Having never read anything by Laini Taylor, I went into this novel completely blind, with only positive reviews to guide me. I picked it up on a whim after hearing nothing but good things, and I could not be more happy that I did. Strange the Dreamer was absolutely incredible, and it is definitely one of my favorites of 2018 (if not all time). This is the first installment in a duology, and follows a junior librarian named Lazlo Strange. Curious and hopeful, Strange lives with his head in the clouds. His dream is to one day visit Weep, a lost city that nobody seems to care about besides him. One day opportunity knocks, and Strange finds himself on his way to Weep. From there, a beautiful story of heroes and monsters unfolds.
This book was astounding in every sense of the word. Everything was absolutely perfect, and it truly reminded me of why I love storytelling. It challenged so many ideas and addressed so many issues in a way that didn’t feel flashy or overdone. I fell in love with this story after every single line, and I am so excited to see how the world expands with the next book.
My Rating: 5/5 stars (and more if I could)
Now, I’ll further explain just why this book was so incredible:
To begin, the plot and overall story line of this book was incredible. I fell in love with the world and city of Weep. Every hurdle thrown at the characters was inventive and added to the story in ways I never would have thought of. Often times in fantasy stories, I find that writers overdo whimsical elements in a fashion that takes away from their storytelling. I was extremely satisfied to find that the magical elements of the world were revealed as they made sense to the story, which made the fantastical plot feel extremely grounded and real.
In addition, this story had spectacular characters. The stories felt so real, their conflicts and inner-turmoils tearing at my heart. Laini Taylor crafted each character in a way that made them unique from any other. I couldn’t help but root for the leading characters, because it was impossible not to. These characters will forever hold a place in my heart, and I know that as the world expands, so will they.
With all of these spectacular elements, it’s not too hard to believe that Laini Taylor is also a master when it comes to her actual prose. Her rich choice of language and strong use of imagery created an atmosphere of magic that I didn’t realize was possible. I found myself in awe of her descriptions more than once during this book.
Needless to say, I absolutely adored this book, and I cannot believe there was a time when this wonderful story wasn’t in my heart. I am more than excited to continue reading about this world and these characters.