Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)

StrangetheDreamerCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My copy came from: I borrowed this book from my local library, and loved the book so much I had to run out and purchase a copy from my local bookstore, Copperfield’s.

Review: I loved this book! So, so, so much. It is my favorite read of the year so far, and is truly unique and beautiful. Strange the Dreamer was the Book of the Month for Hype or Like Friday, and I really wasn’t drawn to this book when I first heard about it. And then I read a couple of glowing, raving reviews from fellow bloggers, and thought I’d give it a chance, but I still was hesitant. And then I read that stunning prologue. WOW! Am I glad that I read this book!

But…this was his story.
He was Strange the dreamer, and this was his dream.

I don’t have all that much to say, as the book deserves to be read with as little knowledge about it going in. Just let the author weave her story around you, and reveal it the way she intended.

There are some extremely dark themes within this story, but it is handled very delicately. As much as I wanted to devour this book, I forced myself to read it slowly, savoring the writing, the world, and the characters. I enjoyed the main character, Lazlo Strange, and also the character Eril-Fane (the Godslayer). I could feel Azareen’s pain, and also Minya’s anger, but my favorite character is the tormented Sarai.

“My darlings, my vipers,” Great Ellen had called them.  Well, they were darlings and vipers, all of them.  Or, perhaps Minya was all viper and Sparrow was all darling, but the rest of them were just…they were just flesh and spirit and youth and magic and hunger and yes, saliva, all bottled up with nowhere to go.  Carnage behind them, carnage ahead, and ghosts everywhere.

There are just a few tiny issues I had with the end of the book: I thought there was a bit too much romance, and it ended in a predictable way, but, oh my word, I NEED BOOK TWO NOW. AAAgghhh. So if cliffhanger endings aren’t your thing, you may want to wait to read this until book two is out. Or at least has a publication date.

Strange the Dreamer is a must-read for those who enjoy fantasy, actually it’s a must read for anyone who enjoys reading anything. This is a book that transcends genre, and I loved it. And please, someone make a gorgeous movie of this book!

He was used to hiding behind books or in the shadows.  It was midsummer, midmorning, in the full light of day.  There were no books to hide behind, and no shadows—only Lazlo Strange in his worn gray robes, with his nose that had been broken by fairy tales, looking like the hero of no story ever told.

Or.  No story yet told.

Bottom Line: Loved it! So far it’s my favorite read of the year and I can’t wait to read this book again! So this month’s Hype or Like Friday choice absolutely gets a LIKE from me!

Links to Strange the Dreamer on   Amazon   |   Goodreads

Hype or Like Friday is a Goodreads group hosted by Jill at Rant and Rave About Books, Larkin at Wonderfilled Reads, and Britt at Geronimo Reads.


Have you read Strange the Dreamer? Are you anxiously waiting for book #2 to be released?


27 thoughts on “Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)

  1. Great review! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this month’s book so much! I really like it too, but I felt that it was a little slower than I would’ve liked. It’s so funny that Sarai was your favorite character, because I enjoyed Lazlo more haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I enjoyed the slowness and how the plot and world was revealed. When the narrative first shifted from Lazlo to Sarai I was really bummed, but then discovered that I really enjoyed reading Sarai, and the characters around her.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t call it a travel adventure, even though Lazlo does travel to Weep, it isn’t a road-trip style book. I didn’t want to spoil any of the plot, so I was leaving things deliberately vague. It’s such a unique read, and part of the wonder of the book is the way the plot and the world unfolds.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My friend just lended this book to me last week, and I tried starting to read it at my sister’s lacrosse game, but I was just confused that I was completely bored with the book. The writing seems great and all, I just don’t like books that take so long to get into…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s too bad! I was immediately interested in that plot. I had to know what the prologue was all about! It is a slow beginning though. I appreciated how slowly everything unfolded, but I can see how you might not like that. Sometimes slowness really bugs me, but it didn’t bother me here as I was so entranced by the world and the characters.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Most bloggers say the same thing: this book should be read with as little knowledge of it as possible. Which makes me super excited to read it!
    Another glowing review just comes to show how awesome it is. I’m glad this one seems to be hype worthy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah – definitely go into it without knowing much about the plot. That is part of the magic of this book. I think some people say that it is slow, but the slowness didn’t bother me – I was content to let the world and characters build.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good to know 🙂 I think it really depends what an author does with that slowness: do they invest in the world-building, characters, etc.? Or does nothing really happen? If it’s the first option, then I’m totally fine with it as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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