Strange The Dreamer by 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 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.”

-Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review! (I know it’s been a while, and I’ve been reading, just haven’t been getting around to actually posting my reviews here yet.)

And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.”

Stars (Out of 10): 10/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: From the very first page, I was hooked. I loved Taylor’s “A Daughter of Smoke and Bone” (yet bizarrely never got around to finishing the series, but I promise to soon now!), and this book was on that same level. With great twists, amazing characters, and an endlessly fascinating world, the book was never dull, and I loved every word that I read. Currently, it sits in the spot of “favorite book of 2017,” having impossibly bumped down The Wrath and The Dawn as well as Alchemist’s of the Loom, if that gives you all perspective on just how much I loved this book.

The Good: Fantastic world building, characters that showed growth with two POV’s that led very opposite lives, and an overall thrilling plot, full of twists and grand reveals.

The Bad: It’s pretty slow, which I know aggravates some people. I didn’t mind it and felt the pace fit the book.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

The Characters: These were fantastic! Our main two, Lazlo and Sarai, both had interesting backstories and were great examples of character growth as the book went on. (Actually, I got super super attached to Lazlo really quick, and when he fought to get the chance to live his dream I was so proud!) In addition, the main combatting sides both had their pros and cons, and reasons for acting the way they did (since, for most of the book, both could be seen as survivors and bad guys in their own ways.) It gave the characters, and thus the plot, a lot more depth since everything wasn’t so black and white.

The Plot: I loved how well it all melded together in the end. With all twists and turns revealed (for this book at least), every little piece of information and fact given ended up finding a place, from Lazlo being gray as an infant, the prologue’s date and description matching Sarai, Thryn and all his experiments with Azoth, and sooo much more. In addition, it was also just an interesting plot, with two races of people that have both had their fair share of torment and bad actions. It makes the entire plot, and which side is the good side thing, a grey area, instead of there being an obvious villain vs. an obvious hero, with the actions of them being strictly good or strictly bad.

The World Building: I loved this, and it’s probably the thing I think Taylor does the best. There was such an intricate story built behind each of the cities (even Zorsma I felt like I understood, as even this super temporary setting was given pretty in depth world building, and had as much, or even more, world building than some whole fantasy series give the main location.) I also loved the before and after descriptions we got to see of the Weep, and it’s entire history in general, both through tales and in brought to life (in Lazlo’s dreams, or otherwise.)

The Favorite Character: Lazlo and Sarai (and Calixte was cute, but she disappeared somewhere along the book, probably since the last half was mainly Lazlo’s dreams.)

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