Strange The Dreamer by Laini TaylorStrange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange The Dreamer

byLaini Taylor

Hardcover | March 28, 2017

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An instant New York Times bestseller and Michael L. Printz honor book!
Eleven best of lists including an NPR Best Book, a Goodreads Best YA Fantasy and Science Fiction Nominee, and more!

From National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor comes an epic fantasy about a mythic lost city and its dark past.

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 form 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? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams?

In this sweeping and breathtaking novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

The answers await in Weep.
Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, and Dreams of Gods & Monsters, and the companion novella A Night of Cake & Puppets. She is also the author of the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger; the National Book Award fina...
Title:Strange The DreamerFormat:HardcoverDimensions:544 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.5 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316341681

ISBN - 13:9780316341684

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking! This is such a beautiful book. Some of the quotes blew me away. The authors writing is so sound and so lyrical, its almost like reading music. The way she describes everything and the way she develops the characters, makes for an incredible story and amazing reading experience.
Date published: 2019-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! I had never read a Laini Taylor book before this one, and I loved it! I’ll definitely be reading more of her books. I was hooked right from the beginning. I really liked Lazlo. He was a unique character for a fantasy novel, because he was so meek. He didn’t know much beyond his books in the library. He was a dreamer, as the title suggests. However, he was able to live his dream, which changed him. The city of Weep was so fascinating. I loved the mystery of how the name suddenly disappeared from history. The gods and godspawn were creepy, though. It took a while to get used to the dynamics of the godspawn up in the citadel. There are a few who I really didn’t like. I would love to see a backstory to the gods and their escapades before they were killed. The ending was quite surprising. I can’t wait to continue this series with Muse of Nightmares.
Date published: 2018-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reads like a fairytale So I'm a little behind the crowd with this one, I'm not sure why I kept putting it off but I did. I listened to the audiobook for this and I have to say I didn't like the narrator which made it difficult to pay attention to at times. I feel like if I had actually read the physical copy I may have enjoyed it a bit more. Don't get me wrong I did really enjoy this I just didn't love it like a lot of other people did and I'm blaming that on the narrator. So, I can't really say anything about the plot without ruining the story for people and I don' feel like doing that today so what I will say is that Strange the Dreamer was beautiful, magical, fairytale-esque and wonderful. The book follows two characters, mostly one but they are Lazlo Strange and Sarai. Lazlo was a orphan who ends up becoming a librarian, he has a fascination with the lost city of Weep. He spends his time as a librarian studying the city, finding everything he possibly can on it. An opportunity arises to travel to the city and the story takes off from there. Sarai is a godspawn, she's blue and shes and creates nightmares, that's all I can say, that might be a bit spoilery, sorry. The writing was absolutely beautiful and gave the feel of a fairytale. Laini is a master of words, she crafted this beautiful story and was able to paint a picture so you can imagine yourself there in the city of Weep with Lazlo. I really enjoyed the kind of Greek mythology aspect of the story with all of the different gods who control different things, ruling over the humans, creating chaos and disaster. There's a lot of adventure and story telling, mythology, mystical creatures, blue people and a little bit of romance. This is one of those books that you can't really review and you just need to read it yourself. I have an ARC of Muse of Nightmares so I guess I should probably read that soon. I would recommend reading the physical copy of Strange the Dreamer its one of those books that just doesn't translate well to audio.
Date published: 2018-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique! "He didn't feel like a hero. He didn't feel like a monster either." "Good people do all the things bad people do but they call it justice." It was an interesting book but I did not love the story as much as I loved the language and the way the story was told. The mythology and magic and worldbuilding was so intriguing and unique. Story: 2 Characters: 2 Writing Style: 4.5 Enjoyment: 3
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fantastic This book was a lot of fun to read and I liked it much mor than I thought I would.
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it This was a book that I had I great time reading and liked much better than I thought that I would.
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book This book was such a fantastic read with interesting characters, beautiful writing style, and a plot that keeps you reading till the end. Can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.
