Things With Pages

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer Cover ReviewNormally, I am a petty reader, yes? I’m in it for the romance, and in addition to that, I need a stellar plot, great characters, angst – the whole shebang. But this book, this book was something else. It is the most exquisitely written book I’ve read in my life. Heck, Jane Austen has nothing on Laini Taylor, apparently. I don’t know if I felt this strongly about her writing with the first series, but now that I’m older and took my time reading this – it lasted me almost exactly a month – I got the chance to appreciate how beautiful Taylor’s storytelling is. It’s artistry, it is.

The plot of this book is amazing, of course, but that’s not the reason you’re going to pick up this book. You’re going to pick it up for the writing style and the descriptions, and you’re also going to pick it up for the main character, Lazlo Strange. Lazlo, he’s a gem. He’s a monk turned librarian, and he loves books even more than you or I do. He’d rather stay in the library researching a city that may or may not have ever existed than go outside and talk to girls. Same Lazlo, same. He’s the type of person I wish every human was. He’s very sweet and open-minded, and he believes in the world. He thinks that anything is possible, and he helps others with no ill or selfish intentions. He falls in love as guilelessly and purely as one can, and he is so so sweet. And yet he has a really rough, beautiful, unique exterior that yeah, my brain might have salivated over while imagining. Lazlo has been told his entire life that he wasn’t meant for greatness, but HA.

One thing I will say about this book is that it’s really, extremely long, except I’m not stating it as a negative aspect so much as a fact. Yes, it’s 532 pages long, but it also feels like such a journey, and I can’t even imagine reading this book in one or two days like I would with other books. Normally I find that unnecessarily long descriptions and settings are a chore to read through, but I didn’t feel that way with this book. Sure, I got tired by the time I made it ten percent further into the book, but the writing in addition to the characters and the dialogue made it worth my while and my energy. I don’t want to go into specifics about what this book is about because this book is magical and I can’t help but feel that it should be preserved – although you can check out the synopsis if you want the bare bones – but  really, just go into this without research, and you will be most pleasantly surprised. I haven’t really been overtly impressed with any of the books that I’ve read so far this year, but I think this one makes the list. It may not be my favorite book ever, but man, this is literature.

If you’re still curious: Lazlo Strange is a librarian, and Sarai is godspawn. Lazlo is obsessed with the city of Weep, except that’s not the real name of the city – long story. Once, not too long ago, there was a war between the humans and the gods. The humans won, and killed all of the gods and all of the godspawn. Or so they thought. Sarai has a terrible gift involving moths and dreams, and Lazlo is a dreamer. Lazlo and Sarai don’t even physically meet until 61% percent into the book, but I kid you not when I say the author somehow makes it work. I will say it one more time: this book is a masterpiece. I gave it five stars (★★★★★).

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