REVIEW: Strange the Dreamer (#1) by Laini Taylor


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

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?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.


Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing style, the world, the characters…all on point. The only problem was that I hyped myself up way too much for it so I was left a sliver disappointed.

I’ve organized this review into pros and cons:


📍 Laini Taylor’s writing style is so different yet beautiful! It took me a few chapters to really get into her writing style again, but once I did I loved it. It’s so descriptive and (I hate this word, but) poetic.

📍 The description of the city of Weep is beautiful. Between Lazlo’s dreams of Weep and the real deal, the city is just so whimsical, imaginative, and so different from reality. If you liked Laini Taylor’s other series Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this world building style will appear very similar yet very unique.

📍 We get to hear about both of the main characters, Lazlo and Sarai, from the time they were born to their current young-adult ages which really rounded them off as characters and helped me really become invested in them. It also helped me to understand them and their thinking process.

📍 Lazlo is 💙. First off, his characterization is great. I felt like I could totally understand him and the way he thinks. In terms of his character, I loved it. He is this bright-eyed dreamer, introverted but driven, always hopeful and helpful, and the way his mind works is just whimsical! Lazlo Strange the orphan boy and junior librarian, Lazlo Strange with unknown origins, Lazlo Strange the Dreamer. I also really really appreciated how he isn’t described as hot, adorable, cute, or brooding. He’s just this guy with a crooked, broken nose. It’s also not this awkward guy who doesn’t know how attractive he really is type thing that authors often opt for. His appearance really isn’t a concern for him or anyone. It’s his mind that’s phenomenal. SO REFRESHING.

📍 Godspawn and humans. What a magical way to talk about racism and race relations.

📍 Minya is so creepy. Not quite horror-story creepy, but still creepy-little-child-not-child-creepy. The ambiguity surrounding her character was created very well. I understand her thinking and reasoning for things, but she’s also the villain character…?  Yes. I feel so conflicted about her and I love it.

📍 There was also a touch of feminism in this story with the citizens of Weep confused at and disappointed when they realize that outside of their city women are in no positions of power. In Weep, there are female city counselors, Tizerkane warriors, Gods, and Godspawn, and a hint of a lesbian relationship – and it’s all regarded quite nonchalontly!

📍 The latter half of the book is impossible to put down. The action and whimsy is so constant and intriguing that you will just fly through the rest of it!

📍 The almost-maybe-sort-of-romance. I TOTALLY SHIP IT. And I need more of it. It made my heart dance. It definitely wasn’t insta-love, but it started slow with curiosity, then fascination, then appreciation and so on. It was so heartwarming.


📍 Mainly, I just hyped myself up too much. I’ve been anticipating this book for just about two years and it would have been impossible for anything to live up to this fantasy I envisioned in my mind.

📍 The first dozen chapters of the book were a bit info-dumpy. There were a lot of new city names, words, and character history sort of dumped in all together (and told rather than shown) which made me mix up and forget specific titles and names.

📍 Loved the ending action but HATED the place where the story ended. I had this same problem with The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh where the story seems to end at the latter part of the climax rather than after the falling action. There’s a difference between cliffhangers and not finishing telling the climax of the story! I just wish there was a little more resolution to this first book.


I loved Strange the Dreamer and can’t wait for more of Godspawn, moths, and Weep in the next book, The Muse of Nightmares expected to be released in sometime in 2018.

Rating: 4/5 Stars



You can find out more on Laini Taylor’s blog – including a quiz to find out which Godspawn you relate to the most (I got Feral).

Here’s the Godspawn of Strange the Dreamer:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Feel free to message me if you want to talk spoilers!



6 thoughts on “REVIEW: Strange the Dreamer (#1) by Laini Taylor

  1. I really love how you set up this review into pros and cons. 🙂 Also I’ve been on the fence about this book because I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about it but now because of this review, I think I’m going to pick it up soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Strange The Dreamer but you voiced exactly my thoughts! I gave it 4 stars because of the info dump and it was just so slow in the beginning. Also the ending was cool and the romance between Ruby and Feral was weird. I wanted Feral to be with Sparrow. Also Minya is extremely creepy. Cannot wait until the next book!


    1. I’m so happy I’m not the only one! I feel like everyone’s giving it all the stars and all the praise 🙈. And I totally agree that Feral and Sparrow should have happened – but I feel like it might still!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s