Date published: 2018-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning This book was so unexpected and completely original, it's impossible not to love every second of it.
Date published: 2018-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! This book is magic and a dream. It was definitely one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. I had no idea this book would give me so many feels. SO MANY. I wish I could have savoured this book more, I loved the experience of reading it more than anything! Laini took my mind to a completely different world. She for sure has just become one of my favourite authors.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating This is a book that celebrates reading and dreaming. I immediately felt a kinship with Lazlo, the boy in love with stories who has vivid dreams. As readers, we’re all similar to Lazlo. We gladly spend hours lost in books. Many of us grew up with this love of reading and stories. Lazlo is such an honest, good person. I loved reading about the kind and selfless person who sees past differences and judges people based upon who they are and not what they look like or accomplish. The one with a big heart, who believes in the goodness of people. I came to love Lazlo as a character. I also loved his friendship with Ruza and Calixte. Their banter was hilarious and I loved it. This is also a story of fear and racism. The humans fear the gods, and so some of them have behaved terribly. The gods did terrible things, but their children did not. I can’t say much without spoiling big parts of the book. But the tension based on discrimination was so well written and sad. I hope to see a happy ending to the series, but we’ll see. The story is so beautiful. It’s full of love and dreams and terrible things. But it feels lyrical. Magical. Fascinating. And the romance feels like that too. It’s passionate and sweet. They’re equals. They comfort each other. They yearn for each other. I ship them so much, and I felt all the feels. There’s also a same sex couple in the story. "Strange the Dreamer" is a magical story that kept me hooked from start to finish. I really, really liked it. It ends with a big cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading the next book. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strongly recommend this one! This was a fascinating book. Full of mystery and surprise, I was captivated by the story. Lazlo Strange is such an engaging character. He is smart, loyal, and, in the end, not anything you expect him to be. I also loved Sarai. At first when the point of view shifted to her world above the city of Weep, I was actually annoyed because I was so into Lazlo's story I resented the fact that I was being wrenched from his mind and thrown into that of a godspawn. It took some time before Sarai grew on me but soon I was just as engaged with her story as I was with Lazlo's and particularly so when their worlds collide. Having said that, I found the romance of the book a bit over the top. I love a good romance but in this book I found it a bit distracting from the overall story. Strongly recommend this one from Laini Taylor!
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Something beautiful and full of monsters I could not put this down. Laini Taylor did not disappoint! Lazlo is probably one of my favourite characters that I have read in a long time. I LOOOOOOVED the world, and was enchanted by everything. The writing was beautiful and captivating. Everyone needs to read this. If you are a dreamer and love storytelling, magic and adventure, this book will be held dear to your heart.
Date published: 2018-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a book! This book was fantastic! I went into it completely blind, and I LOVED IT! The world Laini Taylor created is brilliantly stunning, and she was able to incorporate the characters and the plot so well!
Date published: 2018-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fabulous I love Laini Taylor's writing style and this book!
