Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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Book: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Pages: 536 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: March 28th, 2017
ISBN: 9781444788983

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?

Source: Goodreads

My opinion:

*warning 1: book contains rape*
*warning 2: slight spoilers ahead*

Wow, what was that?!
Laini Taylor did it again! She wrote such a magical, entrancing story. Everything about this book is just so full of wonders and magic. I don’t really have another word for what the book felt like. It felt like magic. Truly everything did. From the way Lazlo, the protagonist, feels about books, to the way the Muse of Nightmares feels about herself.
Lazlo, an orphan, has a thing for books. He joins the Great Library but is little more than a servant for other, higher ranked readers. But he starts reading more and more books and he starts wondering about the world. And he starts wondering about one thing in detail: the city of Weep. A legend, a mystery, a long lost city far away, unreachable, maybe not even there. But he believes and he dreams and finds more and more about it until he has filled books upon books about anything srurrounding Weep himself. But then he has to give his books to another man who becomes an enemy. If you can speak of true enemies of Lazlo, because he is such a kind hearted man, I don’t think he really thinks of him as an enemy.
Nobody believes Lazlo. But he continues dreaming, he does not give up. And one day a party from Weep comes by the city and he joins them and discovers all the fears and wonders of that city. Together with other brilliant minds from all over the world he is supposed to help the city. But everything comes different from what he thinks.

Laini Taylor tells that story with so much love for details, and love for her characters and love for the story itself. I could picture everything so well in my head, the places layed out in my mind, the characters so incredibly beautifully written. It was so easy to feel what they felt. And even when action happened, Laini Taylor didn’t really change the writing pace, it was quite slow but also a bit poetic. Let me tell you, that woman has a great talent for words and how to use them. Even though the whole book was rather slow I did not care, I enjoyed every single page, rich with beauty. There is no other way to describe the writing than beautiful and full of colours and feelings.

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And those characters! I already talked a bit about Lazlo, that wonderful, brave dreamer boy. But of course there are others as well.
Like Sarai. She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s gonna drive you insane. Probably. Or not because she is actually a very gentle soul. She has such a good heart and great character development. She cares not only for herself or the ones she loves but for everyone else. Even though there are things in her way, she always tries to do what she thinks is right and good. But she and her friends have mighty enemies. But they are not exactly powerless themselves. All of them in a different way, all of them using their powers for their own purposes.
And Sarai and Lazlo together? Give me more of that magic, of that wonder. Just thinking about them makes me feel calm and better and warm inside.

The whole book is a combination of power and love, loss and sadness, friendship and trust. And above all, of dreaming. It puts another aspect on not giving up a dream. And it shows how nothing is really lost or impossible if you just believe enough and work towards reaching a goal if you really want it. The book had me captured and hasn’t really let me go ever since.

Rating:

★★★★★/5

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