Mini-Post by The Bookworm
Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Summary: 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?
Bookworm Rating: A-
Target Audience: Young Adult
Story Notes: “On the second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky. Her skin was blue, her blood was red.” Strange the Dreamer is a unique experience. It’s difficult to talk about the story without bringing in some serious spoilers.
Lazlo Strange begins his journey as an orphan at a monastery. Because he is one of several hundred orphans, no one knows who he really is or where he came from. As he grows older he is fascinated with the stories that one of the older monks with tell from time to time. He imagines that he lives in the fantastic city where beautiful silver “deer” walk the streets, people cross tightropes between golden topped buildings, and brave warriors slay intruders on sight.
But one day, the world forgets the name of this beautiful city. All that remains in memory is Weep. Even books that talk of the legendary city have been changed. Lazlo eventually becomes a librarian and he hunts down every story about fantastic places and beasts that he can. Particularly those that talk about Weep.
He continues to dream about traveling there. And one day a peculiar opportunity presents itself.
Writing Style: This book is lyrical. Laini Taylor’s writing in Strange the dreamer is beautiful. The world is unique and incredibly well-crafted. The characters are interesting and unique. And the messages in the book are well-presented and woven perfectly into the story. Despite all of this, the book is still very readable. It is poetic in some places and in others it can be short and raw. This matches the overall tone of the book very well.
Weaknesses: Strange the Dreamer is so well written, it’s difficult to pinpoint a particular problem. I suppose that the magic system isn’t fully explained and there are some details that I am still curious about. But I expect that the second book, Muse of Nightmares will answer most of my questions. I suppose that for some readers the writing might drag in places because of the detailed descriptions. But as someone who loves reading Jules Verne this isn’t really a problem for me.
Strengths: As I said, this book is beautiful to read. Laini Taylor has done an amazing job of drawing you into this world with amazing descriptions of the way things look, smell, taste, and feel. It is simply a beautiful book to read.
Final Thoughts: I recommend reading this book for the world and the writing style. It drew me in and kept my interest. Lazlo was a great and relatable main character and I liked getting to know Sarai as well. I’m excited to check out the next book in the series.