No spoilers in this rapid review of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I give it 4.5 stars. This. Book. It’s unusual and imaginative and wonderful. YA high fantasy is my favorite genre, so I read a lot of it and occasionally feel like every possible storyline has been explored. Then this breath of fresh air came along.
It’s the story of Lazlo Strange, an orphan basically raised in a library. He uses all his free time to research the mysterious city of Weep. It’s a myth among his people, yet it feels very real to Lazlo. He becomes an expert on Weep, which may or may not exist, using ancient literature he finds in the depths of the library. Then Lazlo is given the opportunity to make the perilous journey to long-lost Weep. Its citizens are enlisting help from the outside world. Is the opportunity real? And if so, will it be anything like he read about in his precious books?
That description barely touches the tip of the iceberg, yet I feel like even one further sentence might accidentally give away one of Dreamer’s precious secrets. It’s fun to be surprised as Taylor slowly unravels Lazlo’s intriguing tale. Just to give you one more inkling about the general storyline: The best way I can describe it is modern mythology.
As fascinating as the plot is, the highlight of the book is Taylor’s writing style. It is vivid without being overbearing, flowery without being irritating, and intelligent without being full of itself. Aspiring authors everywhere, be jealous of how Taylor weaves phrases together and crafts scenes in perfect word pictures. (I know I am!) 😉
Can you tell I absolutely adore this book and definitely recommend it? Because I do! Read it as soon as you can get your hands on it! End. Of. Story. And speaking of ‘end,’ that climax…Wow. Just wow! I need The Muse of Nightmares like yesterday. And I don’t even see a projected publishing date out there yet. Fingers crossed it comes out in the first half of next year!
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