The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

 

Title: The Princess and the Fangirl

Author: Ashley Poston

Pages: 370

Publisher: Quirk Books

Published: 2019

Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thanks, Quirk Books!

Rating: ★★★★


Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.


‘The horizon’s wide and I have a kingdom to rule.’

The Princess and the Fangirl is the sequel to Geekerella, a book that I read back in 2017 and loved. I was a little worried that perhaps The Princess and the Fangirl wouldn’t quite meet up to the standard set by Geekerella, but it was just as good and it was so sweet.

One of the things that I loved about Geekerella when I read it was that it was such a quick and fun story that you can easily just slip into because it doesn’t require a lot of thought when reading it. The Princess and the Fangirl was exactly the same. It was a different story, but quite fun and I enjoyed it. It just made me happy and I love books that give me that feeling.

Thoughts

The Princess and the Fangirl is set over a 4 day period at ExcelsiCon, a convention based on the famous Starfield series/movie. ExcelsiCon is the same convention we attended in Geekerella so it was very nice to return to it but in this book, we see it from a different perspective. In The Princess and the Fangirl, we see it from the perspective of a fan/vendor and from the perspective of an actress. I thought this was quite a nice take because, as a fan, I obviously never get to see conventions in the eyes of an actor/actress, so this was interesting to read about.

This book follows two main characters, Imogen and Jessica. Imogen is the fan and Jessica is the actress, but they easily get mixed up as they look very similar. The Princess and the Fangirl really bounces off their likeness, especially when the new Starfield script gets leaked, and it goes on from there. As the synopsis above mentions, they switch places to find the person responsible for the leaks which exposes them to the sides of fandom that they both don’t get to normally experience.

I liked both Imogen and Jessica’s characters, but I did find Jessica to be a little bit annoying at times with how determined she was to hate conventions and fandom. I preferred Imogen’s character, but I do wonder if it’s because as a character, she’s a fan so I related to her a little bit more.

This book did include m/m and f/f romances which was really great to see. It’s nice to read a book and see diverse characters. Imogen and her brother also have two mums who are vendors, which I really loved.

The Princess and the Fangirl also featured the characters from Geekerella which was a lovely touch to this book. It actually made me feel quite happy as the characters were familiar and it was nice to see where they were a year on from the events of the first book.

The plot of this is fairly fast paced and the writing helps to keep it that way. The book is split into 4 parts based on each day at the convention. What I liked about this is that whilst the story was going on, what was happening in the background wasn’t sacrificed. When it was Saturday at the convention, there was definitely a lot of buzz whereas on the Sunday, you could actually imagine the convention winding down which made me feel quite sad knowing that it was coming to a close. I think Ashley did a really good job of conveying what people feel at conventions through this book.

This book is perfect for anyone who is part of a fandom or anyone who wants to or has attended a convention before. I’ve attended YALC/LFCC for the past two years and will be going again this year. This book brought back so many great memories for me as I thought back to my own convention experiences whilst reading about the convention in this book. I think Ashley really manages to capture the magical element of conventions and it translates onto the page so well.

Final Thoughts

I’d fully recommend reading The Princess and the Fangirl if you like fairly fast paced books, romance and a book that is just fun. Like I said at the beginning, I really enjoyed being able to fall into this book without having to really think about the story or anything because it is easy to follow. I would argue that it is predictable, but it’s a happy kind of predictable. If I’m totally honest, reading this book made me think of my own convention experiences and has me really looking forward to my next YALC. I love books that make you happy and this is definitely one of those books that does that!

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Title: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Pages: 370

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Published: 2018

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★.5


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


The Cruel Prince was a last minute favourite read for 2018. It was one of the books I read for the readathon I hosted at the end of 2018, End of Yearathon.

I haven’t read anything by Holly Black before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I’d heard quite a lot of positive things about this book throughout 2018 since its release so I wanted to make sure I read it during the year it was released. Especially since the sequel, The Wicked King, was released in January so I knew I had to get to The Cruel Prince before that.

Oh boy, I really was not prepared for how much I’d enjoy this book. Don’t get me wrong, this book did have some aspects that I wasn’t too keen on, but by the end of the book I found that I had really enjoyed it and I really needed the next book that second. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait too long.

Thoughts

The Cruel Prince follows Jude, a human girl, who navigates through faerie whilst being seen as below everyone else. We follow her as she goes to school and balls and has to deal with the disapproval of faeries the majority of the time. During her time in faerie, Jude comes across some interesting information as Elfhame becomes increasingly closer to having a new ruler.

I liked Jude despite the fact that, at times, she was a little annoying. I thought that she was quite brave and that she was trying to do what was right. She has been through a lot in her life, such as witnessing her parents being murdered and then being taken away and raised by their killer, which is cruel in itself. Despite her experiences, I felt that she was a fairly strong and resilient character, as well as being fairly clever and using things to her advantage.

