Synopsis: 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.
First of all, this book is written from the points of view of Lazlo Strange and Sarai.
Second of all, this review may or may not contain spoilers. Here we go..
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor, the first book in a planned duology, starts with this line :
“On the second Sabbat of Twelfth moon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky. Her skin was blue, her blood was red.”
I am usually apprehensive about a hyped-about book, and it is with reason, but after reading Strange The Dreamer I didn’t feel anything but eager anticipation for its sequel.
The story starts with an orphan boy. Lazlo Strange who was orphan, gray and sickly grows up as a monk, then a librarian and then the unlikely hero of the story. He is Strange the Dreamer.
Lazlo has cared for fairy tales and mysteries as long as he can remember. As long as he can remember, Lazlo has dreamed of a faraway city where men and women warriors ride astride majestic beasts, and magic is possible until one day the name of the city simple disappears from everyone’s mind. The name is replaced with a word “Weep.”However, Lazlo can remember the moment the name disappeared from his mind and is resolute in his faith that this is magic. Lazlo makes finding Weep and thus, its secrets his life’s mission. He becomes a librarian, devoting his lifeblood to scouring its books for any knowledge of Weep, its people, its language, and the mythic seraphim and Mezarthim that came from the sky.
Perhaps Lazlo dreamed so well that the dream itself came to find him. His dream finds him in the way of Tizerkane soldiers, who arrive in his city, seeking scholars and different experts to join them and ride with them to the city called Weep. The leader of this band of Tizerkane soldiers is Eril-fane, better known as Godslayer, is the one who gives Lazlo Strange the dreamer and librarian a chance to fulfill his lifelong dream: to visit the city called Weep.
Meanwhile, in the city of Weep, there is a young woman named Sarai who doesn’t want to dream is nicknamed the Muse of Nightmares. Here in Weep, in a palace called a citadel, Sarai and her family are spending their days in monotony-with ghosts, gardens, and memories. Their days of monotony are about to come to an end soon.
The story is unique and is not be compared with fantasies like Sarah J. Mass’s A Court Of Thorns and Roses series. There is romance present between the protagonists and a hint of sex between other characters. This a story of Gods and monsters, legends and myths, the longstanding enmity between oppressors and their oppressed.Strange the Dreamer is a beautifully written story. It is like a dream where you see the beautiful, the unexpected. The writing is vivid without being overbearing or irritating. I learned a lot about writing and reading from this book. Strange the dreamer can be described in its quotes :
“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
“Beautiful and full of monsters?”
“All the best stories are.”
I loved the narration of Lazlo’s character. He is the unlikely hero who regales everyone with his shares of concocted tales and is bookish and courageous. I loved Sarai’s character as well and the way the story is shaped like a dream. Nothing makes sense in the beginning but slowly, gradually everything falls into place. The readers are treated are treated to a beautifully concocted piece of writing. We learn about the assembled team headed for Weep and what they might hazard to do there together. We learn that Sarai and her kin are no mere children imprisoned in some faraway castle. We learn the truth of the Gods who descended upon the land and what they demanded in tribute.
I expected a cliffhanger because I knew that this was the first book in a duology. What I didn’t expect was the rushed climax. In the end, Lazlo get no closure of his own: he has more questions on the top of questions. On the top of questions, readers are also left shocked in the wake of Sarai’s death.
Alas, it is both the readers and Lazlo, who have to wait for Muse of Nightmares, to receive answers to their questions, to get their well-deserved closure.
Verdict: I would recommend this book and give it 4½ out of 5 stars.
About Author: Laini Taylor writes fantasy books. Her latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out 🙂 Before that she wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It’s about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. She also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas.
**Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Reader
Publication Date: March 2017
Hardcover: 544 Pages
Below are the links if you want to buy the book(and some recommendations) on Amazon.