Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

*I read the UK edition (second cover) because it’s 100% prettier than the US version. I read this in May 2017 and reviewed it then. I read it as a hardcover, and as always, this is my honest review.

At this point, I think I’ll read anything Laini Taylor publishes. I really enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone when I originally read it, but also applauded it’s uniqueness as a story. I had no idea what Strange the Dreamer was about before getting into it, only that with Laini Taylor as the author, I knew I was in for magic.

And I was not disappointed.

Summary:

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.

This story is fantastical, magical, and all kinds of beautiful. The worlds Laini Taylor creates are so lush and real that even though you’ve never experienced something like them, you can’t help but get caught up in them. I don’t think I can adequately describe just how beautiful the world in this book is.

The story is also fantastic. The ideas and concepts explored, the intrigue, the way everything fits in together. Laini Taylor has grown as an author and has become an even better writer (and I didn’t think that was possible). This story is complex and captivating. Everything that happens, every line, every detail has importance in the story. Every little word has purpose within in the story. This book is 532 pages long AND I CAN STILL HONESTLY SAY THAT EVERY WORD IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

Needless to say, it’s not a book you can read in a couple of hours. This book takes a while to up the pace, but it’s enjoyable as you develop the story. If you want fast-paced action, this book is not for you. But if you want dwell in the magic and fantasy for a while and linger there, this one is definitely a good choice.

I absolutely adored Lazlo. And Sarai. And Ruby. And Sparrow. And Minya. And even Nero. I just loved the development of these characters and how they evolve. Lazlo still remains my favorite simply because I identified with his dreaming state so much.

The end though. It’s perfect. I’m dying for book two. I need it to be real and in my arms right now.

This book took me two weeks to read, because I got into a bit of a slump (no school and all), and this book is HEAVY. The pages are thick and not flimsy like most big books nowadays. But I enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. This story is absolutely fantastic!

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