Another series written by the author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy? Yes, please! I’ve been a huge fan of Laini Taylor since I read Karou and Akiva’s story which blew my mind away with its surprising plot twists, poetic writing style, fairy tale elements and well-written characters. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like this book as much as I adored the previous trilogy, but I was wrong. Boy was I wrong!
Strange the Dreamer is a story about a solitary librarian who dreams of a mythological city named Weep. Lazlo travels through the desert and when he arrives to his dream town, he is faced with the city’s ominous problem. At the same time we meet Sarai, daughter of the goddess of despair and her four companions, also children of gods. The city reveals its terrible history of oppression and terror while Sarai and Lazlo meet in his dreams and fall in love. But they must overcome grave obstacles and two hundred years of fear if they wish to be truly together. But the story is much more complicated than they could ever have imagined and Lazlo’s origin is revealed just moments before the book ends with a terrifying and unexpected turn of events.
This book offers so much; a gentle romance, complex characters, intriguing mysteries, magical creatures and surprising plot twists that don’t disappoint. The writing style is beautiful, ornamented, very poetical and magical, close to epic story telling which is one of the reasons why I love this author so much. The story is so deep and complex, you think you have a grasp on it but then something else gets revealed and you are left barefoot once more. It’s truly a masterpiece of fantasy (epic) writing and I recommend it to fans of fantasy YA literature.
The main character Lazlo Strange is a lover of books which is why he is so relatable. He craves adventure yet he is so kind and good natured, everyone likes him (well almost everyone, he has a so-called enemy to ensure the tension in the book). The goddess Sarai is very human despite her magical abilities, she has fears and longings like all of us. Their relationship is so fragile and strong at the same time. The romance slowly grows and they both learn from each other.
The other characters are also very complex and interesting, their stories filled with pain and sorrow but also love, so much love. The background of the story, the city of Weep, is just breathtaking, the writing instantly transports you to its ruined streets. I highly recommend this book to readers because it’s just that good. I don’t want to say too much about the story, just go and read it, you won’t regret it. Also give Daughter of Smoke and Bone a try, it’s really good, one of the best YA trilogies I’ve come across. Just let yourselves be transported to the magical lands created by Laini Taylor; you will never want to leave.
And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.
Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer