Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I was immediately drawn into the vivid and imaginative world that Taylor creates in this book. It’s a story that swept me away on an epic and emotional journey that I won’t soon forget.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

TitleStrange the Dreamer
AuthorLaini Taylor
GenreFantasy, Fiction
Publication DateMarch 28, 2017
Length544 pages

Where to Purchase

The Story and Worldbuilding

Strange the Dreamer follows a young librarian named Lazlo Strange who is obsessed with a mysterious lost city called Weep. One day, Lazlo has an unexpected encounter with a group of goddess-like beings from Weep, setting him on a quest to learn more about the magical city. He joins an expedition to Weep, which has been renamed Saranos under the ruthless control of the god-king Thyon Nero.

The worldbuilding in this novel is simply stunning. Taylor has crafted an incredibly original fantasy setting anchored by the lost city of Weep/Saranos. There are so many creative elements that left me in awe – magical abilities based on starlight, dreamers who can manipulate sleep and dreams, ancient and powerful godspawn rulers. The mythology and history of Weep unfolds slowly through the story, revealing an ancient tragedy that befell the city when it was attacked by the cruel Mesarthim Empire. I was constantly surprised and impressed by the depth of imagination on display in every scene.

Complex Characters

In addition to amazing worldbuilding, the characters in Strange the Dreamer captivated me. The protagonist Lazlo Strange is an endearing hero – his deep curiosity and compassion shape his journey in profound ways. I admired his determination and courage as he becomes caught up in an epic struggle for Weep’s future.

The book also features some incredible female characters like the mysterious blue goddess Sarai, who can enter and shape people’s dreams. Her complicated relationship with Lazlo develops beautifully over the course of the story as they discover they are deeply connected. Minya, another young goddess, was also a standout character – her trauma shapes her into a vengeful villain, but glimpses of her humanity made her very complex.

Each character added layers to the story and challenged me to see different perspectives. Even the brutal god-king Thyon Nero became more nuanced as his origins were revealed. Taylor’s characters stay with you because they are multifaceted and deeply human.

Captivating Storytelling

The most amazing thing about Strange the Dreamer is Laini Taylor’s singular talent as a storyteller. Her writing style is lyrical and poetic, teeming with evocative imagery. The story unfurls at a deliberate pace, immersing you fully in the dreamlike setting of Weep. Taylor structures the narrative beautifully – the book continually alternates between different character’s perspectives, allowing puzzle pieces to click into place one-by-one.

I was swept up in each lyrical sentence, completely enthralled by the story. The prose sparkles with wit, imagination, and wisdom. Taylor tackles big themes like the power of names, the danger of stories, and the complexity of good and evil. Strange the Dreamer moved me profoundly and left me musing about it long after I read the final page.

An Impactful Reading Experience

As you can probably tell by now, I absolutely loved Strange the Dreamer. It’s the kind of novel that sticks with you for a long time – the characters still feel so real and vivid in my mind. For me, great fantasy has to balance magic and imagination with raw human emotion and insight. This book delivers on all fronts. Laini Taylor has created a mesmerizing, original tale overflowing with beauty, adventure, and heart.

Strange the Dreamer is one of those rare books that I want to re-read as soon as I finish because I’m not ready to leave its magical world behind. I highly recommend it for any fans of fantasy fiction – it’s a life-changing reading experience and an instant new favorite for me. Taylor’s novel reminds me that stories have the power to transport us, teach us, and ultimately connect us together. My only complaint is that now I have to impatiently wait for the sequel to find out what happens next! Strange the Dreamer is fantasy storytelling at its best.


  • Paula Davis

    Paula Davis is a dedicated and seasoned content writer for Dreaming and Reading, where she brings her extensive knowledge and passion for literature to a wide audience of fellow book enthusiasts. With the heart of a true bookworm, Paula has immersed herself in the literary world, devouring approximately 50 books annually for the last 15 years. This impressive reading habit has not only provided her with immense joy but has also significantly honed her expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the realm of book reviews. Her insightful and well-crafted reviews reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of various genres, offering valuable guidance to readers in search of their next great read. With a finger always on the pulse of the latest literary releases, Paula Davis is a trusted voice and a go-to source for book recommendations and reviews.

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