Simone's Reviews > Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2019, books-i-recommend, fantasy, ya-novels

Let me tell you about a book that is so gorgeous that all you'll want to do is keep reading it. I started Strange the Dreamer as a buddy read with my friend Jenna. I've always wanted to read this book, but for some reason I've been putting it off so I'm glad to have a friend who suggests great books to buddy read. This was no exception to the rule.

The story follows Lazlo Strange, an orphan who lives in a monastery with no inkling of who his parents are or where he'd come from. Every night he dreams of a city called Weep, a legendary place that's only heard of in stories and fairy tales. But Weep is so vivid to Lazlo and he makes it his life's journey to find any and all info about the mysterious city. As Lazlo gets older, he takes up a position as a librarian (which isn't a glamorous position in this book) and studies the city even further trying to find any clues on its whereabouts.

One day, a mysterious man named Eril-Fane aka The Godslayer comes to town. He is looking for folks with certain skill sets to come with him to his hometown; a city called Weep. Lazlo is shocked by the news that the city he's dreamed of is real and someone from there has come looking for people to take with him. While Lazlo doesn't have any of the skills Eril-Fane requires, he persuades him to bring him along and the Godslayer agrees. It's not until they arrive in the city of Weep that Eril-Fane explains why they're here.

It's also obvious when they enter the city and find a giant angel statue with massive wings in the city center blocking out all the sun and stars from its villagers. Eril-Fane wants to take down the angel statue, but there's five people living inside the angel imbued with magical powers and completely unknown to the villagers below. They are the sole survivors of the Mesarthim; gods and goddesses that lived and enslaved the Weep over 15 years ago. Sarai is one of the Mesarthim living in the giant statue with the power to enter and alter people's dreams. When she starts to enter Lazlo's dreams, they both find each other starting a friendship that defies hatred and deeply roots itself in acceptance and love for one another.

This is a slow burning fantasy duology for people who love Brandon Sanderson. Laini Taylor is so talented in creating a world filled with beauty, with a lot of metaphors, and a lot of complexity. I mean, it felt like I was reading a Miyazaki film it was so visual. She will definitely be an author I'll be keeping an eye out for in the future. I will probably also read Daughters of Smoke and Bone after this because her writing style is so good.

I think my favorite part has to be the dreams. I love how dreams are such a big theme in this story especially with Strange, the dreamer as its main character. I loved how Sarai felt about being the Muse of Nightmares. Her indifference to the role and her sadness about being trapped in the statue were such real emotions and it played out so well in this story next to her brother and sisters.

Lazlo is also such an amazing character. I loved the journey of his life in this book. He's just a lowly librarian who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to a place he's only ever dreamed of. And then the his entire reality unravels to reveal a bigger secret of his upbringing and his past. I also loved his naivete. There feels like a ton of important decisions to make and a lot of work to be done, but when Lazlo dreams, his fantasies are so pure and untouched by the cynical world he lives in. Lazlo is one of those characters who could easily have gone down a dark path at some point in his life, but chooses to be a dreamer. He chooses to see the good in things.

I will say that the ending was a little bit predictable and I thought there were a few lulls that weren't really necessary, but they really don't matter in the bigger scale of this story.

Overall, this was an exceptional story and I can't wait to read the second book!
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Reading Progress

July 30, 2018 – Shelved
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
October 7, 2019 – Started Reading
October 9, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
October 9, 2019 – Shelved as: books-i-recommend
October 9, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
October 9, 2019 – Shelved as: ya-novels
October 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

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