January #2018HW Review – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Posted February 5, 2018 by Lillian in Reviews / 4 Comments

January #2018HW Review – Strange the Dreamer by Laini TaylorStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1
on 2017-03-28
Length: 528 pages
Reviewing eBook, Audiobook from My Book Shelf
Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2018 Audiobook Challenge, 2018HW

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.

Y’all I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I fell into this story and didn’t come up for air until it was over. It was everything I’ve come to love about fantasy. There was action, intrigue, mythology, and romance all tied together neatly to create a magnificent story.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan raised by monks who escaped to the library to work as a young teen. Lazlo is a dreamer. He pictures the world around him differently. He believes in fairy tales. And he is inherently good. I don’t think there is a single bad thing about him. He’s meek yet strong, he’s kind and fair, he’s everything you would want in a leading character. Even his perfectly flawed features are endearing. But it’s his yearning for knowledge and willingness to believe in the extraordinary that sets him apart from the other characters and truly endeared him to me.

Sarai is Godspawn and not even supposed to be alive. If you are going to feel for any character it will be her. She broke my heart. Her hatred and understanding, her willingness to forgive an atrocity she will never forget makes her a character worth championing. She is the product of evil and yet she is not evil, not even a little bit. My heart broke over and over for this character as she fights those she loves and comes to terms with her feelings over the humans.

But what really made this book was the writing! I’m not one that typically enjoys so much detail and prose, however it was vital to this book. It helped to build the world to the point I felt I was living in it. And the dreams!!! Oh my word those dreams were fantastic. Reality blurs a bit when you read this book and it was perfection. Utter perfection! The world-building, the mystery, Gods and Monsters, and some instalove (but honestly it didn’t bother me because I shipped them so hard already!) made for a perfect read.

Overall I loved Strange the Dreamer. I loved his reality and his dreams, his love for fairy tales and his belief in magic. It was just the fantasy read I needed. The vivid imagery put me on the streets with Lazlo and in the citadel with Sarai, I flew among the stars and caught the moon. I felt moth wings on my cheeks and smelled the sulfur of explosions. Y’all that isn’t possible except with a phenomenal writer which Laini Taylor is. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy, a little romance, and magical worlds.

Note: I alternated listening to this book and reading it. I absolutely loved the narrator: Steve West. This is the first I’ve heard of his and that accent *fans self* I’ll be listening to more of his soon 😉 Because of the detailed beginning, I’m glad I listened. I think I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the book otherwise. Not because it isn’t good but because I would’ve been distracted trying to read all those details on my own. BUT listening to Steve West read it to me I was able to picture the setting in my mind.

About Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor is the author of the National Book Award Finalist Lips Touch: Three Times, as well as the novels Blackbringer and Silksinger. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter.


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4 responses to “January #2018HW Review – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

  1. I think I’ll be picking up the audiobook of this! Like you, it’s hard for me to get through all the details, and hearing it is so much easier for me! By friend is actually struggling to push through the beginning, but hopefully she ends up loving it. I have yet to read anything by Laini Taylor, but I keep hearing wonderful things. Great review. 😀
    Genni @ Ready, Set, Read! recently posted…Mini Movie Reviews | Call Me By Your Name, Happy Death Day, PaddingtonMy Profile

    • Laini Taylor is one of my favorites for her detail. She creates very vivid imagery! This one was just more than usual and like your friend I had a hard time with the beginning. I listened to the first half and read the last half. It’s great!!