Call Down the Hawk

The interactions between the Lynch brothers were one of my favorite parts of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series, so I was delighted to learn that she would be writing a new series focusing on Ronan Lynch (with, presumably, a lot of attention paid to his brothers Declan and Matthew). And, indeed, the three brothers begin the book on a road trip (!!!!) to Cambridge, so Ronan can see his boyfriend, Adam, at Harvard and, perhaps, begin making plans to move there.

The idea of moving to Massachusetts is complicated by the fact that Ronan is a Dreamer, meaning that he can bring objects back from his dreams. This ability comes with a price — a sickness that appears if Ronan spends too many nights away from his home in Henrietta, Virginia. But Ronan wants to try it. Declan, Ronan’s buttoned up older brother, is worried about the idea. And he’s worried that Matthew, their younger brother, will learn the truth about his own origins.

So that’s the situation with the brothers as the book begins. As they’re trying to organize their lives and futures, other forces are brewing to make things difficult. A Dreamer named Hennessy is making a living as an art forger while trying to cope with the fact that she keeps bringing back doubles of herself from her dreams, and those doubles’ lives depend on Hennessy because it’s known that if a Dreamer dies, any living being brought back from the dream world goes to sleep forever.

At the same time, a woman named Carmen Farooq-Lane has been given the task of looking after a quirky and difficult young Visionary who can see the end of world, all while she seeks out Dreamers at the behest of her bosses.

Early on, these three stories operate on separate tracks and, for me, the book came to a screeching halt whenever it left the Lynch brothers. They have such delightful chemistry, well-established in the Raven Cycle, that I fell right into their story. Hennessy and Farooq-Lane don’t have the benefit of being pre-established characters that I cared about, and their stories don’t have anything close to the zing of the Declan brothers. But, over time, I got more interested in them. I was especially delighted by Farooq-Lane’s relationship with her exasperating young charge, Parsival. And when Hennessy and her dream doubles start getting to know the Lynch brothers, my interest in their lives increased as well. By the end, I was deeply invested in what was going to happen to this poor young woman who was both entirely on her own and responsible for an entire family.

This book is intended to be part of a trilogy, so the ending is open-ended, a cliffhanger even. And I’m already excited for the next book to come out in November!

This entry was posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Speculative Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Call Down the Hawk

  1. Jeanne says:

    Sounds like one I need to wait for. Especially after The Nobody People, I’m really tired of reading an entire book and then finding out that it’s part of a bigger plot. I think more of these should be published as one bigger book.

    • Teresa says:

      I do think there’s enough story in this one for multiple books, but I get what you mean about books being published as a series when one longer book will do. I would like to see more standalone fantasy and science fiction books.

  2. I had much the same experience of reading this book! I was enjoying it a lot by the time I finished it, but it took a while for me to get into the swing of it. Maggie Stiefvater still has such a beautiful way with words — there’s a line about Declan having an “illuminated, specific smile” that really blew me away.

    I also like continue to have reservations about Maggie Stiefvater’s ability to think and talk about race, you know? She doesn’t seem super reflective about it. There’s a line in this about how Ronan loves the surname Lynch and it suits him, and I just feel like for a book set in the South, she just like… shouldn’t have said that. Bleh.

    • Teresa says:

      By the end, I was so so into it. Especially the scene with all the Hennessys toward the end. That’s when I knew I’d been won over to the new characters.

      I think Maggie Stiefvater is just not super plugged into the current conversations about race, so she misses things that might seem obvious to people who are paying attention to those things, Like, I could see blanking on the fact that the name Lynch is the same as the verb lynch if that history is not on much your mind, but someone along the way should have flagged that because it is pretty cringy. I do think she did a pretty good job of incorporating major characters of color here without describing them in stereotypical or exoticizing ways, but there may be nuances there that I missed.

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