I was excited to receive a copy of Strange The Dreamer in the March box from Fairy Loot. I hadn’t read anything by Laini Taylor before but had heard great things about her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Strange The Dreamer is the first in a new series which features a fascinating and mysterious world.
‘Lazlo wanted to go and find out. That was his dream, daring and magnificent: to go there, half across the world, and solve the mysteries for himself.
It was impossible, of course.
But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?’
In this story we are introduced to Lazlo Strange, an orphan and a junior librarian. From childhood he has been fascinated with the mythic lost city called Weep, a city which others have long forgotten but which remains ever present in his dreams. And for a while it seemed destined to remain there, that is until an opportunity arises which gives Lazlo the chance to discover it, with a little help from a hero known as the Godslayer. This begins Lazlo’s magical journey into an extraordinary world in which he seeks to find answers to the questions that have remained long unanswered about what happened to the city and how it came to be cut off from the rest of the world. Along the way there are plenty of mysteries to uncover, and fascinating beings to meet. The world building here is excellent and whilst it did take me a little while to get into the story the more I read and discovered the more I was desperate to find out more. I also enjoyed Taylor’s beautiful writing style which helped to shape this magical world and all within it. There were so many wonderful passages of writing and beautiful descriptions which help transport the reader to a new and extraordinary landscape.
‘She drifted a moth onto his brow.
And promptly fell into another world.’
At over 500 pages long this is a time consuming read but with its vivid descriptions and character development I would say this is worth the investment. I won’t go in to further details about the plot as I wouldn’t want to spoil how the story develops but what I can say is that this is an absorbing tale of dreams and nightmares, love and chaos, and gods and myths that kept my interest until its intriguing conclusion. Along the way we meet a fascinating array of characters, gods and ghosts and even moths. My favourites though were the central characters of Lazlo, who intrigued me from the start, and Sarai, the mysterious blue skinned goddess who makes an appearance in his dreams. I liked their individual characters and journeys but also the relationship that develops between them, as Lazlo continues to discover the meaning of his dreams, and the truth about the Unseen City.
“But you can do better. I know you can. You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters”
Strange The Dreamer is an enthralling fantasy story and an exciting start to a new series. I will be looking out for the next in the series to find out what is next for this mythical world.