Review: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

Release Date: March 28th 2017
Published By: Hodder & Stoughton/Hachette/Little Brown
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Purchase: Booktopia The Book Depository

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: 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?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.


Review: Captivating from the very first page, Strange the Dreamer is a truly enchanting story filled with mystery and wonder, tragedy and romance, beauty and sorrow. This is master storytelling at its very best!

In the aftermath of a war between gods and men, a mysterious city with a stolen name and a librarian with a hunger for the truth will collide in the most magical and astonishing way in Strange the Dreamer.

Welcome to Weep.

And that is all I am going to tell you about this story. Go into this as blind as possible and experience the wonder and adventure for yourself. Take this journey through the eyes of Lazlo and Sarai, the wonderful and complex characters at the heart of this story filled with nightmares and knowledge, fear and courage, love and bloodshed.

So, a little about our main characters: the librarian with a dream and a girl with nightmares of her own.

Lazlo, our young librarian, is thoroughly delightful. He is as enchanting as he is enchanted by the city that was stripped of its name. Lazlo is consumed with all things Weep, he is intelligent and kind and has a thirst for knowledge, especially for all things forgotten. And when the day comes where he the chance to find the answers to questions that have plagued him since an ill-fated day as a child where the name of a beloved city was ripped from his tongue, his going to take it. Although not a revered scholar, warrior or alchemist, our intelligent and determined librarian will put all on the line to find the answers he has been searching for for so long.

By putting it all on the line, Lazlo finally has the chance to uncover the mysteries that have plagued him for so many years. Accompanying god slayers, warriors, scholars, alchemists and general misfits, Lazlo makes his way to the city of Weep.

But he may just find more than he could have ever imagined or any book could have ever of told him.

The city of Weep has many secrets, within itself and of itself. And dreams are not always what they seem. Here enters our blue-skinned godspawn Sarai, our lovely muse of nightmares. Sarai is haunted by not only her past, but her entire existence. Muse of nightmares she may be, but she is ever so wonderfully fascinating! Filled with regret and nightmares, Sarai must do what she can to protect the secrets hovering over Weep, but is there a chance she can ever be more than a monster who haunts the dreams of those who trapped her?

Godspawn and librarians, alchemists and scholars, warriors and misfits, monsters and heroes make up our cast of complex and intricate characters. And every single one of them are fascinating. Filled with amazingly developed secondary characters, ranging from lovely to horrible, who all have secrets and tortures of their own. The secondary characters in this world are captivating, and sometimes terrifying. But these characters help define our heroes into who they are - either through compassion, deceit, courage, determination, intellect or friendship. And wow do they make it one hell of an interesting story!

And the romance… swoon! There is such a lovely connection between our Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares. Filled with wonder and tenderness, our lovely blue-skinned girl and crooked nosed boy open up new worlds of possibilities for each other, a world filled with learning and understanding, captivation and hope, heartache and desire. Slow, sweet and utterly beautiful, the relationship between these two is poignant and charming.

Laini is a true wordsmith. A true storyteller. Her complex storylines are beautifully offset with her exquisite prose and ability to completely bring you into her world. Laini’s writing is pure magic: lyrical and filled with luscious descriptions that float off the page.

Anyone who knows anything about me knows I adore Laini’s writing style. And people ask me why. The reason is once again shown in this book. When reading her work, you are not just reading a book, you are transported into another world, you can see it, feel it, taste it, and you are completely lost in the beauty and terror of it. She has an ability to make the words come right off the page and cocoon you. Her magical writing creates total investment in what is happening at the time, and then you are blindsided when all the pieces fall together. The complexities of the world and characters are masterfully explored, showing both its beauty and its misery. This book magnificently explores and exposes secrets, it weaves romance and tragedy and it will leave you breathless.

As I am a true Laini Taylor fan, you may think that I was going to love this book either way, and while I understand why you would think this, it is actually the opposite. Of course I was ridiculously excited for this book, as I do adore Laini’s work, however, along with this is also a great fear. Although Laini’s stories have never let me down, there is always a fear of a book not quite living up to my expectation (as the bar is so high). Where I would normally be a little let down by other books, I would be massively let down by one by Laini as I expect nothing but the best. So it was with massive amounts of excitement and fear that I picked up Strange the Dreamer. And let me just say, this book is a knock-out! With or without my love for Laini’s work, I would have fallen in love with this wonderfully complex, sweet, torturous book - and while it has everything in it that I love about Laini’s writing, this book definitely holds its own!

With heartache and sorrow, hope and love, carnage and destruction, moths and blood candy, alchemy and passion, monsters and men, Strange the Dreamer is totally mesmerising and utterly breath-taking!

I really struggle in writing a review for a book I love so much, so I am going to finish this review by saying what I really want to scream from the rooftops: THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!! A-MAZ-ING!!! PRE-ORDER IT NOW! PRE-ORDER ALL THE EDITIONS!

What do you think?

  • You said it all here. It was a very very close 5 star for me. There was just little, little things here and there that I didn’t love. But, really didn’t matter all that much to me. I struggled to write my review for this one, but it’s out now and there is nothing I can do, expect to say - read it.

    Thanks for the review.
    Angel @Angel Reads recently posted…Book Review: Strange The Dreamer by Laini TaylorMy Profile

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