Strange the Dreamer. Laini Taylor. Young adult/High fantasy. 532 pages. 2017. 4 stars.
It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?
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 was hesitant to pick up this book because I had absolutely no idea what it was about. I’ve seen mixed reviews from peers and when my curiosity got the best of me, I finally picked it up.
Let me start off by saying that Strange the Dreamer is an original masterpiece. I should’ve expected it given that it was written by Laini Taylor! The only way I can describe her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is that it was oddly captivating. In the same way, Strange the Dreamer caught me with its uniqueness and originality.
The writing style of Laini is very different from other fantasy writers because her writing requires every bit of your attention. This isn’t the book you read when you’re looking for a cute read with a burning romance; this is the book you read when you’re yearning for something more than what other fantasy books give you. Admittedly, I had a hard time latching on because the writing was heavy and full of vocabulary I barely understood (but hey, no better time to brush up on your fancy words than when reading a good book).
The way this book reads is slow: very world-driven so it has a rather tedious amount of description coupled with backstories and other things that might be useful to the plot. I skimmed a lot of parts because I’m not a big fan of slow readings despite the fantastic world building. Regardless, I still think this book was well thought out and exceptionally written.
Overall, I had a fun experience reading this book. It was like a breath of fresh air because a lot of YA fantasy tropes are becoming overused so it’s nice to see a story that doesn’t play into any of those stereotypes and read something original.