Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer

Book - 2017
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In the aftermath of a war between gods and men, a hero, a librarian, and a girl must battle the fantastical elements of a mysterious city stripped of its name.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316341684
0316341681
Characteristics: 536 pages ; 24 cm

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shayshortt
Oct 18, 2018

In beautiful prose that will be familiar to fans of her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, Laini Taylor brings to life a vivid new fantasy world that didn’t so much capture my imagination as take it hostage, until I stayed up far too late to reach the last page, and find out what would become of Lazlo, Sarai, and the people of Weep. Taylor opens with Lazlo, the orphan who will take us on our journey into the unknown. After spending his childhood in a monastery, Lazlo escapes to the Great Library of Zosma, and a career as a librarian. In his world, librarians are the mere servants of the aristocratic scholars, expected to keep knowledge, but never to discover it. But Lazlo is forever tripping over that line, particularly in his somewhat antagonistic relationship with Thyon Nero, golden son of Zosma, and the only alchemist who has ever produced gold. The other perspective belongs to Sarai, a girl who lives a strange secluded life with four other children, but dreams of the city of Weep every night. To say too much more is to spoil Taylor’s careful parsing out of information, which kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how it all fit together. Some have described this as a slow start to Strange the Dreamer, but I was intent on soaking up her beautiful world-building and getting to know the various characters.

Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2018/10/16/strange-the-dreamer/

r
RebelBelle13
Oct 10, 2018

If I had known this book was a tragic story about star-crossed lovers, I wouldn't have picked it up. To be fair, I've read Laini Taylor's other series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I did enjoy that- however, if you've read that, you've read this. It's got the same major story points- the realities of war and the scars it leaves on people, the reader sympathizing with both sides, lovers who think that their love is enough to bridge the gap and bring the two forces together in peace (but it isn't), a protagonist whose past is shrouded in questions and mystery, and a character that has some kind of control over souls. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Taylor seems to have only one story up her sleeve- except here, she spends nearly 80% of the novel on exposition, and in DoSaB the plot drives forward at an excitable pace. I can understand why a good many people don't finish this book. The prose and descriptions are incredible, but there is just TOO MUCH of it. By the time you learn about Lazlo- his childhood, his interactions with Nero, the library, him with his mentor, and reading his books and dreaming about Weep, you're bored. Had I been reading a physical copy of this book, I would have quit and moved on to something else. Lazlo doesn't even meet Sarai until 3/4 of the way through the book, and the novel is supposed to be about them and their relationship. By the time they met, I was just ready for the book to be over. This is extremely disappointing to me, because this came so highly rated by so many people whose recommendations I usually trust. The last 10% or so of the book was amazing- fast paced, well done, epic and different. Why couldn't the rest of the book have been like that? Instead, we get pages and pages of Taylor describing flowers that want to fly and the color of the grains of sand in the desert. She almost gives Robert Jordan a run for his money. All in all, well thought out world, characters and magic system, gorgeous prose, but repetative plot points and WAY too much description. I doubt I'll be reading the sequel.

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GamerKat10
Jul 03, 2018

Strange The Dreamer, is a wonderful book that mixes the world as we currently know it with Romance and Fantasy. We follow a protagonist- Lazlo Strange -As he struggles going to the place were Nightmares and Dreams lie. (Sorry I'm trying to keep this Spoiler Free!) Watch as Lazlo Strange Uncover his hidden passion for love... But for who? His hidden past... But what? The friends, and foes he encounter... What does he do?! Now, Grab this book and uncover all these secrets- And so much more! Come, and stand with me with the five blue figures watching over the Forgotten City and it's forgotten name. Come; with Lazlo Strange: The Dreamer.

Sequel (Muse of Nightmares) is due out October 2nd. Readers of epic fantasy and lush worldbuilding will fall in love with Laini Taylor's latest offering, which showcases her beautiful language and vivid characters in a novel that - despite it's size - you won't want to put down until you've finished.