I disliked Taryn, Jude’s twin sister as I thought that she was pretty bad to Jude at times. Vivi, on the other hand, was pretty cool and I loved that she was fairly rebellious. Cardan and his group are friends are huge bullies. I wasn’t keen on a lot of ways they treated humans like they were so below the faeries. Some of the things they did really didn’t sit well with me and I found myself getting quite frustrated at them at times.

The Cruel Prince is set in Elfhame. I felt like I could imagine things fairly vividly, including Madoc’s estate as that’s where a lot of Jude’s time was spent. The map at the front of the book also really helped me when trying to imagine where places mentioned throughout the book were. Everything was described fairly well so that really added to my reading experience.

There was plenty of scheming throughout this book which I quite enjoyed. It involved different plots by different people and it was interesting to see how the different schemes were carried out throughout the book. It’s especially intriguing to see Holly’s faeries scheme as they are unable to lie so I think that does make the scheming seem even more clever at times.

I quite enjoyed the writing of The Cruel Prince and felt that it flowed really nicely. The chapters were fairly short which enabled me to read this book at a faster pace. Of course, this was aided by the story being so good. I thought that Holly’s writing worked so well with the plot and that she really kept the pace up throughout. Holly’s experience in writing about faeries really shows.3B5E7238-93A1-45ED-A945-0BC75D9ECF6E

Final Thoughts

As I said before, there were some aspects of this book that I wasn’t keen on, which is why I gave this book 4.5 stars, but I did end up really enjoying it. I don’t read that many faerie themed books (apart from Sarah J Maas’ books) and this was the first book by Holly Black that I have read. I found myself liking both her interpretation of faeries and her writing so that has definitely pushed me to check out more of her work in the future.

 

The Near Witch by V. E. Schwab

 

Title: The Near Witch

Author: V. E. Schwab

Pages: 293

Publisher: Titan Books

Published: Re-release 2019 (Original release, 2011)

Source: Finished copy, gifted by the publisher (Thank you!)

Rating: ★★★★


The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.


‘It starts with a crack, a sputter, and a spark.’

I went into The Near Witch not really knowing too much about it except for the fact that it was a re-release and that it involved a witch but you know, it’s by V. E. Schwab so I was immediately interested.

There are some books that you just know you’re going to love or hate within the first few pages and with this one, I knew almost immediately that I was hooked within it’s grasp. It ended up taking me about four hours to The Near Witch as I read just under half of it on the way to Victoria’s Forbidden Planet signing in London and then the remainder of it on my train back home.

Thoughts

The Near Witch follows Lexi in the small village of Near, where everybody knows everyone. Lexi lives with her mother and sister after her father passed away. She carries her father close to her and he is a big influence on her throughout this book. I liked the character of Lexi. She is interested in gathering the facts but also is open minded and almost fearless. As children go missing in Near, she makes a decision to try and find them in her own way whilst trying to also avoid her Uncle, the protector of Near. Before the children go missing though, a stranger turns up in Near. There are never strangers in Near and this one comes at a time before all hell breaks loose.

The time that The Near Witch is set in is a strange one. It felt as if it was set in the 1600/1700s with the talk of witches, but then it also felt almost like it didn’t exist at any specific time at all. When writing this review, I also realised that the village of Near is just a place, it’s not specified that it’s any country which is interesting as you’re then just focused on the place itself. Near just exists.

The plot is fairly fast paced with plenty of mystery and intrigue that draws you in and doesn’t really let you back out until the end. I can vouch for this considering I read it in four hours. I though that the writing really contributed to the pace of the plot. The writing is different to but I feel it is still distinctively V’s. It’s descriptive meaning that you can really imagine the people and places quite vividly.

I think it’s difficult to compare it to V. E. Schwab’s more recent works as she has really developed as a writer in the past 8 years since The Near Witch was originally released. I was a bit wary going into this book that perhaps there was a reason The Near Witch didn’t do so well when it was originally released – was it because it wasn’t that great or was it simply because it wasn’t the right time for it to be released? However, upon reading it, I do think that it was just that timing wasn’t right. It is a quirky little book that might not work for everybody, but I liked it and thought that it was a fairly quick read.

Final Thoughts

Whilst I enjoyed this book and read it so quickly, I’m still hovering between 3.5 and 4 stars with this book. I should clarify that for me, a 3 star rating doesn’t mean it’s bad. It means that I liked the book. I enjoyed it and got through it quickly, but I didn’t love it and I probably won’t re-read it. I think it is a great book for September/October when Halloween is approaching and Autumn is starting to really set in.

