Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Strange the Dreamer was one of the best books I read in 2018 and is one the best books I’ve ever read just ever. I think that’s probably a good place to start with this review.
When trying to write this post, I really didn’t know where to start and I am sure that this review will continue to feel a little like that. I always find it more difficult to talk about books that I loved in comparison to talking about books I didn’t like so much. If I come across as incoherent or repetitive at any point, I apologise but talking about a book you love is just difficult. What more can I tell you other than I loved this book so much and I encourage you to read it immediately?
I have read the first two books from Laini’s Daughter of Blood and Bone series, and found that, for me, her books dropped off between the middle and end. Because of this, I have put off reading Strange the Dreamer. Not every book is different, I know, but I was really worried that the same thing would happen reading Strange. I was worried that I might fall in love with this book and then be disappointed when I got three quarters of the way through it. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. The thing I reminded myself of before going into Strange the Dreamer is that the series is different and that authors do change and their writing styles continue to be worked on.
The plot of this book was interesting and enchanting. This book had a perfect mix of a world of normality and a hint of magic. Strange the Dreamer follows the main character Lazlo Strange as he journeys to the city of Weep. The city is in the shadows of a city made up of once great yet terrifying group of Gods. The Gods were slain but yet the city still remains and so the majority of this book follows the task of destroying the flying city that has haunted the citizens of Weep ever since it arrived.
Lazlo Strange was such an interesting character to follow. He was raised by monks but when we meet him, he is a junior librarian who dedicates his spare time to finding out as much as he can about Weep. Lazlo is a gentle and kind character who is unable to progress and become the Scholar he would like to be because of his background. Despite this, he didn’t let that stop him from going on a mission. On this journey, he discovers a lot about himself.
The other characters were complex and interesting. Whilst there were a few characters that I wasn’t so keen on, everyone did have a purpose and were involved in the plot. Sarai, who was the other main character in this book, was someone who you could sympathise with. She is hidden away from the rest of the world but desperately wants to live normally with the rest of the people. Although the Gods and the Godspawn are seen as monsters, Sarai’s PoV proved this point wrong.
The writing in this book was good in that I felt that it described everything well which enabled me to imagine every scene. It constantly kept me interested and made me want to read the book even when I couldn’t. I felt that Strange the Dreamer was written at a good pace that sped up at the necessary times during the story.
This was absolutely a 5 star read. I honestly enjoyed this book so much that after I finished it, I had to just take a moment to sit and think about it before I went back over the ending again. I am looking forward to reading Muse of Nightmares and diving back into this story with all the characters I loved in Strange the Dreamer.