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautifully written The best way you can describe Laini Taylor's writing is "something beautiful and full of monsters". It can't be denied that her lyrical style, lush settings and world-shattering scope stories have a whimsical and romantic touch to it. Strange the Dreamer is one such book, that brings out beauty in a world that feels like it couldn't yield any. Even on a superficial level, this book has a lot of things to fall for - that cover, the title, the fact that it includes a love story between a Muse of Nightmares and a Dreamer. The short version of the story is that Lazlo Strange has always wanted to be to the Unseen Kingdom, or Weep, as it has been called since 15 years, when he felt the real name of the kingdom erased from the world. He has known only of the Weep of more than 200 years ago, when it was a shining city that drew awe from all corners of the world, an arcane mystery than no outsider has been able to reach. So when he gets the chance to accompany the Godslayer to solve Weep's problem, he jumps on the chance to go there. However, when he reaches Weep, he sees a city has been robbed of its light, literally and metaphorically. The Gods that ruled Weep in the last 200 years were of a cruel sort, and their damage has left a deep-rooted fear and hatred in the citizens of Weep. Meanwhile, hidden in the floating citadel above the city, five godspawn/demigods are living by one Rule - show no existence of life. They are cut off from the city, and are afraid to ever leave the citadel, because that would mean their death. 15 years ago, in the Carnage that had ended the gods, many of their siblings were also killed, which is why they are obviously at odds with the human citizens of Weep. The oldest among them, Minya, who was a young kid at that time, is specifically traumatized by those events and has had a deep seated hatred towards the humans, and more so for the Godslayer. Her instrument of torture for the living denizens is Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, who is the other main character of this story. Sarai, through her ability to dreamwalk, has seen what the Gods did to the humans, violated them and their free will and how they are still traumatized by it. So, while she was brought up on Minya's hatred, she also came into compassion by herself. Even so, she is beholden to Minya for saving her life and feels obligated to carry out her duties. When Sarai meets Lazlo in a dream, she starts to appreciate the foreigner who dreams of a better Weep than the one she has known. Their relationship, though starting with a mutual attraction, develops soon in a love that you can't help but root for. I mean, like she is nightmares and he is a lucid dreamer and that is so freaking romantic but I can't do it justice because I am limited. No, you have to read the book to see how Taylor develops their relationship, how the stakes are set against them, how their circumstances seem to keep them apart. They are idealistic and innocent, despite being aware of cruelty. It is heart-breaking, and normally I wouldn't be a fan of a romance-centric plot, but Strange the Dreamer is much more than just a romance. Every character with a major arc is well-constructed, their decisions and their motivations driving the plot forward, but also being very rooted in the world in which it is constructed. This is one example of a unique fantasy world that molds the very story itself, and requires the world to carry forward the plot. There is a lot more flailing and gushing I can do about the book (which I have kept a rein on so far), but ultimately all I can say it that it is skillfully written book with a unique world and a story that moves you. There is not one particular obstacle to the plot, not one particular villain or character that causes misery, each secondary character being different moralities (Except for the Mesarthim - they were most definitely trash) and their differing needs causing the problems. There are justifiable reasons on both sides, but there are also been irreparable damage done, and it makes you wonder how will it ever resolve (with hopefully minimum deaths) but this is Laini Taylor and speculation isn't going to help me, so I'm just going to sit here waiting for The Muse of Nightmares.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO GOOD! I didn't know anything about this book going into it and at first i was a bit confused but I LOVED THIS BOOK! I devoured it
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really great characters and plot A little cheesy in parts, but overall good read
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Painful and beautiful This book made me feel like I was crying out my heart out of my eyes, and my soul was being ground to pieces in a meat grinder.
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it about 50 pages in, i was skeptical since the action hasnt really started but i understand now that those beginning parts were crucial for world building. man was i glad i stuck through with it because i ended up LOVING IT SO MUCH, WITH ALL MY BEING BECAUSE I LOVE THE CHARACTERS SO MUCH (well, except this one part that had me at an emotional wreck but i give the highest praise for books that can do that) I even woke up at 4 in the morning because i NEEDED TO READ THE END. it's so gripping and overall such a great read. i love the romance in it, laini taylor never disappoints when developing the perfect romance in her novels.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really liked! I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I thought it would be crazy confusing, but it was actually quite easy to read. This definitely isn't a short read, as the book is over 500 pages and the font is quite tiny. Can't wait for the second book!
