STRANGE THE DREAMER
AUTHOR: LAINI TAYLOR
SERIES: STRANGE THE DREAMER, #1
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: FANTASY, ROMANCE, YA
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?
This is the first book that I’ve read by Laini Taylor and you can bet your ass that I’m going to bump my copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone up my TBR now. Taylor’s writing is beautiful. Just a few paragraphs into the Prologue, I was already blown away by the vivid descriptions and gorgeous language. Full of lush imagery, emotive word choice and clever metaphors, Taylor’s writing is stunning.
The plot is really unusual, but perhaps a little drawn out. Boiled down, the story is relatively simple and a lot of pages could have been cut without impacting the story much. In particular, I found myself struggling to give my full attentive to the beginning and Lazlo’s childhood, and toward the end, during the (I felt too long) Sarai and Lazlo dream sequences. This could just be me though because we all know my patience for romance is limited. Their relationship was lovely though, but it just didn’t compel me as much as some of the other elements which could have been explored.
I loved both of the lead characters, Sarai and Lazlo. They were each unique and completely distinct throughout the story. I also loved the entire godspawn gang. Each of the five was well-written and appealing in their own way. I want all the fanarts of the group and the Citadel. I think my favourite thing in relation to all the characters, and something that Taylor did flawlessly, was presenting everyone as the hero and villain of their own story, showing the complex morality of the situation in Weep. No single character was entirely bad or perfectly good. I did wish that we saw a little more of Thyon though, who was glorious spoiled-but-damaged rich-boy trash.
The ending was absolutely killer, especially the part with Sarai, which I somehow didn’t see coming. I felt like an awful lot happened towards the end and that this was where the action of the story really happened.
tl;dr Stunning writing, clever plot and unique setting but too much doe-eyed romance,