Book Review #50 – Strange The Dreamer

Dream up something wild and improbable, something beautiful and full of monsters – Laini Taylor.

Before we get stuck into the magic of Strange The Dreamer, I had to give a mini shout out to the blog for being three years old, and a day. To coincide with that, I’m writing my fiftieth book review (plus however many which doesn’t stipulate “book review” in the title), which is a little insane. Blogging has come a long way since I first began years ago, but I’m so glad that I am part of the growing community, especially the bookish kind.

I received Strange The Dreamer as one of my Christmas presents; it was certainly the thickest story of the bunch, and one that I was intrigued to read, but couldn’t quite bring myself too because of the sheer size. Until now. I had heard so much about the story of Lazlo Strange, but I had forgotten it and didn’t bother to read the blurb because I wanted to fall into the book without knowing what I was getting myself into. I certainly did fall. I fell deep into a world full of beautiful monsters, beautiful humans and a beautiful world. It took me a small while to get into the full flow, only because of the amount of fantastical language Laini Taylor uses, which adds to the magic of it all.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan. He was raised by monks, stripped of his childhood games and plucked of his favourite city’s name. From a young age, he is obsessed with the city of Weep, but does not allow himself to fall so deeply for it until his arrival at the Grand Library of Zosma. His awe and love of books allows him to stay, growing up to become a Junior Librarian. His free time is spent scrawling script across many papers, binding them into his beloved books, something much more endearing than possessions. And then, his magical world is found, and everything he has ever believed in comes full force as he embarks on the greatest adventure of his life.

Sarai is a survivor. A blue, beautiful survivor but spawn of the Gods, and therefore a sworn enemy of the people of Weep, who don’t know that she – or her four Godspawn siblings – is alive. She hides in the citadel, the palace of the Gods which haunts the city of Weep, an everlasting reminder of all the pain the Gods caused them lifetime, after lifetime. She is not a dreamer. In fact, she is the Muse of Nightmares. Her gift, or curse, is to mould and shape the human dream into anything she likes. For a long time, she gave the city nightmares. She wanted to give them what her and family had: blood, death, murder; a life that wasn’t living.

There are twists in this story that I did not see coming; if I had thought about them a little harder then I would have guessed but I was too enthralled with each word that poured from the page. Some of the description, although beautiful, was too much. There wasn’t enough action to counter the gorgeous settings, and so that did leave me a little antsy in terms of needing to find out what would happen next in the stunning world. In terms of characters, every one has complete depth, even those who do not grace the pages so much. The grandeur and intensity of the Godslayer alongside all the Tizerkane, even the disgusting nature of Drave, who catapults a big reveal at the end.

When I finished the book, I wanted to carry on turning the pages, eager to know what happens next. It is a cliff hanger, and one that I was not expecting because of the thickness of this book! I thought everything would be tied up in a neat bow, however, I understand why the story had to be fleshed out so much, especially during the end. I have so many questions, and I cannot wait for them to be answered in Muse of Nightmares.

Have you read Strange The Dreamer? What are your thoughts on this fantasy?

Love, Faye xo

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