Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
No one but Ronan knew the terrors that lived in his mind. Plagues and devils, conquerors and beasts.
The second installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.
In The Dream Thieves, Ronan is plagued by disturbing dreams, and is revealed to be able to bring objects back from them. His father Niall, murdered before the start of the series, had the same abilities, but had told Ronan never to reveal their abilities to anyone. Declan Lynch, Ronan's older brother, is attacked at his Aglionby dorm by someone called 'The Gray Man', who was employed to find the Greywaren. The Graywaren is in fact Ronan, as confirmed by Cabeswater in The Raven Boys, but the Gray Man and his employer are under the impression that the Greywaren is a physical object. Declan refuses to give up any information, and the Gray Man leaves him alive but battered. Meanwhile, while driving, the boys and Blue see Joseph Kavinsky, another boy from Aglionby. Ronan, who has a liking for drag racing, begs Gansey to let them race him, but Gansey refuses. Ronan later dreams and brings back a box that can translate languages, one of which is unknown to Ronan. Kavinsky sees them again at a restaurant, and gives Ronan a gift of leather bracelets, identical to the ones he uses.
Later, Adam - who is now plagued by strange visions and other effects as a result of his sacrifice to Cabeswater - is informed that his rent at St. Agnes will now cost $200 less a month, letting him save $2400 a year. He receives a letter that the tuition for Aglionby has increased by $2400 - realizing that this isn't a coincidence, he accuses Gansey of changing his rent as a way to "control" him. In reality, it was Ronan's work - St. Agnes is the church he attends with his brothers and has connections to, and upon receiving the letter from Aglionby, he persuades the landlady to accept Ronan's $2400 cash offering and to tell Adam that his rent has changed due to a tax assessment - he recognizes that Adam is at a breaking point and would be unable to compensate for the additional $2400 the new tuition would cost.
When Gansey, Ronan, and Noah are out, an energy surge goes through Henrietta, causing Noah to briefly disappear. Meanwhile, the Gray Man continues his hunt for the Greywaren and goes to a reading at 300 Fox Way, where Blue lives with her family. He meets Maura, Blue's mother, and they hit it off. The women of 300 Fox Way begin to clear out Neeve's room following her disappearance at the end of The Raven Boys.
The Lynch brothers attend church together every Sunday, which brings about arguments between Declan and Ronan - he wants Ronan to keep his head down and out of trouble, and warns him that if he fails out of Aglionby or gets into legal trouble before he turns 18, he won't receive the inheritance promised in their father's will. The will also states that none of the Lynch children are ever to return to the Barns, where they had lived before their father's death, although Ronan longs to return to his childhood home where his comatose mother currently abides. In the meantime, Ronan and Kavinsky street race, and Ronan returns his gift of leather bracelets with dreamed-up sunglasses that match the pair Kavinsky wears.
The gang goes to Cabeswater, only to find that it has disappeared, which frustrates especially Gansey. Ronan continues to have nightmares - in one, he watches Adam turn into a monster after putting on a mask of Ronan's father's from their home. He brings back two night-horrors - large, murderous bird-like creatures - and recruits Gansey to help him kill one, although the other escapes. With the others, they take it to be buried at Ronan's home, called the Barns, deliberately breaking Ronan's father's will. They realize that all the animals, which are found to be dream-things, are dormant since Niall died. They enter the house, and look at all the other dream things his father made, and visit Ronan's mother, who they discover is also a dream-thing of Niall's. They decide to leave after Ronan has a violent reaction to Adam touching a mask on the wall - the same one he was wearing in Ronan's nightmare. After, Blue takes Ronan to get a reading from Calla, who tells them that Ronan's mother was also a dream thing. They travel to a man-made lake near where Cabeswater was, looking for Glendower. Blue finds an old Camaro tire and a small, old shield that Gansey surmises is from hundreds of years before. Blue goes back home and finds the Gray Man there. He is interested in taking her mother out to dinner. She gives him some advice, then gets a call from Gansey about a burglary at Monmouth Manufacturing, which was the work of the Gray Man.
Believing that it was Kavinsky that broke in, Gansey and Ronan find him and ask about it; he denies his involvement. Gansey leaves Henrietta to go to a function held by his mother, who is running for office, and brings Adam with him. Meanwhile, the Gray Man goes on a date with Maura and kisses her, during which she steals his phone to find out why he is in Henrietta. Back at Monmouth, Ronan has a sensual dream involving Adam and Kavinsky, and wakes feeling both ashamed and ecstatic. Blue and Noah have a discussion about her kissing problem, then, realizing that she can't hurt Noah, since he is already dead, they kiss. Ronan and Matthew go to the Barns, and are attacked by the escaped night-horror. The Gray Man shows up and steals the puzzle box while the brothers hide.
