Friday, June 9, 2017

Strange the Dreamer

Yay! This is the first review of one of the books from my Summer Reading Project for this year. And what a way to kick off the summer. Laini Taylor won my heart with her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. It was sharp, witty, heartbreaking, and had a fascinating world. So as soon as I found out she was writing a new series, I preordered it. How could I not, with a title like Stranger the Dreamer. I didn't even look at the description before ordering it. And there are very few authors I do that with (others include Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, and Maggie Stiefvater). So it was a surprise when I discovered the title not to be some poetic allusion to a pretty line in the book, but rather a name and their title: Lazlo Strange, a man who dreams. Let's dive right in.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
Lazlo Strange remembers very clearly the name of a magical city was ripped from his mind to be replaced by one word--Weep. He becomes obsessed with the forgotten city, combing records of one of the best libraries in the world for mentions of the now-mythic city. He dreams of one day seeing Weep, and discovering what could possibly cause the name of a city to disappear from everyone's mind. He knows he'll have to search out his dream eventually. Until one day his dream turns up on his doorstep.

Oh, man, it was hard to write that description. You see, it barely scratches the surface of this beautiful world with its intricate characters and prose so pink it's nearly, but not quite, purple. You get lost in Taylor's sentences, they're so beautiful. Where the prose in The Girls dripped with over-wrought images, Taylor's sentences gleam. Lazlo is instantly compelling as an orphan of a pointless war who lives with his head in books. His nose is crooked from being broken, not because of some mysterious fight, but because a book of fairytales fell on it. It is so utterly charming. And when a representative of Weep comes to the library and declares that he's seeking the best in the lands to help solve a "problem" in his city, Lazlo signs on immediately. Not as an important person, but as someone who truly wants to experience the fabled city. He's not important in some grand way, like the other people that are recruited. He's important in little ways like banter and friendship and dreams. The other main character in this story is Sarai, a "resident" of Weep. I won't say anymore here, because I truly believe this is a story you have to discover on your own. It will take your breath away. The ending is beautiful and tragic and the main characters are romantics in the best possible ways. It's original and gorgeous and...nevermind all that, JUST GO BUY IT NOW.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

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