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Oh my god this book is the most BEAUTIFUL thing I've ever read! I loved it so much and I loved the writing style. This was my first book by Laini Taylor and I don't know how I went so long without having her in my life. "'re a story teller. Dream up something wild and improbable," she pleaded. "Something beautiful and full of monsters." "Beautiful and full of monsters?" "All the best stories are." All of her characters are so multi-dimensional and everyone you originally thought was a villain turned out to have so many redeeming qualities and interesting backstories. Not excusing any of the characters for what they've done- but you start to feel for all of them and become invested in more than just the main characters. I really really enjoyed Lazlo's POV and even though I guessed he had more to to with the mystery of Weep than originally thought, I didn't guess the truth. Even though most of the action didn't start until they got to the city, reading about Lazlo as a librarian throughly entertained me. If the premise of a mystery city, a librarian and mythology doesn't interest you I don't know what will! Everyone should read this book. "Lazlo was every bit the dreamer he had always been, if not more. He might have left his books behind, but he carried all his stories with him, out of the glave-lit nooks of the library and into landscapes far more fit for them." I also have so many theories about the second book and I wish I could have it right now!
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprisingly loved it! Ill be honest I didn't really love Laini Taylor's smoke and bone trilogy so I thought I wouldn't like this. But surprisingly the hype is real. Very creative, innocent!
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beauty What beautiful book, a beautiful writing, a beautiful world. I loved everything.. so strange.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolute magic laini taylor strikes once again! strange the dreamer is so whimsical and beautiful and engaging that it completely steals you from this world.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely beautiful! Oh dear lord, this book made me feel! I may have had water eyes and gasped for most of the last few chapters. I thought Daughter of Smoke and Bone was okay but nothing special...that book PALES in comparison to this one. It's a thick book but it's so well written and the world building and character development and magic was fantastic. I didn't totally understand all the paranormal rules but that did not take away from it. The writing was so beautiful. I just kept zoning out while reading it...almost like it was a lullaby.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Leaves you Breathless! It's a beautiful world full of magic and mystery. I love the writing, if you could paint a picture with words, this book has done it.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I get the hype I understand the hype. I also understand how the story might have been confusing to some people but honestly the narration just flowed so smoothly for me. I loved every single moment and by the time Lazlo stands up for himself and his dreams to join the journey to Weep, I pumped my fists to the air and knew that this story would be one of my favourites. It's not without its faults - I thought that the story became really romance centered towards the end of the book but hopefully the next book turns out to be as action packed and lyrically beautiful as this one.
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it it was an overall good book but i think i liked daughter of smoke and bone better
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Get past the first 100 pages and be amazed
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strange the Dreamer is a MASTERPIECE Taylor is amazing at writing romances. I felt so many feels for the main couple in this book. The main character in the book, Lazlo, is such a sweetheart. He loves books and is driven by his dreams. Lazlo sees everything as beautiful and he's just so sweet. You can't dispute that Taylor's books and characters are unique. I've never felt like her characters are one dimensional ever. I love her writing down to every sentence; you will find so many lovable quotes in her books. I love the mythology that Laini creates in each of her books; I've never read anything like it (and I've read a lot of books). I'm not going to spoil you, but oh my gosh, that ending is heart wrenching. I'd highly recommend this book if you've loved Taylor's past works or if you like YA fantasy books like The Star-Touched Queen or An Ember in the Ashes.
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This was definitely one of the best books I've read in a long time. The writing is beautiful and poetic, and the descriptions are very visual, filling your mind with vibrant colours and horrors. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil how the book unfolds, and the dilemma that Lazlo Strange finds himself in when he finds himself caught between love and hate and fear, understanding every side, which only makes the problem he is facing even more complex and seemingly impossible to solve. This book does a wonderful job of providing the reader with lots of food for thought...looking at the same situation from a variety of perspectives. I loved it! I can't wait for the next installment in the series!
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Good This book was so unexpected. I don't know what I was expecting but I was very happy with this book. Laini Taylor is a fantastic writer and gives unique stories that stick with you.
