Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Publishing Info: March 2018 by Hodder Paperbacks (first published 2017)
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Back Cover Summary:
Since he was five years old, Lazlo Strange has been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to go 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.
Strange the Dreamer is, well, strange and dreamlike, and absolutely beautiful. Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely stunning. Her lyrical prose had me spellbound from the first page. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favourite books, so I had high expectations for Strange the Dreamer, which is the first novel in a separate duology.
The worldbuilding is phenomenal. I felt completely immersed in the world, as well as being captivated by the mysteries of Weep. I loved discovering the world along with Lazlo, and I was propelled through the first half of the book by my need to know the story behind the mystery of Weep. Even though it had a slower pace, I was intrigued enough for it to hold my attention. In the second half, we get to explore Weep itself, but I won’t tell you too much about that, because part of the wonder of this book was seeing the world unfurl through Lazlo’s eyes. It really is best going into this book not knowing what to expect, because the unexpected in this book is wonderful and mind-boggling.
The two main characters don’t meet until around halfway through the book, so the romance element did feel quite squidged into the second half. I believed Lazlo and Sarai’s feelings for each other and loved their scenes together, but it all happened in a relatively short space of time, and I would have liked more time for their connection to develop.
There are no caricature villains here, but rather grey characters who do bad things, but you can completely understand the reasons behind their choices, which made for a really compelling cast of characters. There are two groups on opposing sides of a conflict, and the story is crafted in such a way that I felt empathy for both sides, rather than it being a simple case of good vs evil.
Strange the Dreamer is magical, but it also has dark undertones and ultimately explores the effects of tragedy and loss. There is deep meaning woven into this mystical story, and it provides important messages about issues in our own world.
The ending of this book broke my heart and left me feeling utterly devastated and breathless. There is a flicker of hope, but it comes with a price. I will definitely be getting my hands on the sequel, Muse of Nightmares.
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor”
I’m glad you enjoyed this book! I wasn’t sure if this book would be for me based on the blurb, but your review definitely convinced me to add it to my TBR! Wonderful review, MT! 💖
If you like imaginative fantasy books with lyrical prose I would definitely recommend, it’s a very good book!
Wow what timing! I’ve been staring at this book online trying to decide if I want to pick it up recently, because I loved her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy so much, but I was afraid this one would feel *too* lyrical. But this seems like the perfect sign.
Haha that’s funny timing! I liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone more. But this book was really good too! The story suits the lyrical style, if that makes sense, as in part it’s about dreams.
It sounds like I’m gonna have to pick it up lol