One of the questions I have asked myself, when thinking about the rating, is if I’d have read this back in 2011 as a 15/16 year old, would I enjoy it? It’s hard to tell because my tastes are obviously a bit different to how they were 7/8 years ago but I do think I would have enjoyed this book back then too.

 

5 Reasons to read Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

 

Title: Heartstopper

Author: Alice Oseman

Pages: 288

Publisher: Hodder

Published: 2018

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★.5


Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…


Heartstopper is a graphic novel completely designed and written by author Alice Oseman. Alice has gained quite a lot of attention over the last couple of years but I haven’t read any of her books since I read Solitaire just after it was released. I hadn’t realised prior to reading it but Heartstopper is the story of Charlie and Nick who we meet in Solitaire.

Of course, it’s been a fair few years since I read it and I’ve read quite a lot of books in between but I like that Alice has done a prequel to Solitaire and given us the back story of these characters. I particularly like that she has done it such a visual way.

So without further ado, here are my 5 reasons to read Heartstopper…

1. The Art Style – The art throughout this graphic novel is simple but effective. All of the art is done using monotone colours but I don’t think that hindered the story at all. I think that the monotone colours helped to focus on the plot of the graphic novel more.

2. The Story – The plot was super cute. It was easy to follow and flowed really nicely from page to page. It mostly follows Charlie and Nick at school but it does stray away to over the holidays. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Charlie and Nick and following this plot into the next volume that is coming out in July.

3. The Characters – Both Charlie and Nick were likeable characters. I liked that Alice was able to really show their personalities and that for example, even though Nick is a rugby player and so are his friends, they didn’t adhere to the stereotypical image of rugby players.

4. The LGBTQ+ rep – Heartstopper tackles quite a few issues throughout and has good representation. One of the issues that it dealt with was bullying and how this affected Charlie. It also dealt with unwanted attention from another character and characters hiding their sexuality. Heartstopper also dealt with Nick trying to work his way through his feelings and his sexuality.

5. The Pace – The pace of Heartstopper is very fast which means that you fly through it but it’s quite memorable. It read so quickly that my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough!

Bonus reason: Alice is currently putting out the comic on Tumblr too, so even after you finish it, you can carry on with Charlie and Nick’s story by reading the tumblr page.

I hope that if you were debating reading this, the above reasons have helped you to decide to read it. I personally enjoyed this graphic novel quite a bit and thought that the plot and art style was quite refreshing.

The Priory of Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

 

Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree

Author: Samantha Shannon

Pages: 804

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: 2019

Source: ARC (Gifted, thanks to Bloomsbury)

Rating: ★★★★.5


The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


If the sun burned out tomorrow, your flame would light the world.’

The Priory of the Orange Tree has been one of my anticipated reads since I first heard about it so I was absolutely thrilled when Bloomsbury sent me a copy. Admittedly, though I’ve wanted to read it ever since I received it, I had been putting it off because of the size of it. Let’s be honest, it’s the size of 2/3 books so I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly quick read. I also planned fairly badly.

The intention to read it before the end of 2018 was there, but wanting to reach my Goodreads goal before 2018 ended got the better off me and so I opted for shorter books instead. Really, I should have been starting this beast of a book as it took me a month to read it and I finished the last 30 pages the day it came out. I think that it can be a little daunting when you first face this book as it is 800 pages. I know I definitely felt a little intimidated by it and like I may struggle, but it was such a fantastic book that I’m glad I finally read it.

I’m going to try and write this without spoiling anything as I want everyone to go into this book with no spoilers, so if this review is quite vague, now you know why!

Thoughts

In Priory, we follow four characters PoVs as Virtudom is on the brink of war. These characters are Ead, Tané, Niclays and Loth as they all navigate through the South, East and West. The world building in this book was just fantastic. It was so rich and descriptive that I found it easy to imagine the settings. Of course, rich world building in an 800-page book is something you would expect but Samantha really delivered. I didn’t find it at all confusing like I was first expecting. It was incredibly easy to follow because the settings were all so different. You can really tell that Samantha did so much for this book, not just because of the size but because of the sheer amount of detail throughout Priory.

Out of the four PoVs that we follow in this book, I think that my favourite was Ead but I also liked Tané. Both were prominent and were the primary focus out of the four characters we follow. I really liked Ead because of how there were so many layers to her and because she wasn’t afraid to do what was right. Tané was similar in that respect but she was also focused on herself and making sure she was the best dragon rider she could be. I liked Loth as a character but  we didn’t go to his PoV as often as Ead and Tané’s. I felt that Niclays really went on a journey during this book, but I personally liked his chapters least out of the four as I just wasn’t as invested in his story as the others.

Other than the 4 main characters that we follow, there are plenty of other characters throughout this book and all are fully fleshed out with backgrounds. Two of my favourite characters were Sabran and Meg. Although I did think Sabran could be a little cold at times, I did quite like her. Meg was such a good friend to Ead and I loved her attitude throughout the book. She was quite a badass as and when she needed to be.

