The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves. As I had another Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races, languishing on my nook, I, quite intelligently, started reading it the moment I finished The Dream Thieves. And I am oh-so-glad I did.
Every year on Thisby, an isolated island, men riding water horses, deadly animals captured from the sea, race in what would now be called a bloody death match. The water horses, cappaill uisce, are savage, flesh eating terrors who have no desire to obey any master. Sean Kendrick has won three years running, but he has new competition this year as Puck Connolly enters the race, the first female to ever compete.
Stiefvater's writing is so wonderfully elegant and subtle. I really can't gush enough about how much I enjoyed the way this story was told. So much is happening, so many issues are tackled, and yet the story is never confused, obvious, or unnecessarily twisty. This is a well crafted blend of mythology and reality, which could also be said about the island of Thisby itself, a modern place beasts of old still call home. The community of Thisby and how the townspeople react to and speak about the island fascinated me. Some can't wait to leave, others love it like family.
The characters are wonderfully drawn, and even now, over a month after finishing the novel, I really can't find an articulate way to explain them in all their depth and beauty. Both the islanders and the visitors are unique and complex. The action is quick without being superficial, and this was definitely a read where I was physically exhibiting my emotions: gasping, holding my breath, getting a bit teary or angry or melancholy.
I realize that I've told you very little about what's happening in the book, but I have two thoughts on this: 1. I'm probably the last person to read this and 2. If you haven't read it yet, I recommend knowing as little as possible before reading.