Petrik is our guest today ! He’s sharing with us his review of the second book of the Raen Cycle series, by Maggie Stiefvater : The Dream Thieves.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Ronan Lynch is probably one the most well written character to ever exist in the entire YA genre.
The Dream Thieves, the second book in The Raven Cycle series, to say it simply is what I think how every book in the YA genre should strive to achieve in their character development.
I have heard a lot of great things about Ronan Lynch and I finally understood why this character is really beloved by every reader I know. Almost the entirety of the book focused around Ronan’s past, abilities, inner thoughts, feelings and relationships with his family and all the main characters of the book. Ronan truly shine in this book, there’s no part in the book where the story isn’t interesting (sometimes funny) when the narrative has him as the main POV.
Picture: Ronan Lynch by Cassandra Jean
After reading about the horrible and choppy dream sequences in Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy, I was afraid and petrified when I find out that there will be a lot of those dream sequences in this book. Turns out I was completely wrong. Every dream sequences give Ronan more necessary spotlight for his character and yes, this also means his development here is definitely the best one out of all the character in the series so far. Do remember though that I’m only halfway through the series though so there’s still plenty of room for all other character to shine even more.
Although the focus of the book is mostly on Ronan, this doesn’t mean that the other character doesn’t shine. There is a glimpse of vivid emotions in every characters thoughts and actions, Gansey and Adam relationship here in particular took an intriguing and complex turn which imo is also one of the best part of the book other than Ronan. I’m not kidding, I love reading every aspect of Gansey’s and Adam’s friendship because of how realistic and how well written their inner desire and feelings are.
“You really didn’t see the sadness or the longing unless you already knew it was there. But that was the trick, wasn’t it? Everyone had their disappointment and their baggage; only, some people carried it in their inside pockets and not on their backs.”
Noah also, while appearing only a few times always shines and can we talk about Kavinsky? I seriously thought this guy was going to be a complete Malfoy annoying type of guy but as it turns out, he’s an awesome character despite his brief appearances here. Plus, Kavinsky did an Easter Egg on Fight Club, one of my favorite movie adaptation of all time so that’s a plus for me. Look, whether you love or hate these characters, there’s no doubt that every main characters here are well written, that’s all I have left to say on the characters here.
Maggie’s prose remains lyrical and beautiful but there is one thing to take note outside her prose, which is her passion for auto-mobile. Seriously, her love for cars can truly be seen from her writing and intricate description on every single race and cars description such as their brands, engines, wheels etc. Not only that, Gansey, Ronan and Kavinsky themselves all have this passion for cars which show Maggie’s love on the topic even more and hey, anything done with a passion will always be a plus for me.
Picture: Kavinsky’s car by Telltale Crumbs
From what I wrote so far, almost everything sounded like this book will at least be a 4 star but again, sadly I can’t do that for the reason that I actually some problems with the book.
First, as great as the characterization is, it shouldn’t have to sacrifice the main plot progression completely. The main plot, the hunt for the sleeping/dead Welsh king, Owen Glendower (a nice touch on historical aspect btw) have close to zero progression which make this book almost seems like a filler to the main series.
Second, dunno if you realized it or not, I haven’t talked about Blue. This is solely due to the reason that her role here is just so minor that at times I have to remember “wait, where Eiffel 65?” (Look up the song if you’re too young to know about this song) and it bothered me a bit cause I thought she was supposed to be the main character. The only time where she made a notable appearance here is the one where she spent her time with Noah, which was really well written and amusing to read.
Third, insta-love between two characters (one being a completely new character in this installment) that were completely pointless and I seriously have no idea why I have to read their relationship progression like that.
Finally, this is my adult fantasy attitude and longing being nitpicky here, the buildup to the climax were so well written but the conclusion of it was in my opinion very underwhelming.
These 4 problems I had are all minor cons but they’re the reason why I can’t give this book a 4 star despite how much I enjoyed reading all the character interaction and progression. I gave this book the same rating with Six of Crows and my overall experience of it is that I enjoyed it even more than the first book. I finished it in 2 days. It was magical, filled with great character development, magical and as usual, atmospheric. A good sequel I enjoyed and I hope the next book will be even better.
Review by Petrik.