Read a full summary of Call Down the Hawk, book #1 in Maggie Stiefvater’s new Dreamer Trilogy, right here! This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Call Down the Hawk, then you are in the right place!
Special thanks to María Clara, a new BSR contributor who wrote this great review! Visit her Goodreads page to keep up with what she’s reading.
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in Call Down the Hawk?
The book starts with a group of people, part of an intergovernmental entity called Moderators, who are killing dreamers, or Zeds, because one of them is going to bring a fire that’s going to end the world. They kill Nathan, the brother of Carmen Farooq-Lane, one of the Moderators, with her help.
Gansey and Blue are taking a gap year and traveling. Adam is studying at Harvard, and Ronan is going to visit him. He’s also thinking about moving closer to Adam. A black ooze, or nightwash, is coming out of Ronan’s nose because he’s waited too long before manifesting dreams. He can’t be away from the Barns or from the ley line where he was born for too long, or the nightwash starts to kill him from the inside. Ronan dreams of a man called Bryde who tells him about someone who wants to kill him.
Ronan arrives at Harvard and finds Adam. He also meets his new friends, and they play a complicated game they invented. Ronan realizes Adam has been keeping some of who he is hidden from his new friends. He confronts Adam, who says he doesn’t want to be judged. He says Ronan doesn’t understand how he feels because he has his brothers, but Adam has no one.
That night Ronan dreams of Bryde’s voice and Lindenmere, a dream forest he manifested. Bryde tells him to ask Declan about the Fairy Market. He wakes up surrounded by monster crabs and realizes he brought several objects back from his dreams. He’s paralyzed as he always is immediately after dreaming something.
They start killing the crabs, causing a lot of damage in the process. Adam gets into trouble at his dorm and has to say it was Ronan’s fault because he got drunk. He also has to promise Ronan won’t visit him on campus again. They both know Ronan can’t live far away from the Barns.
Back home, Declan calls about Matthew having trouble at school, forgetting assignments, and wandering around. They find him at an overlook at the Great Falls Park. He seems transfixed with the water. Ronan asks Declan what the Fairy Market is, and Declan decides to take him there.
At Heathrow Airport, Farooq-Lane grieves her brother’s death. The Moderators call her, and she agrees to find more dreamers because her brother’s death didn’t stop the end of the world. She goes to Washington, D.C., with Parsifal Bauer, a Visionary, someone who experiences detailed premonitions about dreamers and the end of the world. They are going to the Fairy Market.
Jordan, an art forger, is at a party showing her talents in order to get an invitation to the Fairy Market, a black market of prestigious and illegal goods, but is rejected because she is too qualified and should be doing original work. Some people from the party try to break into her house to steal her paintings, but they’re surprised by Jordan and other girls who look exactly like her. They steal the invitation for the Fairy Market that the robbers had and forge a copy for themselves.
We find out that Jordan Hennessy, or Hennessy, is a dreamer who has dreamed several copies of herself, Jordan being one of them. The process seems to be killing her, but she can’t stop herself from having the same nightmare and bringing a copy of herself back.
Declan and Ronan are at the Fairy Market, which Declan knows about because their father Niall frequented it. They go through the rooms, and people keep mentioning a man named Bryde. Ronan sees a painting of a woman that looks like their mother. He learns Declan has come to the market to buy a painting called The Dark Lady that had been dreamed by his father. He’s asked for personal information in order to acquire it, but he refuses to give it. Ronan doesn’t want to risk losing it and gives his personal information.
All the copies of Hennessy are at the Fairy Market with the fake invitation. Jordan is discovered, but she is allowed to stay, doing her forgeries. Declan flirts with her and gives her his number. Hennessy calls Jordan and tells her someone bought the painting they wanted to steal and replace with a copy. She realizes it was Declan.
Ronan and Declan are in the elevator, and they see a woman who looks exactly like their mom. The elevator closes, and Ronan goes back to try and find her. He loses her, but some women give him her card.
Farooq-Lane feels uneasy at the market. She gets her fortune told and receives a message from Bryde, telling her if she wants to kill someone in secret, she should not do it in front of trees. She gets exposed and escapes thanks to Parsifal.
Ronan dreams of Bryde’s voice and of the sea because the painting has a spell that makes everyone under the same roof dream of the sea. He wakes up and asks Gansey about the card. He says it’s a logo of Boudicca, a ‘women in business’ group and a historical Celtic warrior princess. Nightwash is coming out of his nose.
Ronan goes back to the Fairy Market and finds the building consumed by fire. He sees the woman with his mother’s face get into a car with another person who looks like a copy of him. He chases them until he has them trapped, but the nightwash is choking him. Ronan dreams of blackness and of Bryde’s voice saying he would help him. He wakes up outside of the city without knowing how he got there.
Farooq-Lane finds Parsifal in the bathtub after having a vision and being sick. They follow the vision and find the cul-de-sac where the Zed they are searching for is. They arrive just in time to see Ronan’s car driving away.
Back at the Barns, Ronan talks to Adam, and he accepts that he needs to investigate the card slower. He looks at old family pictures and realizes the man he saw before didn’t look like him but like his father.
Farooq-Lane and Parsifal find an old lady dreamer and report her even though Parsifal knows she’s not the one who’s going to end the world. He thinks if Farooq-Lane reports her, she will be killed, but Farooq-Lane says they’re not going to hurt an old lady, even though she knows he’s probably right.
Hennessy and her copies make plans to break into Declan’s house and replace the painting with their forgery. Jordan goes on a date with Declan while the girls break into his house and make the exchange. After the date, Declan looks for something hidden in the painting but doesn’t find anything.
Adams makes a surprise visit to the Barns because the next day is Ronan’s birthday. Adam goes into a trance to try and find Bryde. Instead, he gets attacked by something that seems to be scared of Bryde. He goes back to Harvard that same night.
