This is my first Laini Taylor book and I had heard before picking this up that her writing style is so beautiful. While it was really hard to get into the story as her writing style is very flowery and descriptive, but I found I was drawn into the story once it began to get exciting.
Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date published: March 28th 2017
Page Count: 544
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 to 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 book is so beautifully written and after picking it up and putting it down multiple times, I finally got drawn into the story and the city of Weep. We follow librarian and dreamer Lazlo as he travels to the mysterious city of Weep to solve the problem that has caused this once magical place to become not so magical anymore.
I really enjoyed the story and the pacing of the book. It is split into multiple parts, and each part builds up to a major revelation or resolution. For the first section of the book, we learn more about Lazlo and his fascination with Weep and his journey to weep after he gets accepted to be an assistant to the Godslayer. I particularly liked how the reason for Weeps downfall is kept a mystery for the first half of the book, and we are left wondering, like most of the characters, what exactly the problem is. We then follow Lazlo as he works with the scholars and warriors on how to fix the surprising and unexpected problem and meets the blue-skinned “Godspawn” Sarai in his dreams. ‘Strange the Dreamer’ is a book about magic, Gods and their relationship with the common people, and for Lazlo, accepting who you are. The conclusion was completley unexpected and it sets up wonderfully for the second book in the series.
The writing did get very repetitive and at times the descriptive language did go over the top and I was really looking for more character development, particularly in the minor characters. I would have loved to get to know more of the scholars and warriors Lazlo travels with to Weep and I think they would have added some really interesting dynamics to the story. Likewise, it would have been great to delve deeper into the other Godspawn who lives with Sarai, especially Minya as she is essential to the story. To get more insight into her life and into her motivations for making the important decisions would have added something more to the story.
I adore Lazlo and his dreamy yet observant nature. His fascination for Weep and respect for everyone he meets makes him so endearing and throughout the book we see him act with only good intentions. Sarai is a little less interesting then Lazlo, but I enjoyed the parts of the book from her perspective and delving deeper into the story of the Gods and Goddesses’ that travelled to weep.
One of the main things that made this book only 4 stars was the romance between Lazlo and Sarai. They had some really sweet moments together, but I felt the romance was too ‘love at first sight’ which made it a little less meaningful and impactful. I would have loved if their romance was a little more organic and less ‘intense’ after only a few days-though some of this may be due to the fact that this is the first meaningful connection that both Lazlo and Sarai has had with someone.
‘Strange the Dreamer’ is a beautifully written story by Laini Taylor that explores the mysterious city of Weep and is a story about magic and love. I am intrigued to see where the story goes next in the sequel.