Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
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 don’t really have much to say about this book that hasn’t already been said, so this is going to be fairly short. I loved this book much more than I was expecting to. Here’s why:
- The characters were wonderful. Seriously, they were some of the best fantasy characters I’ve read in a while. Just so good and so relatable.
- The world-building. It’s been a while since I read good world-building in YA fantasy. And this wasn’t super in-depth world-building, but it was rich and beautiful anyway and I loved it.
- The writing was incredible. Taylor manages to write in a way that is beautiful but not over-the-top. It’s almost purple prose, but manages to not be. It’s lilac prose, if you will.
- The story and plot were great. The first chapter had me hooked. Like, the concept of no one being able to remember the name of a town? Amazing. So good. And the rest of the plot was just as good. The pace was great too.
The only thing I wasn’t 100% sold on was the romance. It was a little too insta-lovey and I didn’t think it made a ton of sense. But that’s the only major quarrel I have with this book.
Overall, I highly recommend it, especially if you’ve been a little worried about fantasy lately. It lived up to all my expectations and more.