The brothers Lynch and what befell their family, played a major part in The Raven Cycle, but Maggie Stiefvater goes even deeper into their past and future in Call Down the Hawk. (Major spoilers within!)
Words I never thought I’d hear myself say that were uttered as I finished Call Down the Hawk were thus: I care about Declan Lynch.
This article has major spoilers for Call Down the Hawk. Please stop now if you haven’t had the chance to read it in full yet!
Maggie Stiefvater is known for her magical prose that sends readers off on adventures with ease. The highly anticipated Call Down the Hawk is the first book in her new trilogy set a few months after the events of The Raven King.
For fans of The Raven Cycle, there was a lot for Call Down the Hawk to live up to. The tone, setting, and overall feel of The Raven Cycle was paramount, and for me Call Down the Hawk delivered the same magic I felt while reading about ley lines, tarot readings, and girls who can amplify powers.
Only now, there is a different cast of characters. Sure, there are a few familiar faces, along with cameos by none other than Richard Campbell Gansey III via text and phonecall, but Maggie quickly introduces us to new faces, some of which don’t live beyond the chapters in which they first appear.
Because someone is killing dreamers.
We meet new dreamers, people like Ronan but who are nothing like Ronan at the same time. Some have more control than he does, others don’t realize they can grasp control of their own dreams themselves.
Each one of them is as unique as Ronan, and as always, Maggie swept me off my feet with her ability to make me care for new characters, no matter how brief an appearance they made.
One character who I never quite cared for though was Declan Lynch. Declan, whose calls Ronan avoided. Declan Lynch, who fought Ronan throughout the entirety of The Raven Cycle.
We saw Declan through Gansey’s eyes, through Adam’s, and through Ronan’s. Now though, now we got Declan’s point of view, and his plot progression within Call Down the Hawk was probably my favorite.
We got to find out his reasoning behind only dating Ashleys, we got to see why Declan is so very Declan, and we got to see Jordan break down his carefully built emotional walls, which was beautiful to read.
The brothers Lynch are volatile, and Maggie uses that instability well throughout Call Down the Hawk. By giving us Declan Lynch’s point of view, we finally get a glimpse of what it has been like to deal with the force of nature that is Ronan Lynch.
The trilogy may be called The Dreamer trilogy, but for me so far, this series is about the Lynch brothers and their journey.
Matthew’s plot throughout Call Down the Hawk, reminds me of Noah Czerny’s in a way. Much like the decay of Noah, something is wrong with Matthew.
A dream thing himself, though he doesn’t know it yet, Matthew kept disappearing into woods, staring off at nothing, almost what he’d be like if Ronan died.
It was subtle, but a very scary thing for Maggie to include because we saw what happened to Noah, how far from himself he became. Despite the differences of him being dead and Matthew being a dream thing, to me it felt the same.
When Matthew realizes what he was, that he was something that Ronan dreamed up, my heart ached in a way that only Maggie could inflict upon me.
I yearned for the Matthew of The Raven Cycle who was all smiles and sunshine, not the sad broken Matthew who now believed he was nothing.
The feeling and emotion behind Maggie’s words was something that I didn’t know I’d missed until I began reading and felt a blossoming deep within me that only her prose could grow.
And then there’s Ronan. Ronan, who was left behind at the Barns when his best friend went on a road trip across the country without him, whose boyfriend left for college without him.
Ronan, who found himself in Cabeswater, who made Cabeswater, but now has Lindenmere. He also has better control over what he brings out of dreams and has new restrictions: if he doesn’t bring something out of his dreams, he gets nightwash.
Nightwash, a black ooze that pours out of him and threatens to suffocate him if he doesn’t make dream things. It isn’t just Ronan who is affected by nightwash, all dreamers are. We meet Bryde and Hennessey, two very different dreamers with their own secrets.
Not only that, but we have new enemies, both seen and unseen in The Dreamer trilogy. I can’t wait to see more of Boudicca of the dreamkillers, Farq-Lane and Liliana.
Someone I wished (and I’m sure I’m not alone here) to see more of was Adam. I’d assumed he’d be alongside Ronan throughout, but I was wrong. This series is about Ronan, and Adam is away at college, going towards the life he’d worked so hard to get by going to Aglionby.
Perhaps he’ll be in the second book more, or perhaps Maggie will keep the plotline isolated to the Lynch brothers, Bryde and Hennessey. Either way, it will be one hell of a ride.
There may be a different dream woods, there may be new dreamers, there may be only cameos from Ronan’s friends that we originally fell in love with, but the feeling of The Raven Cycle lives on in Call Down the Hawk, and I can’t wait to continue this ride with Ronan, Declan, and Matthew Lynch in the second book of The Dreamer trilogy.
Hopefully, it won’t be long now before we see more movement on The Raven Boys TV show that was announced back in 2017 after The Raven King was released. Maggie herself worked on the script for (at least) the pilot episode.
We are still waiting to hear about any and all casting news on The Raven Boys, but in a recent interview on Reddit, Maggie mentioned that she handed the reigns of writing the show off to other writers who are also passionate about the project.