Oh hello there, and welcome to chapter 21 of the Dream Thieves Reread. This chapter revolves around a fight about Ronan going to see a psychic and then, when he loses, him going to see a psychic. I’ve basically boiled it down into one sentence for you, but in case you want me to go more in depth, please read on. If not, see below for the “Thoughts and Feeling” section.
To start off with, I’ll say that Blue is the one who, after realizing Aurora Lynch is a dream woman, wants Ronan to see a psychic. I’d rather him see a therapist, but as we’ve established I’m not a character in this series and I have no control over anything. Ronan is immediately like, “no,” because he’s Catholic, and then Blue is like “stop validating my whole family’s existence,” because she’s Blue. It’s all very dramatic.
Gansey does his best to step in and make it not so dramatic, but of course (OOTD alert!) he’s wearing a ridiculous salmon polo shirt and nobody wants to take him seriously. Does anyone remember that whole “our lady of pantsuits” thing that happened with Hillary Clinton where they had pictures of her wearing every color of suit? At this point I feel like that’s Gansey in polos, and I’m not mad about it.
But back to the drama: Blue is explaining to Gansey why Ronan is an asshole, and Ronan is explaining to Gansey that he’s never done anything wrong in his whole life ever. In the midst of this Blue calls Ronan and Gansey members of her inner circle, I freak out, and then Gansey solves the argument by making an inadvertent Dr. Who reference and then we shift scenes to 300 Fox Way for ensuing shenanigans.
“Come on, man,” Ronan said.
Gansey sat up. “Come on, man, yourself. We’re all aware here that Cabeswater bends time. You yourself somehow managed to write on that rock in Cabeswater before any of us ever got there. Time’s not a line. It’s a circle or a figure eight or a goddamn Slinky. If you can belief that, I don’t know why you can’t believe that someone might be able to glimpse something further along the Slinky.”
A Slinky of wibbly wobbly timey wimey… stuff. Jeremy Bearimy. And infinite other pop culture references about how weird the passage of time is. But then… ding! We’re in Fox Way, and Calla’s going to tell us what stuff.
Before Calla can tell us anything, however, we need to spend two pages talking about that fact that she’s suspended from aerial silks. These are a very fun two pages, because nobody knows quite what she’s doing. Also, she calls Adam “the pretty one,” and everyone else is ever-so-slightly offended. But she’s right, and she should say it. Adam is pretty! (Where is Adam, by the way? I miss him.)
Calla doesn’t believe anyone when they say Ronan’s dreams are a matter of utmost importance until she touches the puzzle-box. Once they give her Chainsaw to hold, it’s game over.
Calla slid slowly upright, freeing her hands. “Snake, hand me that bird.”
“Don’t squeeze,” Ronan said narrowly, folding the raven’s wings against her body and relinquishing her.
Chainsaw promptly bit Calla’s finger.
What Calla gets from holding the bird is simple: Aurora was a dream the whole time. For her to wake up, she needs to go back inside a dream. And, to nobody’s surprise, Cabeswater is a dream forest. To wake up Aurora, they need to find Cabeswater. And now, let the plot move forward.
Thoughts and Feelings:
This chapter and I have a reasonable amount of beef. I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact that it’s easy to forget how complicated a relationship Steifvater herself has with religion. I’ve read some of her non-fiction stuff and interviews, and she thinks a lot about faith and the role it played in her adolescence. That being said, I understand how important it is to divorce the author from their work. I only bring it up because I, a person whose entire existence has been about as secular as humanly possible in a world dominated by organized religion, find it really easy to forget how important religion is to Ronan and how it factors into his decisions.
This whole fight he has with Blue about not wanting to take any more chances with the state of his soul re: psychics is crazy to me, and ultimately felt like a lot of filler space. And the whole time I was going, where is Adam? And, I miss Adam. And then, why is this fight happening? I think Ronan’s obstinacy about what he believes is an important character trait, but it’s been well enough established by now. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy reading the filler space. I’ll take as much as I can get with these characters. I’ve just been waiting for them to look for Cabeswater for so long. We’re 20 chapters in! Where is the dream forest?!
Next is the inclusion of the Coke T-shirt.
He’d worn a red Coca-Cola shirt to the first reading and was now and evermore identified by it.
Oh, Adam’s Coke T-Shirt. This is mostly a comment on the fandom for this book series, that has wholeheartedly latched onto that description of Adam (which becomes his Fox Way moniker). Because of this description, not only do I own two Coke shirts, but I actually wore one of them yesterday. So thanks, Steifvater, for forcing me to look like I wholeheartedly approve of capitalism when I, as a 20-year-old, have my reservations and would like to not look like a walking Coca-Cola advertisement.
So, basically three things: 1) I want to know where Adam is, 2) This show has seeped its way into my wardrobe, and 3) I forgot how lackluster this plot is, but I’m excited to finally be out here looking for Cabeswater.
Best Character Moment:
That look, Blue thought. Ronan Lynch would do anything for Gansey.
I probably would too, she thought. It was impossible for her to understand how he managed to pull off such an effect in that polo shirt.
Best Turn of Phrase:
She had one of those low, smoky voices that always seemed more appropriate to a black-and-white movie.
Action: Calla’s aerial yoga saves the whole chapter so kudos to her. 6/10
Magic: There’s magic here. There’s also a fun argument about whether or not that magic can be reconciled with Catholicism, which… 10/10, obviously
Comic Relief: Ronan was not in top form. Calla was. 7/10