Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor


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 to 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?

Strange the Dreamer is a unique, enchanting novel that has captured my heart; it is unlike anything I have read before and incredibly special. Laini Taylor has created an unimaginable, beautiful world full of dense fantasy; it has actually astounded me how she has managed to do this as some of the aspects in this novel are so unimaginable to me and it takes a truly gifted imagination to come up with such a beautiful, spell binding world!

Strange the Dreamer opens with our protagonist Lazlo, an orphan, librarian and a big dreamer who dreams of a world he is not supposed to dream off. When Lazlo was a young boy the name of a lost, mythical city was stolen from the worlds minds however a part of it still remains in his and he cant shake the feeling that he once knew the unseen city’s real name but the word which he can only think of is Weep and every time he struggles to remember its true name that is all he hears. Lazlo is obsessed with discovering what happened and so spends his adult life researching the city and trying desperately to find out anything about it and to hopefully one day, visit the city himself…

The story of Strange the Dreamer is unique and plot engaging, riveting and addicting and frankly nothing short of phenomenal. The world of ‘Weep’ itself is unlike anything I have ever read and beyond enchanting. I am being so careful not to spoil this novel for you lovely readers, that is why I have kept my synopsis above so short but what I can tell you is that we have libraries filled with books upon books, a mysterious city with an even more mysterious water source, mythical armies, demons and angels and magic…lots of magic! Although this story does mainly focus on the city of ‘Weep’ it does not limit itself to that alone but rather the plot is crafted so beautifully that it suggests magnitude beyond that focus. It is a beautifully crafted world which is teeming with science and magic galore.

The writing alone by Taylor is magical and dreamy and creates a feeling and atmosphere that convinces you you’ve been transported to another world and this is what you want in a fantasy author. At some points in this novel the writing was so beautiful and poetic that I had to take a pause and process the beauty I had just read. Taylors writing has a timeless fairy tale quality and at points it was just too perfect…seriously, how can a writer be this good! The prose made me want to savour every single word and page as the story hooked me from page one and in turn made me want to race through it. At a period in this novel I was frantic and needed to finish it so badly that I raced through the pages desperate to find out what was going to happen so I really applaud Taylor for doing this to me because this is very hard to make me act this way!

Laini Taylor has created a magical world but she has also created some magical, enchanting characters. I really appreciated from the first page Taylors intense degree of characterisation; it formed a brilliant picture for each character in my mind whilst I read and this was certainly the case for our two main characters Lazlo and Sarai.

Lazlo is a lovely man and a tender-hearted librarian who cant help but be consumed by his whimsical imagination. It is hard to talk about Lazlo without talking about Sarai at the same time as her relationship with Lazlo is both essential to the progression of the plot but also the progression of Lazlo as a man. Sarai is a solemn and intelligent godspawn. She is a woman who is woven from the material of conflict, and light and darkness spun into one. She is a conflicted character and is at war with her own compassion and feelings. In my opinion Lazlo and Sarai are just beautiful together and their love for each other gleams of the page. It is sweet and innocent all whilst being intense and emotional at the same time.

To summarise my thoughts on Strange the Dreamer I would say if you are a fan of the fantasy genre then this novel is made for you because it really doesn’t get much better than this! It has rich world building and has a wonderfully conceived story of gods, goddesses, ghosts, magic, romance, secrets and guilt’s all whilst their is an old tale lurking deep underneath which all makes for the perfect fantasy read! This magical novel gets Four Stars from me!

Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much. I think I am late to the party with reading and reviewing this novel but hey better late than never right! If you have read this novel then please do comment below and tell me all those wonderful thoughts of yours. If you have not then please do let me know if you could see yourself reading it. Also I would love to know if any of you love the fantasy genre! Thank you so much again for reading!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! If you have loved what you have read and want to buy the wonderful novel then you can click the buy on amazon button and it will take you straight to Amazon U.K.! If you are international then click the Book Depository link underneath it! Thank you so much again for reading!


Book Depository

Publisher; Hodder and Stoughton

P.P.S. For the people who have read this novel is this considered Young Adult? I have no idea!



137 thoughts on “Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor

      1. Oh, please don’t think I was being snotty or smart! And there’s no reason to feel silly – a few weeks ago I was busy recommending a book while giving the WRONG author as the writer! You certainly didn’t make a blooper like that!

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  1. Great review, I just got hold of this book and have started reading it 🙂 :). Only a teeny few pages into the mammoth 500+ but mesmerised already :D. I’m a huge fantasy lover and read a LOT of YA too, always have. Not sure yet if it’s a YA novel, I’ll have to read more before I could say for sure 🙂 .

