Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (2017)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Reading Time: 22/04/17 – 04/05/17
This book took me on a fantastic adventure that I didn’t think I would enjoy, but ended up loving! Initially I found this book daunting and a pressure to pick up and read, but it was definitely one I wanted to. I think the key to starting a scary book on your TBR is to start it on a sunny day so you get a bunch more pages read.
This is the story of Lazlo who has worked in a library for most of his life and yearns for one of the adventures he so often reads about. I love the way Lazlo’s brain works and how he is obviously known for this. I don’t think I can go on with this review without spoilers, so please be warned!
Lazlo sets off on an adventure to discover the hidden city of Weep, somewhere he has always dreamed about going and has pretty much spent his whole life researching. I think this concept is so cool, it’s like someone telling me I get to go to Hogwarts! Lazlo is accompanied by all sorts of people on his journey and whilst I definitely could have done with a character glossary to remember who everyone was, I loved all of the new characters.
At first when the Godspawn were introduced I wasn’t too sure where the story was going, but I soon felt myself becoming familiar with these new characters. I loved finding out about their abilities and who their parents were, this kind of thing is right up my street! I have seen people comment on Laini Taylor’s writing, saying that it is too descriptive and could get where it’s going in half the time. I would disagree with this, I think her writing is perfect, she gives a good level of description and as a result, I really felt like I was in this world. I love how Sarai has been written, she is trying to defy who she is expected to be and so she should! She wants to humanise herself in how people see her, she doesn’t want to be the villain she is expected to be. I like what Sarai represents, that she can choose her own path.
The relationship between Lazlo and Sarai was really well written, I love that she meets him in a dream. She is constantly surrounded by this bubble of make believe, is she truly there for Lazlo? We, of course, know that she is real, but Lazlo takes some time to adjust to this, as I think most people would if they started seeing someone in their dreams. Lazlo is such a lovely character and when he starts falling for Sarai I feel a sense of relief for her that she will get what it is she deserves. But of course she cannot be united with Lazlo as she falls to her death at the end of the book. This is so tragic and I didn’t see it coming, I thought perhaps one of her sisters would die, but I didn’t think she would be the one too. There’s some sort of consolation in her coming back as a ghost but this is not the same! She doesn’t really have her free will and she isn’t truly there, but then I suppose this is no different from when she appears in Lazlo’s dreams.
Lastly I will talk about Lazlo being one of the Godspawn, because who didn’t see that coming? I was suspicious of him as soon as he arrived in Weep, and this only grew when he was able to see Sarai in his dreams. I liked that there was something more to him, he deserved to be more than he thought he was. I am very excited to read the next book in this series to see what happens with Lazlo and his new found Godspawnness.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, if you’re after a well written fantasy with lovable characters then definitely give this one a go!