Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA fantasy
Status: Book 1 in the Strange the Dreamer series
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.
When I started reading this, I was in the beginning stages of a slump. And the beginning was a little slow so I simply couldn’t push through it. After a bit, I paused and returned a week or so later.
Once the story properly got into the main thing, it was hard for me to stop reading.
Lazlo Strange is an orphan and we follow him throughout his life right from the beginning. He has always been interested in stories of magic and a magical city that he heard about from an elder as a kid.
Later he becomes a junior librarian in a REALLY huge library. Basically, he went in there and was found four days later by a senior librarian. He walked into walls while reading, and simply kept reading.
He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn’t sleep at all.
Most relatable character ever.
When warriors from that magical city come looking for people who are masters in various arts, he finds opportunity to go as well.
The problem of that city, now, is a WHOLE new issue.
There is also a romantic aspect when a beautiful blue-skinned girl is in his dreams, who he believes is his imagination until he actually SEES her.
Now to the review, which I shall do in a list because lists are awesome:
- Lazlo. He was so open to myths and stories and obsessively read about magic. He also had a childish wonder and curiosity about Weep. It was nice to see things from his optimistic eyes that saw the beauty and potential in everything.
- Sarai is a blue-skinned teenage girl. Why? She’s Godspawn. (Which, I feel, is a rude thing to call. Honestly, I just don’t like the word spawn.) She was nice to read about as well. Her life is so different from Lazlo’s. It was like extreme opposites, but they found common ground as well.
- The World Building. Laini Taylor is a GENIUS. She makes up and describes the world, especially Weep, so WELL. The description was very vivid and once the image was formed in my mind, it was magical. The writing was beautiful. The first half of the book isn’t that captivating, but the second half was brilliant as heck.
- The romance between Lazlo and Sarai was so innocent. I mean, what else would you expect from two inexperienced teenagers, but still. It was something pure and untarnished. It was purely attraction and crushing. And both (especially Lazlo) blush a lot which was ADORABLE.
- That ending, tho. I. Am. BLOWN. AWAY. I need the next book, like, yesterday. I CAN’T SIT WITH THIS SUSPENSE I’M SORRY NO.
A BRILLIANT book that took me on a magical trip of monsters, Gods, love, mysteries, and was like a more detailed flowery version of a kid’s story. Only it’s not for kids because of the romance. I sort of felt like a kid reading it.
Definitely recommended to everyone who loves fantasy.
Have you read the book? What did you think? Did you relate to Lazlo as much as I did? Were you swept up in magical wonder as well? Are you DYING for the next book? (Why is it not out already?!)