As usual, I’m putting the synopsis at the beginning of this review but if you haven’t read StD and think you might be interested, I recommend not reading it and going in blind.
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? Welcome to Weep.
I’ve just finished Strange the Dreamer mere minutes ago and I need to gush. I loved this book! I’m so happy about loving it because it’s the first time in so long that I’ve read a really hyped book and not been disappointed in some way. This completely lived up to the hype and I’m just as infatuated as everyone else.
I need to start with Laini Taylor’s writing. This is the first book of hers I’ve read and I was enamored of her writing and storytelling from the start. It’s everything I wanted in a book with a title like Strange the Dreamer: unbelievable, dreamy, evocative imagery that is so lush and real and easy to get lost in. I love this world and I love Taylor’s writing. Did it live up to having “strange” in the title? Yes! Was the world and mythology and general magic of her story unlike anything else I’ve read and so rich that I wanted to be there? Yes, yes, yes! It had been several months since I last read the synopsis and I didn’t bother looking at it before I actually began the book and, as I said above, I recommend you do the same. I thoroughly enjoyed going into this story with absolutely no idea where it was going or even what it was about. The two page prologue enchanted me and secured the story’s grip on me that didn’t let go until it was over. Actually, it still has me.
I don’t want to get into too much detail regarding the plot of the book so those who haven’t read it won’t get any hint of spoilers but it was fantastic. This world and the circumstances that set the plot in motion were strange in the most amazing, magical, captivating way. The kind of way that if you tried to explain the details of the plot to someone who wasn’t reading it, they’d think it sounds plain weird and maybe even bad but it works beautifully. There was such a balance of good and bad not only within the story but in the characters. I absolutely loved seeing both sides of the problem and seeing both groups of people through the others’ eyes as enemies. As for the characters themselves, I’m obsessed. They were so well written and realistically morally gray and weighed down by things that had been done and things they did. Lazlo was a fantastic main character. He was a bit naive at times, but you couldn’t blame him. I also really enjoyed Minya. She was fierce and unpredictable. I can’t wait to read more of them. The dream scenes throughout the book were some of my favorite parts. I wanted to be in the dream worlds with the characters and experiencing the wonder first hand, although Taylor’s writing did the job of making me feel like I was already there. It was enchanting. One thing I really can’t stand is instalove and I have to point out that there is a bit of it in this book. However, it was handled in a way that made it seem almost surreal and mystical and like captivation in another, more otherworldly, way. While it was fast, it didn’t come across in the rushed, cheesy, unbelievable way it does in other books. So though I’m not a fan of the trope in general, I didn’t mind this one because I really enjoyed how their scenes were written and how it all played out. The end of the book was…wow. I’m still reeling. I expected none of what happened and I’m just blown away and so eager for the next book.
I love this book. I barely took any notes while reading it because I had nothing to criticize and was so wrapped up in it that I forgot to even think of taking notes. It was magical and strange. I loved the world building and mythology woven throughout but there’s so much more to learn about this world, especially after where this book leaves us. I can’t wait for more of this world, these characters, and Taylor’s writing.
Have you read Strange the Dreamer? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,