it? Oh, yeah. Maggie Stiefvater.
Let me begin by saying that if you haven’t read The Raven Boys, you haven’t lived. I mean, seriously. It was so much fun and so fantastically written. And the Welsh mythology (which isn’t always a major player in teen novels) is so cool you just have to research to try to predict what’s going to happen. On that note, let me say now that it’s really easy to describe how I felt reading The Dream Thieves.
My. Mind. Was. Blown.
People say that a lot. So much so, in fact, that the phrase has become rather cliché and no one really believes that anything can be all that mind-blowing.
This one is actually seriously boggling.
The second RB book centers around Ronan Lynch, the bad boy of the group and the one you expect you’ll somehow come to like when you first meet him in Book 1. I can’t figure out how best to describe him, but essentially what I felt when I was reading DT is that he starts out as a pretty Draco kind of figure (you know, you don’t want to like him but there’s something about him that you just can’t help but adore) and by the end of this book he has become a full-fledged Snape. And, considering the fact that I consider Severus Snape to be one of the greatest creations in literature, and definitely the best character in the entire Harry Potter series, that’s saying a lot.
Essentially, if you haven’t read either one yet (and really, you should – what are you reading this for? GO GET THOSE BOOKS!), the idea is that there are three “Raven Boys,” who attend the elite Aglionby Academy: Richard Gansey (who goes by his surname only), Adam Parrish (who attends Aglionby on scholarship), and Ronan Lynch (again, the bad boy who doesn’t really fit into the Gansey/Parrish relationship). Gansey, the leader of the group, is on the hunt for the Welsh king Glendower, who died long, long ago. (Side note: Glendower… remember in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, how there’s the weird Welsh magician dude? Yeah, that’s him. Check out the Wikipedia page for a quick overview.) Adam is the angsty best friend who is actually resentful of Gansey, seemingly because Gansey has the ability to love, be loved, and still be wicked cool even when he’s looking for a dead Welsh dude. And then there’s Ronan, who is kind of the fists/blood/guts/bad-ass member of the group. And then the boys meet Blue Sargent, whose paranormal family includes her psychic mother, and who has been told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Period. Blue doesn’t like the Raven Boys, but as she spends more time with the Tormented Trio, they become closer and some romance may (or may not) pop up.
So here’s my secret: I’m not going to tell you much about DT. It’s a book that I really think you have to read in order to fully comprehend how incredible it is. But here’s the basic gist: someone is after the Lynch boys (Ronan is one of three brothers). Gansey is still searching for Glendower. Adam is angsty. Blue is torn between her feelings for Gansey and Adam. Ronan has about a million secrets he’s hiding from everyone. There’s a creepy awful villain figure who is disturbingly awesome and has a serious kind of connection with Ronan. And did I mention that Ronan is hiding secrets? And, of course, there are some more twists and turns along the way that are just phenomenal.
I often tell people that books are my favorites, or that I highly recommend them, or that they’re a must read, and sometimes I mean it just slightly. Like Mary Barton. I love it (genuinely), and I seriously recommend it (I do, I promise), and I consider it a must read, but I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone because it’s not in my absolute top 10 books of all time.
RB is up on that list of my favorite books, but DT is absolutely on that list. Like, the top half. And maybe part of that is because the focus on Ronan means a much more complex reading. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you read this book.
I can’t repeat this any more, so instead here are some links you should check out. Like, right now. Or, you know, after you pick up your copy of the book…
And seriously, just go and buy a copy of the dang books already!!! 🙂