Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor follows Lazlo Strange, a war orphan boy who was raised by monks and works as a junior librarian. Lazlo always thought that his destiny was smaller than other more important people. He always dreamed of one day finding the mythic land of Weep. But he never allowed himself to venture out enough to find out.
Until one day a chance to visit the land comes along. Warriors and a man who is referred to as the Godslayer come into town looking for people to come with them back to Weep for a mysterious task. Lazlo has to seize his chance or deal with losing his dream forever.
New mysteries arise along the journey, raising more questions than answers. Who is the blue girl Lazlo keeps dreaming about? How did the Godslayer get his name? Why was Weep cut off from the rest of the world?
Strange is definitely a word I would use to describe this book. Another word I might use is beautiful. One of the things I love about fantasy is how it can sweep you away into a completely different world and convince you that it truly exists. Laini Taylor did exactly that. I felt like I was in Weep with Lazlo and his new companions, witnessing everything for the first time right along with them. I don’t want to spoil anything in the book, since the mystery is half the fun of reading in the first place.
“It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming.”
Lazlo was a great character to follow. He seems like the type that I would get along with. He was a storyteller and a human library. Many of the characters Lazlo gets to know over the time he spends in Weep and along the journey become more real as the book goes on. Sarai is a character that helps define this book. You know nothing will be the same after she enters the story.
There were times where I laughed and times where I genuinely felt sad while reading this. The suspense at times was both exciting and nerve-racking. At times I found that I was able to guess what was ultimately going to happen, but I didn’t feel any less interested. But the best part about this book is that it’s filled with ghosts, gods/goddesses, magic, love, and war.
“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
The world-building in this book was both magical and beautiful. The characters were three dimensional and a few had rich backgrounds. The lines between villain and hero were blurred from time to time, creating an interesting dynamic. Forbidden love plays a role, as do unforgiving truths. This is a magical and dangerous story, to say the least.
I have never read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor, but I am seriously considering it now. Her writing style is gorgeous and her imagery is truly magical. This book had me wanting more. Lucky for me, it’s planned to be a duology. To say I’m excited for the second book would be an understatement. I mean, Strange the Dreamer and The Muse of Nightmares? Beautiful book titles.
“Like nightmares, dreams were insidious things, and didn’t like being locked away.”
I would absolutely recommend this book if you love fantasy. The world Laini Taylor created is both beautiful and frightening. The mysteries of Weep were a great part of this book, so I recommend not spoiling it for yourself and just reading the book! This book was a nice change of pace from my typical fantasy novel. The ending was a cliffhanger and I need the second book!