Updated: Jan 6, 2021
Books Like This: Six of Crows Series, An Ember in the Ashes Series, Serpent and Dove Series
For: People who like fantasy, romance, magic, greater beings (gods), journey/travel
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 just 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 form 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? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams?
I don't remember exactly how I found this book, I was probably just looking for anything to add to my "Future Reads" list. What caught my attention when I first saw the summary for this book was the fact that Lazlo (the main character) was a librarian who was obsessed with researching a lost city. Just that aspect of Lazlo's personality really spoke to me on a spiritual level. That Lazlo was a lot of like the readers of today really just made me like him before I had even gotten the book. Which just made me more eager to read it.
As I mentioned before, I really connected with Lazlo throughout the book. I don't think I've ever read about a main character that reads like he does or is as friendly and optimistic as he is. Just reading the book made me want to be a more positive person.
I feel like one thing Laini Taylor did exceptionally well (besides making the sweetest and most relatable character ever) was represent bullying in this story. Lazlo didn't let Thyon's (the bullies) words get to him and constantly tried to be the better person, even when Thyon took Lazlo's most prized possessions. What I also liked was that it Laini made it easy to see why Thyon acted this way and she got us to sympathize with him even when he was acting like a douche.
Another thing I really liked about Strange the Dreamer was that Laini Taylor constantly used descriptive words to make it easier for us to visualize what everything looked like, especially the people. I think a lot of authors get so caught up in the story they're trying to tell that they forget to describe, in detail, what everything looks like, smells like and feels like. So I was very thankful that Laini kept up with her descriptions.
One last thing I liked about the book (even though there are plenty more things on my list) was the fact that she demonstrated how positivity and optimism are contagious. We see it throughout the book when Sarai (the love interest) keeps going into Lazlo's dreams and staying there because it's bright and happy and she feels at peace there. I feel that that's really important for everyday life, to keep your spirits up and try to be as positive as possible because you never know who around you really needs it.
The only reason that the book wasn't a 10/10 for me was because it was pretty predictable. First with Lazlo being able see Sarai in his dreams, them switching roles, the condition he went to the monks in and even his overall interest in Weep (among other things) hinted that he was somehow connected to it. And what happened at the end (if you read the book, you know what I'm talking about) wasn't as surprising as it could've been, though the author could've done this intentionally, it still wasn't a big shock.
I did really like the book and y'all can look forward to me reviewing Muse of Nightmares and overall my opinion of the series.
Congratulations to Laini Taylor and I wish you luck on all of your future endeavors.