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book is... so strange I've heard about Laini Taylor and her writing style over the years, but I hadn't yet read her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series when I bought this book, so I had no idea what to expect. This was one of the reasons why I picked it up first, since it seemed less daunting than a trilogy, in case I didn't enjoy her writing. The stories are true, her writing is great and very whimsical. I really loved the idea of Weep, a secret and lost city that outsiders had never seen or at least never returned from. The way the city is described, it makes you feel like this city could really exist somewhere, it's so vivid. I also liked the idea that some kind of magic took its name away from memory. I'm hoping we learn the true name in the sequel, though I doubt we will due to circumstances explained in the novel later on. I loved pretty much all the characters, especially a girl named Sarai who shows up slightly later in the story. Lazlo was enjoyable to read also. I felt like some of the characters were underused, which is a shame because there were a lot of interesting side characters that I had expected would play a more important role in the story. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of romance. I'm not opposed to it, but I also don't want to read about one date that spans 50 pages and is mostly just kissing. Romance is good until it takes over the main plot of the story. I can understand why the romance occurs, but it's just a bit too much for me. Especially because it isn't just kissing, it spans to full on insta-love within a few days. I think the only way for me to handle it is to look at this novel as more of a fairytale, which I think a lot of people should do. Lazlo talks a lot about fairytales. I have mixed feelings about the ending, but I can't say I didn't see it coming. I also can't say more about that without spoiling it, so I'll finish here. All in all, I really enjoyed reading it, and it rarely felt like it was dragging, even in the beginning when there was a lot more telling and a lot less showing. This novel is a little cliche, but overall I don't think it soured my reading experience.
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 5 (god)stars for the mystical writing, characters and world-building. It's definitely fitting that my 100th 5-star rated book on Goodreads would go out to a book written by Laini Taylor and her book Dreams of Gods & Monsters from her other series inspired me to name this shelf 5-godstars. It's always so difficult for me to review 5 star books, especially ones that are of the fantasy genre. I loved Lazlo and Sarai together and all the secondary characters were well-developed. Just everything about this book felt dreamy and every single word that Taylor wrote belonged there (if that even makes sense). I can't wait for the next book because I NEED to know what happens to my precious characters. And this review is awful but I'm still in awe so I can't even form a coherent review. xD These quotes made me smile stupidly when Lazlo told Sarai this (sigh): "I think you're a fairy tale. I think you're magical, and brave, and exquisite. And I hope you'll let me be in your story." And this (ahaha...): "You have ruined my tongue for all other tastes."
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Epic Read From One of My Favourite Authors I dare you to find an author better at writing a single kiss than Laini Taylor. Her short stories Lips Touch: Three Times are amazingly delectable and she even tops those smooches in this one! This is definitely a slower tale, needing some patience. This is not to say she wastes words, or your time, but there is a lot of groundwork to lay, and Taylor's god-like talent for shaping words into worlds is humbling and dumbfounding. So ya. It's alright. And I'm ok with breaking my "not starting a series until it's complete" rule because this will be lovely to re-read in preparation for #2.
Date published: 2017-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING AF!!! Currently completely in love with Laini Taylor's unique world-building and writing style. I would recommend this books or anyone and everyone.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Laini Taylor is Brilliant. Laini Taylor's ability to weave together a story blows me away. I'm giving this 5 stars because I forced myself to read this book slowly so I could enjoy each of the well-crafted sentences, and that is not something this fast reader does very often. So yeah. I loved this book. It is dark and messy and tragic and inspirational and HOW EVEN WILL I WAIT FOR ANOTHER BOOK?!
