Thoroughly Imaginative and Impressive | Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

5:17 PM

Maggie Stiefvater is back and better than ever. While I was left feeling fairly underwhelmed by the conclusion to The Raven Cycle, its brand new spin-off reignites the magic and is thoroughly compelling.


The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed...

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater 
Rating: ★★★★★

“There was only the quiet that came after all those things. There was only the quiet that came when you were the only one left. Only the quiet that came when you were something strange enough to outsurvive the things that killed or drove away everyone you loved.” 

Maggie Stiefvater is back and better than ever with Call Down the Hawk. I was equal parts hesitant and excited to dive into this book. The original series reminded me what it was like to have magic run from the pages of a book, through the tips of your fingers. Although the conclusion was underwhelming at best, my memories of reading the series are nothing short of fond. I have this theory that I could live and breathe Maggie Stiefvater's prose and even then it would never be truly enough.

Which reminds me. Before I forget: hey, Stiefvater, if you're seeing this, you should go ahead and write my obituary. Because Call Down the Hawk was a whirlwind of emotions, shattered expectations, magic and a world of dreams. Being reunited with the Lynch brothers meant the world to me, and being able to see this next chapter in their life was exhilarating.

You know that feeling you get, when you read the opening page of a good novel and your heart just starts to thud? It's almost like it's trying to pounce out of your chest. You can't really ignore it, but you feel your eyes glued to the pages and everything shifts to background noise? I have this theory that our favourite writers writing is not unlike our pulse. When we find the right author, their prose beats to the same rhythm that our hearts do and we just click, connect, fall into.

Okay, maybe that doesn't make sense on paper. Er, webpage. I'm very tired. And this is incoherent. Because Call Down the Hawk left me a little speechless and frazzled and I'm not sure how I want to explore my emotions. Here's what I know: Maggie Stiefvater could write her own rendition of the worst book I've ever read, and suddenly it would be the artwork it always should have been. I don't know how she does it, but Stiefvater is pure magic.

What I loved most about Call Down the Hawk was simple: it's not The Raven Cycle. Which is not an insult. It is one of those rare companion series that feels sturdy and fresh all on its own. It consumes you in the same way the latter did and you see those connections to it, but it feels brand new.

I loved the hints of old friends and new, but I mostly loved the exploration of dreamers--and their dreams--and the Lynch brothers. I loved Jordan Hennessy and the dangers, and confusion, she and her 'girls' bring. (I love both Hennessy and Jordan SO much, it physical aches. I was so surprised by how much I loved them?) And lastly, I loved the pure form of uncertainty that Carmen Farooq-Lane brought into the mix as a strange, new type of huntress.

Lingering at the back of my mind, I always wondered what other dreamers would be like. Beyond the ones we'd already met in The Raven Cycle. Mostly because I loved Ronan Lynch and wanted him to find others who automatically knew what his power was like. Now that we have this new chapter, this new chance, I am excited--and maybe a little scared--to see where these dreamers take us.

Call Down the Hawk is full of surprises, engrossing fantasy and a hint of romance. It is the very definition of impossible to put down and shows us Stiefvater at her best. So much of Call Down the Hawk is devoted to building onto this world, and dreamers, in a way that The Raven Cycle didn't get to, and it's a blast from start to finish. While many author's would, and have, fumbled with sequel/companion series, Stiefvater is not one of them.

And I've never been more excited to see where she goes with the next installment.

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