Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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?
Welcome to Weep.
I’ve had this on my TBR for a while and I know I’m a bit behind but I FINALLY read it after I received it this past Christmas. The premise is intriguing and I have heard countless things about how beautiful the story and writing is so I was very excited to get to it.
Strange the Dreamer was undoubtedly pretty and flowery… if a bit long. It seemed that the story itself was very short and did not progress much by the end and all of the flowery writing only really worked as fluff and filler. The story of Strange is such a unique one that I was excited to see where Taylor was taking it but it felt like not much actually happened until the very end. All of the major plot points up until that point took place off page and we just got a look at the outcomes of what other characters did from the POVs of our two mains.
This story really is just showing us how our mains react to the situations that they are put in. There is not much that they actually instigate or do to progress the plot. Plot development is left up to the side characters. We even spend too much time within a dream world with Strange and Sarai while actual plot is happening back in Weep. I would consider Strange the Dreamer to be a more character-driven story as opposed to plot-driven even though I did not see much character development until the very end.
Through reading this one, I could not help but wish I was reading a story about the life of Eril-Fane and everything that he had to endure that changed him to the man we are introduced to. Alas, we were only granted a paragraph or two of his backstory but even those paragraphs were more interesting than I felt the majority of the book was.
The cliffhanger ending was where the story really shone though. You have the greater good battling twisted minds, an impossible choice, a wonderful revelation along with some heartbreak. If not for that ending, I would not really consider reading the sequel but, as it is, the sequel is not an immediate MUST READ for me for now.