Relating to characters, there was LGBT representation of f/f and m/m relationships and exploration of sexuality in this book which was good to see.

The dragons are quite a prominent feature in this book, or perhaps I should say wyrms. There are good dragons and bad wyrms which is different  There were quite a few different creatures featured throughout, but my favourite was perhaps the ichneumon called Arlaq who is kind of like Ead’s pet.

Although I found the pacing a little slow for the first 400-450 pages, as everything started to fall into place I found that it really picked up and the last 350-400 pages went by much faster than the first half. One thing that did slow the book down for me was the long chapters which is why I have given Priory 4.5 stars as I did feel like the long chapters did slow down the first half for me alongside the slower pacing.

I have read all books in Samantha’s The Bone Season series so far and I know that those books also have long chapters. This isn’t necessarily a criticism of Samantha’s books or her writing but I find that for me, long chapters slow the pace down meaning it takes me longer to read which is exactly what happened with this book. Despite the fact it did have long chapters, I was still interested in the book and was left wanting to read more whenever I put it down.

Final thoughts?

I found The Priory of the Orange Tree to be an enjoyable read that was incredibly well thought out. The character development was great, the world building was incredible and the plot was easy to follow. Despite the fact that the first half of the book was slower than the second half and the long chapters, I did find this to be a satisfying read and a really fantastic standalone book. I would absolutely recommend this book.

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

 

Title: Enchantée

Author: Gita Trelease

Pages: 459

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Published: 2019

Source: ARC (Gifted by MyKindaBook, thanks!)

Rating: ★★★★


Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


I have been wanting to read Enchantée since I first heard of it and it was pretty much everything I had hoped for. It had magic, the glamour of court (or should I say, glamoire), a Parisian setting and a lovely romance. It also had a feature of Marie Antoinette, although she didn’t pop up very often.

The plot of Enchantée is simple to follow. Camille, her sister Sophie and brother Alain are orphans who are trying to survive. Camille is the only one of her family that is able to work la magie and so, in order to make money, she goes to Versailles to help her family out. There, she comes across trouble.

Camille is our main character who is very focussed on doing anything to ensure that neither herself or her sister, Sophie, fall into poverty and face a worse fate. Camille definitely grows in this book as she has to deal with her alcoholic and gambling brother Alain, but also the threat of being found out that she can work magic to her will at Versailles. Camille essentially lives a double life throughout this book, but as her confidence grows thanks to the ‘fake’ life she’s living, this affects her attitude throughout the book on both sides.

During Enchantee, we see the introduction of other characters including Lazare who is working on a hot air balloon with Rosier and Armand. Lazare is a character who is trying to hide his roots but needs to use his connections at the same time to aid him in his work. He is a fairly significant character in this book. Armand is a character who felt a little unnecessary as he didn’t really take to Camille and there was no real reason why. Rosier was a very happy character who was a whirlwind of positivity on the page.

Whilst Camille is living her double life at Versailles, she meets Chandon and Aurelie, two characters who turn out to be great friends to Camille. With the introduction of these two characters, I feel like this changed Camille’s attitude towards the elite class of society as at first, she sort of resents the upper classes but throughout the book, her outlook on the upper classes changes.

This book was set in Paris and Versailles. I enjoyed seeing the contrast between the two, particularly as I felt that they helped to separate between Camille’s real life and her fantasy life. I think that this helped to show the contrast between how the rich and poor lived in France at this time. I also think that this lent to the fact that it felt like there were almost two stories that were running side by side.

I enjoyed the magical element in this book and it was quite important to the plot and to Camille and her character development. As magic is essentially forbidden and Camille is forced to hide her abilities, this reminded me a little of the witch hunts that had taken place in Europe.

I was expecting to see more of the planning of the French Revolution and more of Marie Antoinette, but I don’t think this particularly made me rate the book any differently but I do think that it may have added to the book. I just felt that I went into the book expecting something slightly different but nevertheless, I still enjoyed Enchantee.

I thought the writing in this one was good. It was a good pace and I didn’t feel myself losing interest at all. I will admit that during the first 100-150 pages, I felt the pace was slow but it did pick up and flowed really nicely afterwards. The chapters were also a nice length – I personally find books with longer chapters slower to read but the chapters in this were a good length.

Final thoughts?

I would absolutely recommend this book! If you’re looking for a book full of magic, mystery set in the city of Paris with the glamoire of Versaille, look no further than this! I thought that Enchantee was a wonderful addition to the historical YA genre and I look forward to seeing what Gita writes next.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

 

Title: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Pages: 532

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Published: 2017

Source: Bought

Rating: ★★★★★


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.

Final thoughts?

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.