Wednesday, 26 April 2017

All the things I loved about STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor

29748925Publisher: Hachette
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Source: From the Publisher!
Purchase: Mighty Ape / Paperplus

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?

“Weep slept. Dreamers dreamed. A grand moon drifted, and, and the wings of the citadel cut the sky in two: light above, dark below.”

Meet my favourite book of 2017. STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor is the lyrical and mysterious adventure I didn't know my bookish heart was longing for until I read it. I have too many feelings and emotions to lay out in an ordered explanation so here is a scrambled and unordered list of all the things that I loved and adored and made my heart sing about STRANGE THE DREAMER. Also peppered throughout are all my favourite quotes from the book as it was impossible to write any sort of review without showing examples of of how beautiful this novel is.

“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.”  

First of all, Lazlo Strange. 

Oh Lazlo, how I love you. Why? For so many reasons. Because Lazlo is a dreamer and all dreamers can relate to a dreamer. Because he loves books and cherishes them like they deserve. Because he loves fairytales and legends and magic and wonder. But most of because Lazlo is KIND. Because he is caring and sweet and gentle. I am so tired of boys in YA that don't know how to be kind or think kindness is "weak" and so Lazlo and the kindness that just comes out of him in such waves, with no expectation or bitterness or selfishness behind it is a breath of well-deserved air that YA needs.

“He wasn't an alchemist, or a hero. He was a librarian, and a dreamer. He was a reader, and the unsung expert on a long-lost city no one cared a thing about.”

The dreamy writing style. 

The dream-like quality of this book is heavenly. The writing was so smooth and honey-like and reading it was completely luxurious. Even though it was always exciting and there were tense moments, I felt so relaxed and at peace while immersing myself in its pages. I also adored how dreams were a big part of the book itself though. The way Taylor wrote about them was so unique and fascinating not to mention beautiful to read.

 “On the occasions that he did look up from the page, he would seem as though he were awakening from a dream.”

The slow pace.

I'm not a huge fan of slow books. I like action, I like fast-moving plots and storylines. I like battles and war and heists. But man did I adore the slowness and tranquillity of pace that STRANGE THE DREAMER took. It worked so well. And while it is definitely a fantasy, I loved how the book never followed any cliché or typical plot line that many fantasies follow.

  “He dreamed of deserts and great empty cities and imagined he could feel the minutes and hours of his life running through him, as though he were nothing but an hourglass of flesh and bone.”

Never knowing what to expect.

Following on from the above paragraph, I loved the not only slow and meandering pace of the book but also the fact that I never had ANY idea or clue what was going to happen. Not one! And because I read a lot of fantasy and it's my favourite genre, I kept thinking I KNEW what was going to happen, KNEW who was going to do what or what was going to happen to who, but always, ALWAYS, I was proved wrong. And I LOVED IT. Not knowing what to expect and to have everything that happens in the book be a complete surprise made reading the book an even better experience.

 “He had loved the library, and had felt, as a boy, as though it had a kind of sentience, and perhaps loved him back. But even if it was just walls and a roof with papers inside, it had bewitched him, and drawn him in, and given him everything he needed to become himself.”

It fed my soul, specifically my writing one.

 I felt so INSPIRED when reading STRANGE THE DREAMER and also after I'd finished reading it as well. I am so in awe of everything about Taylor's writing prowess, but especially with her way to write so beautifully. I came away with a new enthusiasm for all my writing projects which I didn't realize I needed until finishing this book.

“He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn't sleep at all.” 


Next year is so far away! How am I possibly going to be able to wait that long to find out what's happened to my sweet and bitter darlings?! I am dyyyyyying right now as I speak, my bookish soul that's still so lit up from the beauty of STRANGE THE DREAMER is slowly shrivelling when I think of the long, long, L.O.N.G. wait I have for the second book.

 “Like nightmares, dreams were insidious things, and didn't like being locked away.” 

::Thank you HACHETTE for the review copy!::



  1. I MUST READ THIS ASAP> I ordered the pretty blue hardcover edition but it won't arrive for weeks and cost me an arm and a leg....why must the books I want not be easy to find in India? Anyway, I love love love all of laini Taylor's other books so OBVIOUSLY I'm excited for this one. Her writing is exquisite. Thanks for the review! (and hiiiii again, I haven't visited A Bookish Time for a while)
    Shanti @Virtually Read

  2. This review is honestly amazing and now I'm just wanting to put my whole life on hold just to pick it up and devourer it, or savour it lol. It sounds like a literal dream to read so I hope that I can pick a relaxing time to read it and enjoy it thoroughly as you did 😍


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