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strange the Dreamer I'm finding it hard to describe my feelings towards this book. It had so many aspects that I just adored. It was interesting. Unique. Adventure. I was 100% in this book while I was reading it. Every time I put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I started the first section, and then read the majority of the book throughout the span of a day. I was completely and entirely in Weep. This is my first Laini Taylor book, and I adored her writing. I understand that it's not for everyone, and some people probably found the first portion of the book slow. Not the case for me. I enjoyed Lazlo's upbringing, and all of the set up. Reading about Lazlo the librarian really just felt like a nod to readers. I loved all of the set up. I found myself thinking so much about this world. All of the characters felt unique and interesting. There were a few side characters that I just wish we got more of.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) It's so tempting when reviewing Taylor's books to talk about the writing style and language. Because it's stunning. I don’t know where the line between purple and beautiful prose should be drawn, but I do know that Laini Taylor stands just on the right side of it. The very sentences themselves feel magical and dreamy, creating an atmosphere that convinces you you've been transported to another world.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Magical Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing style, the world, the characters…all on point. The only problem was that I hyped myself up way too much for it so I was left a sliver disappointed. I’ve organized this review into pros and cons: PROS: Laini Taylor’s writing style is so different yet beautiful! It took me a few chapters to really get into her writing style again, but once I did I loved it. It’s so descriptive and (I hate this word, but) poetic. - The description of the city of Weep is beautiful. Between Lazlo’s dreams of Weep and the real deal, the city is just so whimsical, imaginative, and so different from reality. If you liked Laini Taylor’s other series Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this world building style will appear very similar yet very unique. - We get to hear about both of the main characters, Lazlo and Sarai, from the time they were born to their current young-adult ages which really rounded them off as characters and helped me really become invested in them. It also helped me to understand them and their thinking process. - Lazlo is everything. First off, his characterization is great. I felt like I could totally understand him and the way he thinks. In terms of his character, I loved it. He is this bright-eyed dreamer, introverted but driven, always hopeful and helpful, and the way his mind works is just whimsical! Lazlo Strange the orphan boy and junior librarian, Lazlo Strange with unknown origins, Lazlo Strange the Dreamer. I also really really appreciated how he isn’t described as hot, adorable, cute, or brooding. He’s just this guy with a crooked, broken nose. It’s also not this awkward guy who doesn’t know how attractive he really is type thing that authors often opt for. His appearance really isn’t a concern for him or anyone. It’s his mind that’s phenomenal. SO REFRESHING. - Godspawn and humans. What a magical way to talk about racism and race relations. - Minya is so creepy. Not quite horror-story creepy, but still creepy-little-child-not-child-creepy. The ambiguity surrounding her character was created very well. I understand her thinking and reasoning for things, but she’s also the villain character…? Yes. I feel so conflicted about her and I love it. - There was also a touch of feminism in this story with the citizens of Weep confused at and disappointed when they realize that outside of their city women are in no positions of power. In Weep, there are female city counselors, Tizerkane warriors, Gods, and Godspawn, and a hint of a lesbian relationship – and it’s all regarded quite nonchalontly! - The latter half of the book is impossible to put down. The action and whimsy is so constant and intriguing that you will just fly through the rest of it! - The almost-maybe-sort-of-romance. I TOTALLY SHIP IT. And I need more of it. It made my heart dance. It definitely wasn’t insta-love, but it started slow with curiosity, then fascination, then appreciation and so on. It was so heartwarming. CONS: - Mainly, I just hyped myself up too much. I’ve been anticipating this book for just about two years and it would have been impossible for anything to live up to this fantasy I envisioned in my mind. - The first dozen chapters of the book were a bit info-dumpy. There were a lot of new city names, words, and character history sort of dumped in all together (and told rather than shown) which made me mix up and forget specific titles and names. - Loved the ending action but HATED the place where the story ended. I had this same problem with The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh where the story seems to end at the latter part of the climax rather than after the falling action. There’s a difference between cliffhangers and not finishing telling the climax of the story! I just wish there was a little more resolution to this first book. I love love loved Strange the Dreamer and can’t wait for more of Godspawn, moths, and Weep in the next book, The Muse of Nightmares expected to be released in sometime in 2018.