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      1. 🙂 Well it depends on what kind of books you like. I just read The Hate U Give which is a big book out this year but a bit of a dark contemporary. It’s got quite a bit of bad language in it, so does The Cruelty which is a thriller but that one is a kind of love or hate it novel lol. I also read something called Max which I really enjoyed but it’s not exactly a happy novel, actually really dark and disturbing really, Some YA books are pretty dark and bordering on adult novels and I weirdly like them better but some YA are a little less so, kind of depends on what you like reading lol. I’m struggling to think of any lighter YA this second and fantasy YA right now which is stupid as I’m sure there’s some I’ve just gone blank 😮 !! lol

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      2. Sorry for the late reply, I did a review of it on my blog if you’d like to see it, but the plot’s basically that Starr sees her best friend who’s black like her, killed by a white policeman and she struggles to tell the truth of what happened to anyone because of the fear it could kill her. It’s set in America and was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement there’s a bit of a different slang to get used to in the book and lots of bad language but it’s a powerful story and a good read. A lot of YA novels are pretty dark these days 🙂

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      3. Oh by the way, I’m not sure I is a YA novel, Strange the Creamer, even though it has teenagers in the story. YA books feature teens but there’s usually faster plotting but I’d loved to read this when I was a teen 😀 I just finished it and am leaving my review tomorrow morning. I’m in love with this book, can’t wait for part 2 🙂

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      4. Caraval is so good, I’m nearly finished with it. It’s about these sisters Scarlet and Tella, they visit this magical show called Caraval, it’s like a game, they visit because it’s an escape from their horrible father but Tella disappears and Scarlett has to play the game in order to find her. It’s filled with magic and it’s a bit like a weird circus game but it’s so good I could see it being turned into a movie! 😀

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      1. I do! But I haven’t but I’ve been slacking on seeing movies the last year, work and stuff got in the way lol. Gotta catch up but I love a pretty big mix of films…I have to admit I still haven’t seen some pretty famous films though 😮

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      2. Like the Shinning, or Titanic. It’s not like I don’t want to see some films, I just never got around to it 😮 I’m like that with books, I never felt like I wanted to read the Harry Potter books and still haven’t although I’ve seen the films lol. I also never read Tolkien even though I’m really into fantasy – I feel like someone who’s been living in a hole somewhere lol. What are your favourite films, I’m struggling to think up a favourite, mine changes depending on my mood but I loved The Matrix, Equalibrium and Legally Blonde to name the only ones in my head this second – not sure if your opinion of me has gone down with that last one lol 🙂

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      3. Um…no – oops! I have it on my tbr list and do really want to read it, I didn’t actually watch the show so I haven’t been spoilt by it.If it counts I do have the Game of Thrones colouring book though! 😛

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      4. I sort of alternate between reading books and colouring recently 🙂 I do colour pretty often but not as much as I did a year ago. But I’m an avid collector of the books, I think I have over 100 colouring books (only a few pages actually coloured in each) – a bit mad I know ! 😮

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      5. I’m obsessed with the ones by Millie Marotta and Johanna Basford, got each one! And I love ones with animals in them so I have big ones called The Menagerie, The Aviary and The aquarium which are just amazing to look at let alone colour :). I also love anything with cakes – I think I’m pining to eat what I’m colouring lol Which books do you like to colour? 🙂

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      6. I colour quite often too and have since I was very young because my mum used to colour. But years ago there was no such thing as adult colouring and it’s not the craze it is now so we had to use just children colouring books!

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      7. Yeah, only kids books and some were way too easy, but I got back into colouring by picking up a kids book a few years ago, I think it was The Bog Beautiful Cupcake Book – cupcake mad I am! 🙂

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      8. Not sure I’ve seem those movies – see I’m hopeless with films, lol. I just remembered I love anime too, Studio Ghibli (spelling!?) is so amazing. Yep, there’s too many movies out there to remember all the good ones isn’t there 🙂

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      9. You should definitely check some of those out they are great. A lot of them are quite funny too whilst being serious at the same time. The first movie you should watch though is the accountant it’s amazing and I love Ben Affleck so much!

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      10. Spirited Away is a famous one that was in cinemas in the UK and is good but I love all Studio Ghibli, my personal favourite at the moment is a film called Howl’s Moving Castle although I don’t really know why, I think it’s Christian Bale doing the voice of Howl that makes me love it, lol! I haven’t tried many animes that aren’t studio ghibli

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      11. I hope you do, I just love his voice in the film, plus the story’s got magic and it’s a bit of a weird love story so that’s why I love it 😀 I havent’ seen all the batman movies but I love him Equalibium, it’s like a weird similar version of the Matrix where everyone’s on this drug called Prozium, like Prozac and nobody feels anything, no emotions towards art, music or books! I love dystopian books and films 🙂

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