"Strange the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor
LONG TIME NO SEE! - I moved and university started again. Thus I had no time for nothing, basically. But I'm back in the reading business :)
I have a lot to say about this book before getting into the real review. Let me take you back to the beginning of me and the book:
I pre-ordered the March Fairy Loot Box since it had been the anniversary box and was said to be special. The book for the month was said to be an upcoming release from a bestseller-author and I suspected it to be "Strange the Dreamer" but just hoped I'd be wrong. Why, you ask? Because I read "Daughter of Smoke & Bone" and somehow disliked it. In addition to that, I had read reviews for the book that put me off.The box arrived and I pulled the book out....and it looked absolutely gorgeous. I was a bit disappointed at first because I had hoped for another book but it looked gorgeous. I read the interview Laini Taylor gave for FairyLoot and it somehow got me...excited! Excited to start the book. I knew that excitement would die out if I didn't act fast so I immediately started reading it. Of course I went into it with a lot of prejudices but I was pleasantly surprised.
Young Lazlo Strange is an orphan, raised by monks and he somehow ended up as a librarian. The mystery of the forgotten city 'Weep' has been in his mind since he had been young. Lazlo collects stories and loves to read - all the other librarians think he is weird but they let him be.
The library and enclosed university are then visited by the 'Godslayer' who came straight from Weep and he wants the best people to come with him and solve the great problem of Weep.
"What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?" (- Goodreads)
Published May 28th 2017
My prejudices caused me to go into this with low expectations - they were all exceeded by far. This book is probably one of my favorite reads for this year and I am so surprised because I didn't expect that at all.
I needed some time to get into the story because it starts a bit like a fairytale showing us the beginning of Lazlo's life and how Weep became a part of it. For me the story really only begins when he is part of the library and is then chosen to actually visit Weep. Before that, the it feels more like an introduction to Lazlo's character and the importance of Weep to him.
I liked the pacing. It was quite slow without getting boring or tiring. Because the point of view changed almost regularly from Lazlo to Sarai, the pacing worked perfectly. The reader had the chance to experience both worlds and slowly we learned what happened, how it happened and what may be happening in the future.
I loved how the whole situation stayed mysterious for so long. It took quite some time until we actually knew what happened in Weep and why. That, of course, helped to keep the suspense up.
Another positive point this book got going on is Laini Taylor's marvelous writing. Every word, every sentence somehow feels deep, poetic and meaningful because that's how she writes. It doesn't feel pretentious or blown up, it just works, especially for this story of old mysteries and gods.
That being said: I'm very excited for the next book. I read this one right when it was released so I'll probably have to wait a loooong time for the next one.... why did I do this to myself?
Anyway, my personal rating would have to be 10 out of 10 hearts. It's one of my favorite reads so far this year.
- xoxo Lisa