I finally picked up the second book in the Raven Cycle, The Dream Thieves, and it was awesome!
In the follow up to The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater once again transports us to the fictional town of Henrietta, Virginia (a town I'm convinced is set in the rolling hills somewhere between Charlottesville and Harrisonburg) where Blue and the boys continue their search for Glendower, a real medieval Welsh prince and warrior who led a revolt in September 1400 against English rule of Wales. He disappeared mysteriously in 1412. Though rumors of his death and burial location exist, it has never been confirmed, making him perfect fodder for spooky legends (e.g., being first immortalized by Shakespeare in Henry IV, Part 1). The Raven Cycle series takes the legend of sleeping kings approach wherein the king is not really dead but instead in a tomb waiting to be woken. In The Dream Thieves, whomever finds Glendower and wakes him will be granted a favor.
Can you tell I love the throwback to a real person from history?
The Dream Thieves is filled with legends and ley lines and talk of St. Mark's Eve/the corpse road, but there is plenty of real-life happening and kids just struggling to fit in. Where I feel The Raven Boys focused quite a bit on developing Blue into the fascinating, strongish female character that she is, The Dream Thieves focuses less on her and more on Adam and Ronan. In the sequel, we learn more about the consequences of Adam's sacrifice (vague because no spoilers) and a bit about what lies underneath Ronan's anger management issues. Seriously, these are some emo boys.
One of the things I enjoy about these books is Stiefvater's natural writing. These are teen novels, but I never felt like I had to make allowances for the quality of writing. She has created a vivid world, both real and imagined, and her words give me all the tools I need to visualize each wacky, beautiful thing.
If you want to hear more about what I've been reading the last month or so, check out the latest episode of That's What She Read, my bi-weekly book podcast with my friend Ravena. We release a new episode every other Tuesday, and we'd love for you to listen along. You can also join the book discussion over on the That's What She Read Goodreads group.