Call Down The Hawk proves that there is hope yet for spin-off series

Call Down The Hawk proves that there is hope yet for spin-off series

Euphoric. Intense. Lovely. Gruesome

Call Down The Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater is the embodiment of these words in the best way. While I’ve always been skeptical of spin-off series, Stiefvater restored my faith in them with this gorgeous addition to my beloved series The Raven Cycle.

The original series explored the relationship between four best friends–three prep school boys with greatly different lives and the daughter of a psychic–as they embarked on a quest to find the tomb of the ancient Welsh king Glendower. Set in Virginia, the book employs a touch of magical realism along with some hitmen, mint leaves, tragic backstories, and an old, old Camaro. 

Call Down The Hawk takes everything captivating about The Raven Cycle and mixes it with the dreams and desperate pleas of the fandom to make the book I severely wanted as well as the one I never knew I needed. 

This spin-off trilogy picks up in the summer after The Raven Cycle ended and steals away Ronan Lynch from the original series. Though it could be argued for any of the masterfully built characters in the original series, I think of Ronan to be the most complex character, so I was overjoyed to have a chance to delve deeper into his inner workings beyond being an orphaned eighteen-year-old gay catholic farmer with a serious, however endearing, attitude problem. 


He’s a dreamer, too. If he can dream it, he can take it back to the real world with him. 

It is this common thread that draws together the multiple other subplots. Like a loose string on a sweater, you never know where it going until it heaps a mass of fabric together or even completely unravels. 

When I say multiple other subplots, I mean that the subplots have subplots that have subplots. And rather than unraveling and falling apart, Stiefvater gathered them together effortlessly. 

Unlike other books, I didn’t favor one plot more than the other, nor was I left wasting away in seemingly-eternal ennui as I waited for everything to fall into place. Stiefvater cleverly connected each plot early on in the book without letting her readers guess the outcome or even see the connection at times. The slow build made the moment when everything came together all the more delicious and lasting. 

One subplot followed the charming dreamer Jordan Hennessey who dreamed herself identical copies of her–whose dreams are slowly and meticulously killing her. Yet another follows Carmen Farooq-Lane, a dreamer-killer, a girl discovering herself. 

But, the most noteworthy subplot follows another of the three Lynch brothers: Delcan. Time after time, fans tweeted and cried that Delcan deserved better, that Delcan deserved a redemption arc.

Stiefvater listened. 

I was never a huge fan of the guy, but reading his tale in his point of view is enough to change anyone’s mind. Like any character Stiefvater crafts, Delcan emerged as a captivating mess of emotions, alluringly complex as a person. If Hennessey or any of this were real, I’m sure she would agree…

Despite this orderly chaos, Stiefvater managed to retain Ronan as the center of the story, which is not an easy thing to do when he has to contend with all the subplots as well as the original series. I adored how Stiefvater would sneakily slip in little moments of interaction between Ronan and the original crew–Gansey, Blue, and Adam. It was just a taste–just enough to make my heart happy. 

Additionally, Stiefvater opened this spin-off to everyone. Every nuance of magic or personal history is explained briefly and precisely; you don’t need to read The Raven Cycle to immerse yourself in the mirth of Stiefvater’s wizardry in storytelling and writing. You don’t need to, but I strongly recommended it. 

… Jordan, a young woman with eyes like a miracle and a smile like a nuclear accident.

— Maggie Stiefvater

Truly, Stiefvater is magical when it comes to her writing craft. Her characters are so well developed that I constantly find myself thinking as I read, ‘yes, that is such a Ronan thing to do,’ and the dialogue is realistic and relatable. I’m bound to adore any author who mixes pop culture slangs naturally into their writing.  

But more than that, Stiefvater’s actual words are enchanting. She will write the most aesthetic and euphonic sentences only to juxtapose them with following ones that are filled with comical vulgarity. It just seems so gorgeously unfiltered, so real. 

Altogether, Call Down The Hawk is a sensational continuation to The Raven Cycle and an impressive start to the Dreamer Trilogy. I am completely and utterly obsessed with it–much to my friends and family dismay as I couldn’t stop raving about it if I tried.