ArapahoeLauraRose May 07, 2018

Lazlo was charming and engaging, and Sarai melancholy and sympathetic. I enjoyed learning the people, places, and rules of this fantasy world. However, despite the novel's length, I didn't form any deep attachments to the characters or the world. An enjoyable read, but not a world that I would revisit.

h
hannmsha
Apr 26, 2018

I don't even have words for this? I'm not much for young adult fantasy these days, but this book sucked me in and blew me away. The writing was gorgeous, the characters and setting were stunning. I am very rarely as completely and utterly absorbed in a book as I was in this. I don't know if I'll survive the wait until the next book comes out!

s
skdawson
Apr 18, 2018

This one has a bit of a slow start but it is more than worth it to get a better understanding of the world Laini Taylor has created. I loved this book!

OPL_AmyW Mar 15, 2018

Rarely do I find a young adult novel with such lyrical language and lush descriptions, and even more rarely do I enjoy it. This is a YA fantasy unlike anything else being published now. It defies the numerous YA fantasy tropes and is at times both sweet and heart-wrenching. I can't wait to read the sequel.

PimaLib_ChristineR Feb 09, 2018

If ever a book deserved the title of "Lush" this book is it. Taylor casts a magic spell with her language, as if the reader has been sucked into, not a fairy tale, but into a universe where fairy tales are possible and where the ability to believe in things bigger than himself, makes Laszlo Strange, a dreamer, but also someone who can remain untainted by the petty nastiness of those around him. The plot is intriguing. The characters grow and become fleshed out, even those who aren't central to the story. But most important to this book is the writing. If you love words, this is a book for you. It feels like reading long pieces of poetry, if that poetry was the offspring of Coleridge and Asimov. As others have noted, the fact that this comes to a rather sudden and startling stop is unfortunate, but I'm willing to forgive the cliffhanger, as long as the next book gets here quickly!

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jan 25, 2018

The book is about a boy named Lazlo Strange. Wow, i honestly don't even know how to describe this book, it was honestly phenomenal. I haven't read a book this good in such a long time. This book was so many things and i loved every aspect of it. The book is very detailed and is easily understandable. This is one of the best story’s I have ever read. One major thing I liked about this book was that there was an element of surprise, many things happened in the book that I was not expecting and left me shocked and aching to read more (I swear you will love this book). I would recommend this book to teenagers aged 13-18. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.
- @terrificbooklover of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

I don’t have words to describe this book. It was mellow, thrilling, beautiful and magical all at once. The tale of Lazlo Strange enticed me from the first page and its entwinement with Sarai was so wonderfully done that I not once felt any negative feelings towards this book. Even the ‘villain’ characters made a place in my heart. We are introduced to Lazlo Strange, a young orphan who resides with monks, his only comfort the stories crazy Brother Cyrus tells him. He spends his childhood fighting imaginary Tizerkane warriors, dodging beatings from monks and indulging in stories of the city in Brother’s stories. But one day, the city’s name blanks out of his memory… and it’s not only his, but to all that knew it. In this moment, Lazlo experienced his first taste of magic when the name of his favourite city changed to “Weep”. Fate took another turn on the day he was sent to the library to run an errand… and never returned back to the monks. This novel follows his journey from the library basements to the legendary city of Weep, as his wits and intelligence take him places he only dreamt of his entire life. Because “the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around.” When Sarai, a godspawn and Muse of Nightmares enters his life, there is more than just a taste; Lazlo experiences a whole feast of magic! I highly recommend this book, I couldn’t put it down! My review and the synopsis don’t do justice to the beautiful prose and writing style. Rating 5/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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shayshortt
Oct 18, 2018

His books were not his dream. Moreover, he had tucked his dream into their pages like a bookmark, and been content to leave it there for too long. The fact was: Nothing he might ever do or read or find inside the Great Library of Zosma was going to bring him one step closer to Weep. Only a journey would do that.

JCLChrisK Dec 29, 2017

One can't be irredeemable who shows reverence for books.

AshleyF2008 Jul 17, 2017

"One looked at him and thought 'Here is a great man, and also a good one,' though few men are ever both." -pg 69

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booknrrd
Feb 09, 2018

booknrrd thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

RobertELPL Jul 07, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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