Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
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.
My Rating: 5 Stars
I gave Strange the Dreamer five stars because I really enjoyed it. That's not to say that it did not start excruciatingly slow and for every answer you got, there were a ton of more questions that cropped up. It was confusing at times to keep all the characters in order but that may have been because of I was listening to it instead of reading it. There wasn't a lot of action with this book until the last few chapters but most books I've been reading the past couple of years have dove right into the action. Because this book took the time to introduce me to Lazlo, I was invested in what happened to him. When Thyon Nero tried to steal Lazlo's dream, I was very outraged and I do not think I would have cared if I had not gotten to know Lazlo and how important and how much work he'd put into learning about Weep and finding out it's secrets. Because Lazlo cared so much about Weep, so did I. I wanted to know what was going on.
I can say the same for Sarai. I did not learn of what Sarai's powers were at first. I found out Ruby, Sparrow, and Feral's within the first few pages of the chapter that introduced Sarai and her family. Even Minya's powers came into full focus before I learned Sarai's. I got to know her little so by the time I learned what she'd done over the years, I was already invested. Even though I felt like I shouldn't like her, I did. I also liked the complexity of Eril-Fane. He was a hero but also a murderer.; he struggled with those two different titles and it had caused him to become a shell of a man. I grappled with what the citizens of Weep did that day. I understand why they did it but I also do not understand why they did it. That was a part of the book that I struggled with the most despite what happened to the citizens for so many years.
Laini Taylor did a magnificent job of making well-rounded and likable characters. They were complex and had a lot of layers to them that made me want to keep reading and figure it all out. She is a master storyteller who does not give you everything in the first few chapters. I was still finding out things at the end of the book. The language that she used was so beautiful and elegant and I loved listening to this book. She made an amazing world with Gods and librarians and heroes. The imagery was beautiful too. I loved Lazlo's actual dreams so much and wish I could go into them and live there when I'm having a bad day. I cannot wait until Muse of Nightmares! And it's coming out on my 30th birthday! So many questions were left unanswered when Strange the Dreamer ended. Hopefully, these are answered with the sequel. I truly enjoyed this book and it has become one of my favorite reads so far this year.