Strange the Dreamer (Duology)

Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Paperback

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The story is about an orphan named Lazlo Strange, who loved to dream and lose his head in the clouds. This passion found itself extended to stories and fairy tales which were frowned upon by the monks that raised him at the monastery. He was drawn to stories relating to the city of Weep, a city that has lost its name to the Goddess of Oblivion, a name that made whoever tried to remember it weep. One day Lazlo chanced upon an opportunity when the hero of the city of Weep known as Godslayer along with his troupe of warriors made a visit to Zosma. Will he remain satisfied as a dreamy eyed librarian caged indoors by the status quo or will he step forward and follow his dreams?

The book is narrated from two points of view: Lazlo’s and Sarai’s. Lazlo, an orphan who led a quiet life but his heart yearned to read more fairy tales especially anything to do with the “mythical lost city” of Weep as his heightened curiousity reflected in his dreams.

Sarai is the daughter of the deceased Goddess Isagol and is among the few survivors of the Carnage: a war waged between gods and humans, killing all the gods and their children. Unbeknownst to the Godslayer and the citizens of Weep, the gods were survived by five children who were actually demi-gods in hiding. Sarai’s tragic past and present is heartbreaking but her positive attitude gives her so much leverage that you can’t help but root for her.

Although her loyalty to her adopted family especially her savior Minya remained unshaken she longed to escape the minutiae of life. She bared the burden of utilizing her gift which gave her visual insight into the dreams of all humans and to twist them around into nightmares. Her thirst for vengeance disappeared as she literally saw how the Carnage has affected both sides. On one of her evening ventures, she discovered Lazlo’s sleeping body among the dreamers and stumbled into his dream. Unexpectedly, she started to become mesmerized by how beautiful the landscape of his dreams of a Weep so beautiful and distinct from the actual state of Weep post war and she slowly started to seek sanctuary in them.

I thoroughly loved this book as it was a fairy tale romance done right. The romance is gush-worthy. Laini adds so much complexity by blurring the lines of who can be depicted as a hero and a villain when each character ultimately believes that they are doing it out of the goodwill of their hearts irregardless of the method. This book had an unbelievable technique of causing me to dream while being consciously awake. It was easy for me to slip into Sarai’s shoes delving into dreamers’ minds. Laini’s intricate and astounding world building allows every detail to be woven into a beautiful tapestry and the final result leaves you awe stricken. The story may seem typical but with Laini’s touch and execution, it sets itself apart from other works in the genre.


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