Monday, 5 June 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 544
Genres: Fantasy, High/Epic


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 or 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?

Welcome to Weep.
I love Laini Taylor's writing, she weaves language in such a unique way that to read her prose is almost breathtaking in parts. I read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone a couple of years ago and I loved it, and I am pleased to say her new novel is just as wonderful. The writing style is very whimsical and dreamlike, full of imaginative descriptions. It is a delight to read.

I wasn't sure if I was going to connect with the main character, Lazlo Strange, just from reading the summary but I need not have worried because I ADORED him. Lazlo's passion is for books, more specifically, books about the lost magical city of Weep and just general fantasy/fairytales. He is so into his books that he rarely leaves the library in which he works and has been known to walk into walls because he is so completely into the book he is reading. He was really endearing and I related to him so much. I fell in love with him a little bit, not going to lie.

This book has a dual third party narration, one is Lazlo and the other is Sarai. Initially, I found it hard to get my head around what Sarai and her friends are. They are essentially the forgotten children of the slaughtered Gods, they each have their own magical abilities and they all share one defining characteristic, blue skin. They all are completely fascinating and I have never read anything as original as this book.

The world that Laini Taylor has created is so layered and so exquisitely crafted, it is really hard for me to articulate how I feel about it. There are so many mysteries that I can't wait to learn more about in the next book. The ending was just phenomenal and doesn't end on a cliffhanger which I appreciated. I could envision the world in my mind so well, I would love to see an illustrated edition of this book as it would be gorgeous.

It's goes without saying that I would highly recommend Strange the Dreamer, for all the reasons I have already mentioned. It really transports you to another world and I am completely invested in all of the characters and can hardly wait for the next book, The Muse of Nightmares.

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