So I’ve been seeing this book everywhere lately, possibly because it’s sequel is due out soon and everyone is frantically reading or re-reading Strange the Dreamer before that happens. Even though I had no idea what the book was about, I figured it must be pretty good…and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed!
So that you don’t dive in blind like I did (although it paid off anyway), here’s a quick synopsis of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor:
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?
So yep, definitely fantasy! As any regular readers, or those who know my reading habits, can attest to, fantasy is definitely not my normal genre HOWEVER this story is so well written, and uses language that is at once accessible and lyrical, that I almost forgot I was reading fantasy and was simply transported in to the world of Weep and the Tizerkane. So any non-fantasy readers out there – don’t let that turn you off this read! (It’s also pretty light fantasy, and easy to follow.)
Lazlo Strange is such a weird and wonderful character, humble and full wonder. Honestly, he’s almost too perfect and sort of lacks any real flaws but he’s just so damn loveable that even his perfection didn’t turn me off, where it normally might have.
I also adored the conflict and struggle that Sarai feels throughout the book. Indebted to the creepily tyrannical Minya, but also sympathising with the humans (faranji) she’s been taught to hate. There is very tangible emotion in this book, and you can really feel how difficult it is for Sarai to truly hate the faranji after spending night after night trespassing on their dreams – which show their innermost thoughts and emotions.
I don’t want to give too much away, and I worry that if I keep writing too long something will slip out! All I can say is that this book really caught me by surprise. I was expecting a good book, but I wasn’t expecting to be drawn so fully in to this fantastical world. The 500-odd pages honestly flew by!
Rating: Recommended to anyone who enjoys light fantasy or fantasy. The characters are well-developed and the story flowed really well, plus the emotion and action are a joy to read.
Are you one of the many who have read Strange the Dreamer? What did you like (or not!) about it?
Or have you seen it around but not picked it up? Or perhaps just not seen it at all!
Until next time,
*valid at time of posting