Review: Strange the Dreamer (Stranger the Dreamer, #1) by Laini Taylor

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Review

What an incredible story!

Oh, Laini Taylor you are a magical, magical writer! She creates a wold and drag you into it, allowing you to experience it and making you feel it, and once again she has whisked me away to a fascinating, enchanting and magical world of gods, monsters and the power of dreams.

The dream chooses the dreamer.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan who found the only home he has ever known in a library. From the moment he entered as a boy, he was utterly transfixed and he fuelled his imagination by reading everything he could get his hands on, but his passion was researching a mythological lost city that had captivated him his whole life. The forgotten city whose name has been lost (or possibly taken?) from the minds of the people, and is now known only as Weep.

Sneered at by scholars and nobles and nicknamed ‘Strange the Dreamer’ for his fantastical stories and ideas, nobody knew of the truth behind Lazlo’s writings, and when the opportunity arises for Lazlo to travel across a dangerous desert to the mystical city, he seizes his chance to fulfil his one and only dream, setting him off on a journey that will challenge everything that he knows and all that he is.

“Life won’t just happened to you, boy … You have to happen to it. Remember: The spirit grows sluggish when you neglect the passions.”

And then there is also the story of Sarai, a blue-skinned daughter of gods, and the survivor of a massacre that saw the end of those like her – except for the four others that she lives with, hiding their existence from the citizens of Weep, and the rest of the world.

When Lazlo arrives in Weep he knows he is there to help solve a mysterious problem, but while he is fascinated with the history of the city and all that happened there, it’s the blue-skinned beauty that appears to him in dreams that has him truly captivated.

And so develops a beautiful but impossible love story as two strangers come together, share their pasts, their present, their hopes and their dreams, and it’s sweet and gorgeous, and beautifully emotional.

She asked in a hesitant whisper, “Do you still think I’m a…a singularly unhorrible demon?”
“No,” he said, smiling. “I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite. And … I hope you’ll let me be in your story.”

But from the darkly ominous prologue we know that something is coming, and as the full backstory of the city of Weep is revealed, the significance of that moment becomes clear and the story builds up to an ending which had my heart pounding, tears streaming, and shocks and surprises unravelling. It’s intense, and had me glued to my kindle as I could see and feel it all unfolding before my eyes.

I loved this story. The world is magical, intriguing and well developed, and the characters are so well written – each of them so different, but again, so wonderfully developed. There are multiple POVs and smaller storylines going on in the book, and I loved the depth that this gives, and it’s all tied in to the overarching plot that is intriguing, exciting, emotional and deeply mysterious.

That ending is going to stay with me for a long time, and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on the sequel to see where it’s all going to go from here.

“It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming.”

5 stars!

Note – I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator, Steve West, does an amazing job with it. Bringing the characters and their world to life, and making this a wonderful listening experience.

 

Strange the Dreamer duet

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Strange the Dreamer (#1)
Review
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

The Muse of Nightmares (#2)
To be released 2018

 

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