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply beautiful This book has been hard for me to talk about for some reason. It is definitely one of the most unique books I've ever read. I pre-ordered it over a year and a half ago, basically as soon as I discovered it was coming, because of my love for the DOSAB trilogy. It did not disappoint! I did, though, wonder if it would at first. It was a bit slow, a bit hard to get into at first. I wondered if the language wasn't too flowery and magical, at first. But I'm so glad I persevered. This is the first book (and I read hundreds) where I've had to use two whole pages of my reading journal just to capture beautiful quotes and record my thoughts. As everyone knows by now, the book starts out with a blue girl falling from the sky. Big deal. It's intriguing, yes, but we are not attached to this girl. We don't really care about her. Not yet! But Laini writes this book in such a way that by the time you really get into the story, you really, really want to know exactly who it is who falls from the sky!!! Also, by the end of the story, you really come to not mind moths too much. Maybe even like them...and really, who likes moths?! Bottom line: Laini Taylor has a magnificent and brilliant mind. The things she dreams up! She pieces out information to you, bit by bit, until it all makes complete sense. It's almost as though she has written the story backwards, telling you the conclusion first and then showing you how and why it came about. It's genius. Finally, Ms. Taylor has taken a fantasy story and used it to remind us once again, and in a totally unique way, not to judge others by the colour of their skin. A few of my favourite quotes: "...It mixed up gladness, grief and guilt into an intolerable brew" "...regarding each other shyly through a wisp of tea steam" "They might not have really kissed, but they had truly kissed" "They were so nearly unchanged, and yet that one thing -the colour of their skin- would, in the real world, change everything" Simply beautiful! Read it all the way through.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Emotional This book was beautiful. Strange the Dreamer was a gorgeous book. It has hands down one of the most lovely writing I've ever read. I now understand why people are obsessed with Laini Taylor. It's funny that I ended up loving this book because when the title was first revealed I thought it was weird. (I hope I wasn't the only one haha.) It honestly made me skeptical and unsure if I wanted to pick it up. Now after having read the book, Strange the Dreamer couldn't have been more right. It perfectly embodies the story and its dream-like qualities. Strange the Dreamer is a fascinating story full of dangerous allures and dreadful history. The whole book was a slow burn. I wouldn't say the pacing was slow but it definitely took its time building up to the climax. I'm impressed by Ms. Taylor's creativity but it's also difficult not to cringe at some of the disturbing things that happened in the book. The awful implications coupled with the excellent depiction of dreams made the whole story feel surreal. The story might be a little bit confusing to start with but as it went on, you more than get the big picture. I thought it was amazing to experience the story from the different POVs. Lazlo and Sarai both have such all-encompassing feelings. It's powerful to see through their eyes. There is a bit of instalove though given both characters were new to the feeling, I gave them a pass. They have their plates full as it is. If that ending is any indication, I've no doubt The Muse of Nightmares will continue to stretch their limits and test their resolves. I only hope the side characters will be of more help than they were in this first book. I liked them enough but they weren't exactly lovable. I wanted more action out of them. Some readers will love this book and some won't. It's a story you really have to experience for yourself. Personally I love Laini Taylor's writing and feel Strange the Dreamer is a beautiful work of art. I say don't shy away but give it a try.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 532 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 5 <em>“You think good people can’t hate?” she asked. “You think good people don’t kill?”… “Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just when they do them, they call it justice”. She paused. Her voice grew heavy. “When they slaughter thirty babies in their cradles, they call it necessary” </em>(Strange the Dreamer) I pre-ordered this book in January 2016, and it did not disappoint. I went in not understanding the synopsis in the slightest and only having read a short story written by Laini Taylor, so I went in completely blind. My recommendation is to stop attempting to decipher the synopsis, and go in expecting a strange high fantasy book that doesn’t seem all that strange while you’re reading it. Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely fantastic. It is so simply beautiful, powerful, and enthralling, and every word is perfectly placed. It gives the effect that if you had the choice, you would surround yourself in her words for eternity. Her writing makes a story about people with physical “spirit” that flow beside their veins, forgotten cities, and blue-skinned gods seem perfectly sensible. Her words draw you in, and don’t let go. They leave you wanting more of something you had no idea you wanted. It is a truly magical experience. Her world-building is some of the best world building I have ever read. It is so fantastically detailed; with rich histories of cities, and ancient myths and fables so perfectly crafted they could be myths of our world. Everything said has a purpose. Everything makes sense for a Fantasy world. There are laws, rules of magic, classes systems, strange creatures, and it is so incredibly fantastical. The characters are heartbreakingly human, with fears, desires, struggles, and grudges. The more I think about them, the more their stories affect me. You see whimsy beaten out of a child, happiness replaced with hate, and love replaced with loss and agony. Despite Strange the Dreamer being a rather grim tale, there are moments of dry humour perfectly sprinkled throughout the pain and despair. It lightens the mood just before your heart and your beloved characters are crushed. Overall, Strange the Dreamer was a fantastically crafted novel in every way, earning it 5 out of five stars.
