Published by Hodder & Stoughton on March 28th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
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A brand new, heart-stopping novel and the first in a thrilling duology from the much-loved author of the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy, Laini Taylor.
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 to 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?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
If you’re going to pick up a book this year, let it be Strange the Dreamer. It is monstrous, mystical, magical and everything you’ve ever dreamed of and what better storyteller to bring it to life than Laini Taylor. In case you’re not convinced enough, here’s 5 reasons why you need it in your life now.
1. A mysterious world of wonder and ruin
Imagine if your favourite book world could come to life and you’ll not only be able to see it, but you’ll be able to experience the mystery and the wonder yourself. That is what Strange the Dreamer is about, particularly for Lazlo Strange, a librarian and a dreamer who has dedicated his life to studying the world of Weep. With a world centred around dreams and mystical elements, I loved learning about the world of Weep and the goddesses and heroes that lived in it. It meshes the modern world with a fantasy one that feels like an Ancient Greek legend and 500 pages of it wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity.
2. A librarian with a heart of gold
As a librarian who lives within stories, I immediately connected to Lazlo Strange and his obsession with a world that he’s only dreamed about. He is someone who is inherently good, who helps out and does the right thing for people who don’t deserve his help, simply because he believes it’s the right thing to do. While he believes himself to be lesser than others, Lazlo’s strength is his character who is humble, endearing, believes in justice and equality. I loved the interactions with his nemesis Thyon, who as a Prince, is on a higher social rung than him and gifted in every sense of the word.
3. An antagonistic alchemist with a dark past
Thyon was also a fascinating character, as royalty who has everything handed down to him on a silver platter. It was interesting seeing who he was in the eyes of a commoner such as Lazlo, but also seeing behind closed doors, the pressure his parents force upon him to be nothing short of perfect. He’s arrogant and gifted, and completely indebted to Lazlo which he absolutely hates. I wanted to pick up the broken shards of Thyon as he threw everything into his work so he could prove to be the best.
4. A blue-skinned goddess who invades dreams
The story isn’t just made up of these two enigmatic boys, there’s also the blue-skinned Mesarthim gods and goddesses who have gone through horrors in the world of Weep. With no one to cling onto but themselves, even with their flaws and familial conflicts, they each had attributes and characteristics which were completely compelling. Each of them had powers that were so mystical that you could only dream of their powers, but my hands down favourite was Sarai who was the Muse of Nightmares. As the daughter of the Goddess of Despair, Sarai has large footsteps to fill, but it’s her empathy that makes all the difference. She has the power to destroy the will and nature of humans, but instead, she uses it to learn about them and realise that they’re not so different to herself.
5. A beautifully written, intricate storyline
Only Laini Taylor could create such an imaginative world filled with mystery and wonder, one that puts such beautiful imagery in your head with characters that permeate your mind. At it’s heart, Strange the Dreamer will appeal to every reader, because it brings to life a story that a reader has only dreamed about. It dispels the myth of perfection, unravels the mysteries of the world and reveals the finer, darker intricacies of the world. Reading the book makes you believe that all things could be possible, crossing the lines between dreams and reality and realising that there’s very little distinction between the two. While the pacing was quite slow, this is a book you have to experience to really grasp it’s intricate beauty.
There’s a lot more I could say about Strange the Dreamer, but the best part of reading the book is discovering the world, what happens with these strange characters and their journey into the mysterious world of Weep. I lavished every word and every page, because of how beautifully it was written. Reading Strange the Dreamer was like unravelling this mysterious package filled with layers and layers of beauty and imagination.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thanks Hachette Australia for sending me this book for review!
Strange the Dreamer will be released in Australian bookstores on March 28 for RRP$19.99.
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