A red-haired woman named Liliana is hitchhiking towards D.C. A mother and her kids pick her up, but there’s a storm and they crash. The woman is now a teenager, and she cries and starts walking. Later, a red-haired girl goes to a book signing by a children’s illustrator in a gallery. Chaos starts from out of nowhere, and when everyone is gone, she asks the owner and author for directions to Hennessy because of a forgery in the gallery made by her. He thinks it’s an original and can’t give her any information.
Hennessy falls asleep with the painting in the room, accompanied by Jordan. They think the painting’s going to allow Hennessy to sleep without bringing back copies of herself. Ronan dreams of Lindenmere and finds Bryde’s voice there. He tells Ronan to save another dreamer who’s in danger and gives him an address.
Jordan and Hennessy wake up drowning in the room, and she has dreamed another copy of herself. Ronan saves them, but the new copy dies. The girls ask Ronan to prove he’s a dreamer, so he dreams a copy of his father’s painting with Hennessy’s face. They tell Ronan their story. He thinks Hennessy’s lying to them and that the copies aren’t killing her. He confronts Hennessy, but she doesn’t want to tell him what the dream that’s killing her is really about.
Declan gets Matthew from the waterfalls again. There are other creatures dreamed by Ronan there. When Matthew sees them, he realizes that he’s a dream, too. At the church, Ronan finds out and tries to talk to Matthew. He calls Ronan a liar.
Jordan is getting another flower tattoo on her neck to match the one that appears on Hennessy’s every time she dreams a new copy. They fight because Hennessy won’t let Ronan help them. Jordan calls Declan and meets him. She gives him back the painting and takes him to a house where she paints his portrait. A text from Matthew interrupts the moment, and he has to go but promises to sit for another painting when Jordan scraps all of the progress she had made.
Parsifal and Farooq-Lane fight, and he leaves and disappears for the rest of the day. Liliana, the red-haired girl, is at a house, but something happens and the people she’s staying with die. Someone puts her inside a refrigerator, where she starts to suffocate. Farooq-Lane finds Parsifal behind a trash bin, stuck in the middle of one of his visions. His body is one side his normal age and the other a younger age, which is what happens to Visionaries. They shift within their own timeline, bringing the sound of all those years and killing anyone close enough to hear. He has the rest of his vision and shows it to her. She follows Parsifal’s vision and finds the next Visionary, Liliana, as an old lady inside a refrigerator.
Hennessy meets with Ronan and tells him about her dream. It looks like it’s similar to what attacked Adam, and Ronan thinks Lindenmere can help. He takes her to Lindenmere, where he tells her to dream with the help of Opal and the forest.
Declan tries to comfort Mathew, who is very affected by learning where he came from. He thinks he’s a fake Lynch, but his older brother makes him look for a hidden card behind The Dark Lady. Declan says the woman in the painting is not Aurora but Mór Ó Corra, Declan’s real mother. He finds a card with the words The New Fenian written in it and Boudicca’s logo.
Jordan goes with Declan to a meeting with Boudicca. He finds the man who looks like Niall Lynch and discovers he’s a copy of his father who calls himself The New Fenian. He tells Declan to stay away from him and Mór Ó Corra if he wants to live and protect his brothers.
Farooq-Lane and Liliana meet Ramsay, another Moderator. He’s at the old lady dreamer’s house and has just killed her even though they knew she wasn’t dangerous. Farooq-Lane is angry and has always hated Ramsey, so she hits him. Liliana says she’ll follow her anywhere. They both go to a field where she can have her episode and comes out as a younger version of herself.
Declan takes Jordan to his house. They have coffee and go to the attic to see his collection of paintings. Jordan starts to get dizzy, and Declan realizes she’s a dream because that’s something that also happens to Matthew. He takes her home, and she goes in and finds three of the girls are dead. June is fighting the attackers, and Declan intervenes. June tells them to run, that they are also looking for Ronan and they know about Matthew. They run, and June dies.
Hennessy can’t control what she dreams and keeps repeating her mother’s suicide. Ronan tries to help her change the dream into whatever she wants, but she can’t do it. Opal tells him to call Bryde. He talks to them from the trees, but, as always, Ronan can’t see his face. He tells them to work together and find him.
Hennessy manifests the dream that’s killing her. It’s an entity she calls the Lace. It sees her and wants to come through her into the world and destroy it. She’s attacked, and Ronan makes it go away. It’s not in time, though, so she gets another flower tattoo. He explains to Hennessy how to dream something different than copies of herself.
Declan calls and tells him Matthew is in danger. Both of them are too far away to help. Ronan asks Lindenmere for help, and the forest makes a pack of sundogs to protect his younger brother. Two hours later, he arrives at Declan’s house and finds the place destroyed. His brothers and Jordan are safe but still hiding from his sundogs. He gets them under control.
Liliana is the Visionary who gave the Moderators the information about Ronan and Hennessy, but she is shocked at their violence. They manipulate her, and she agrees to stay at a cottage with Farooq-Lane while she’s working with them so she can’t hurt people with her visions.
How did Call Down the Hawk end?
Ronan and Hennessy agree to go to the falls to try to dream and talk to Bryde. The rest are going to the Barns where it’s safer for them. They dream and find themselves inside the Lace, but now they have swords and can hold it back long enough to call Bryde. They wake up paralyzed, with the weapons from their dream on their chests. Ronan and Hennessy are surrounded by Moderators, and Bryde is there protecting them. They find out they’re killing dreamers to stop the end of the world, and they know the Moderators are not going to let them live. They both pull the swords free. Ronan’s sword shimmers with sunlight and Hennessy’s with moonlight. This pushes the Moderators back, and the three of them fly away on a hoverboard.