My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Dream Thieves was definitely a more engaging novel than the first book in the series. It was a combination of a more interesting plot, the magic system being developed more and having spent time with these characters that we finally have formed a connection to them. As this is the second book in the series, there may be minor spoilers for events or aspects of the first book in this review but not for the second book.
The main characters were developed a little bit more in this book than they had been in the previous. You start to understand their motivations and dreams, which was really nice because I felt a disconnect from them in the first book. I liked seeing events that happened in the past that made them who they are today or the way actions they took in the first book are now affecting them.
Having become familiar with the author’s writing style, I understood more that she wasn’t just including characters or storylines just to take up a few more pages but because for whatever reason they were a very important aspect of the story. In the first book, the character we kept jumping back to had an impact on the story but not until the very end. His scenes just dragged the book and made it significantly less enjoyable. The character we jump to in the second book has a more interesting plot (and less of a propensity to incessantly whine about his life) and more immediately becomes interwoven with our characters.
The magic system in relation to the Welsh King/Cabeswater still didn’t feel entirely real to me. It felt like more of a nebulous idea than a physical one because it wasn’t explained very much. The aspect of it that was explained more fully was the dream abilities. There isn’t much I can say without spoiling things in the second book, but that development made the book infinitely more interesting and entertaining. I was fascinated to learn, slowly, how it worked and the limits.
There may have been scenes that dragged, but overall I found the plot of the Dream Thieves to be most fast-paced with intriguing reveals that helps to draw the reader in and keep them enamored. I hope that the series continues on this upward path of improvement because it has become a much more enjoyable read.