Date published: 2017-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strange the Dreamer: Lyrical and impossible Strange the Dreamer is haunting, lingering. Lyrical and impossible. The journey of a lifetime for a dreamer such as Lazlo Strange, one he yearned for but never thought it would come true. Until it did. Lazlo is lost and alone. Abandoned as an infant, raised in an abbey and a library, all he ever had was what he could dream. Something more than his life as an orphan. Something like his true name. But no one was there to tell it to him. And so he dreamed and he wondered, he wrote book after book of possibilities after reading book after book on the lost city called Weep. He knew something was there, something that stirred him up inside. but how would he ever find the chance to leave the library and find out the truth? He's curious and passionate, questioning, a definite romantic, but it leaves him blind. Who is Lazlo Strange? The city called Weep is a curious place. Covered in shadow and secret, in theft, in missing memories and haunted dreams. What is the truth behind what happened two hundred years ago when the city went quiet? Or what happened fifteen years ago when a name was ripped from everyone's minds? This is a city of ghosts, ghosts of loved ones and ghosts of love. Of gods, their desires, and what grows from them. Reading this was like watching someone put a puzzle together. Seeing the pieces laid out, separate and unconnected. Lazlo, Thyon Nero, the Godslayer. The city called Weep. The blue-skinned goddess. Seeing the pieces come together, reveal the secrets and the truths lost and forgotten. While reading this I couldn't shake these overwhelming feelings. Sorrow and despair. Fear. A deep-seated craving for the truth, for a place to be. At the beginning I didn't know what would happen, and now at the end I can't wait to wonder what will happen next. I'm certain that fans of Laini Taylor's previous books will devour this.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure magic If words are magic, then Strange the Dreamer is the closest I've come to tasting it. Strange the Dreamer is the tale of Lazlo Strange, an orphan who grew up in a monastery and escaped to the great Library of Zosma and became a librarian. He has dreamt of Weep, the mythical and magical lost city, his entire life and has chronicled everything he has come across in the massive library. When the Godslayer arrives at Zosma, he refuses to lose his opportunity to witness his life's dream. However, something happened 200 years ago that cut the city off, and all the answers lie in Weep. How do I express into words all the things that this book made me feel? Laini Taylor has a talent for painting worlds with her words. The world in Strange the Dreamer feels massive, without losing the imagery and the sheer wonder for the world that we see through Lazlo's eyes. It's beautiful and terrible and it feels so real. The novel shifts through different points of view of the characters within the novel seamlessly just like in her previous novels. However, this novel mainly focuses on the points of view of Lazlo and the mysterious blue-skinned goddess. It definitely helps since we are able to empathise with both sides and really understand the full situation. I have a lot of feelings for these characters. There were points where I didn't know where the plot was heading, especially as I found myself towards the end of the novel. How was this book going to resolve? I didn't care too much since I was so invested in the characters and the world. I was mildly concerned that the ending would be too rushed, but I didn't find it to be so. However, there is a literal "TO BE CONTINUED" at the end and I need book 2 now, because that ending. THAT ENDING. I'm not mentioning much about the story itself because I want you to discover the world and be as enamoured with it as I am as it unravelled in the novel. That, and I don't think I could do it justice with my words. Strange the Dreamer is a gorgeous fantasy novel with a vast world filled with love, treachery, a lost city and fallen gods. I already knew that I would love this novel and it has only exceeded my extraordinarily high expectations.
Date published: 2017-02-16

Editorial Reviews

"Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling."-Kirkus Reviews