Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Strange the Dreamer, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I bought a copy of this book and reviewed it.
I first read Strange the Dreamer back when it came out in hardcover, borrowing it from my library, and it was one of my favorite books of the year. So, this is a reread review! It was originally supposed to be a standalone, so, imagine my delight and surprise when I found out that it was getting a sequel, Muse of Nightmares! I reserved Muse of Nightmares for myself at my local library and got around to thinking: I loved Strange the Dreamer so much, why not buy myself a copy for my collection? After all, what better way to prepare for the finale that will be Muse of Nightmares? As soon as I was able, I went to my local bookstore and snatched up my copy, and it sat on my shelf for a week or so, until Muse of Nightmares actually came in. As soon as I received word that it was in, I started reading it, and I was completely blown away for the second time. One of my favorite books of all time, I loved Strange the Dreamer even more the second time around! Enchanting, romantic, and more than a bit puzzling, I loved it, and I’m so excited (and scared) to finish the duo!
Lazlo Strange was named so for his tendency to walk around the library of Zosma with his nose stuck in a book; a war orphan, he came to the library as a gray, sick infant, and grew into a man among the books. A passionate lover of words, stories, myths, and legends, the one that inflames his imagination the most is that of the lost, forgotten city of Weep. When a man shows up, known only as the Godslayer, hoping to put together a capable team to set out to the city and solve a dark, forbidding problem, the boy who once found adventure and companionship only in books is leaping at the chance to finally chase his dream. When he finally gets to Weep, he discovers a world beyond even his grand imaginings, full of magic, danger, and gods that history has indeed almost forgotten. Things become even more complicated when he meets a beautiful girl with skin the color of lapis, opals, and the spring sky, and hair the color of warm cinnamon. Forced to confront the bloody, dark secrets that his dream holds, Lazlo must decide what he is willing to sacrifice for the ultimate dream, whether it be first love or his own life…
I really, really enjoyed this book, even more the second time around! Reading it again, I realized that there were a lot of things that I missed the first time, but it was such a wonderful, emotional, and fulfilling journey. I cannot wait to return to Weep when I finally read Muse of Nightmares! The pacing was breakneck, the prose gorgeous, and the plot, setting and world-building beautifully, masterfully wrought. I was swept away, and I loved the characters most of all, especially Lazlo. I really found that I related to him a lot; until the beginning of the book, most of his adventures were of the literary sort. But I found that I loved all of the characters, and even though this was my second time and I knew that it was coming, I cried like a baby on more than one occasion. And that ending! I’m so happy that I have Muse of Nightmares close at hand; I honestly don’t know how I survived the wait for the sequel after the first time I read it. Tears, laughter, and swooning await the reader in this passionate, unique, and dazzling series debut! I’m so excited for Muse of Nightmares! The bottom line: A beautiful, enchanting series debut by one of my favorite authors, I loved Strange the Dreamer so much I just had to buy a copy for my own collection! Next on deck: Pride by Ibi Zoboi!