Adam, who is in Washington D.C. with Gansey, continues having visions sent by Cabeswater, though he tries to repress them. Adam and Gansey argue, and the Adam later goes missing. Gansey and his family searches for and finds Adam, who wandered fifteen miles due to Transient Global Amnesia cause by his imbalance with Cabeswater. Gansey tells his family about Adam's problems, including his poor economic status and abusive father, and they give Adam a car, though they pretend it is an old one so Adam will accept it. Ronan, back in Henrietta, races Kavinsky in Gansey's car and wrecks it. Ronan is devastated and terrified that Gansey will hate him, but Kavinsky insists that he has nothing to worry about and reveals he also has the ability to take objects from dreams. Kavinsky begins to teach Ronan how to take things from his dreams at will, aided by the use of pills that cause the boys to instantly fall asleep. After many tries, Ronan creates a perfect replica of Gansey's Camaro. He realizes that the reason Cabeswater has disappeared is because of Kavinsky, who is bringing back too many dream-objects and is taking energy away from the ley line.
The Gray Man works out that the Graywaren is a person, not a physical object. He confronts Maura, who admits that the Graywaren is one of the Raven Boys. The Gray Man then lies to his employer about his progress. Maura kisses him and they sleep together.
After recovering from his fugue state, Adam returns to Henrietta and goes to Blue's house. They have an argument - Adam has feelings for her and wants to kiss her, while Blue has realized that she doesn't feel the same way - and break up. Blue discovers that she has feelings for Gansey, but doesn't disclose this to Adam so as to not hurt him further. Persephone, one of the psychic women living at 300 Fox Way and Maura's friend, says that she knows a way to help Adam acquire balance with Cabeswater. Blue goes on a drive with Gansey, and the two almost kiss, but they stop themselves out of loyalty to Adam. Later, the group meets the Gray Man at 300 Fox Way, where he reveals he knows that Ronan is the Graywaren and that he was the one who murdered Niall Lynch. The Gray Man reveals that his employer is a sort of collector, and would only wish to show Ronan off and pick him apart - implying that he would eventually torture and kill Ronan - and that if he doesn't return with Ronan his employer with inform his brother (who is trying to kill the Gray Man and has been searching for him for some time) of his location. The Gray Man, having fallen in love with Maura, decides to lie to his employer about the location of the Graywaren and opts out of the job. His brother finds him shortly after and the Gray Man kills him.
Meanwhile, Kavinsky - who has asked Ronan repeatedly to go to his Fourth of July party - kidnaps his brother Matthew and stuffs him inside a Mitsubishi - the one of many that he has dreamed up for the party. Ronan, Gansey, and Blue go to the party to search the Mitsubishis for Matthew, and Kavinsky drugs himself to sleep to pull something out of his dreams. Ronan follows suit, knowing that Kavinsky will further drain the ley line and possibly cause Noah and Cabeswater to disappear permanently. Adam and Persephone realize how to fix the ley line, and work quickly to repair it so that Ronan can use it. Ronan and Kavinsky end up in Cabeswater, where Kavinsky implies he has feelings for Ronan. Ronan tells him they would never have gotten together, and Kavinsky insists that Gansey (who he believes Ronan has sexual or romantic feelings for) will never want him; Ronan affirms that Gansey is like his brother. Kavinsky claims to know that Ronan "swings that way", and Ronan doesn't deny this. Kavinsky, infuriated by Ronan's rejection, dreams a large dragon to bring back to the party. Ronan, alone in Cabeswater, discovers Adam and Persephone fixing the line. Adam tells him to stop Kavinsky once the ley line is repaired, and that he figured out that Ronan was the one who fixed his rent. Ronan also sees his father in Cabeswater, who suggests that there is a hidden will that Ronan has access to as a Graywaren. Ronan realizes that he doesn't hate himself anymore, and is able to control the night-horrors--who fed off his self-hatred--and brings one back to the party to fight Kavinsky's dragon. Ronan wakes up and finds Matthew. Kavinsky, in a state of mania, climbs up onto the hood of his car and allows himself to be killed by his dragon.
Later, Ronan - who amended his father's will to allow the Lynch brothers to return to the Barns - takes his mother to Cabeswater where she is reanimated and reunited with Ronan and Matthew.