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Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: A Whimsical, Impossibly Imaginative, Lushly Narrated Fantasy

It was impossible, of course.
But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?

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

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: A Whimsical, Impossibly Imaginative, Lushly Narrated Fantasy

Probably one of the most whimsical, magical, wonderful story I have ever read, Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor is the kind of young adult fantasy novel that challenges what constitutes as “impossible”. It is the kind of story where magic and science co-exist in such perfect harmony that the lines between reality and fantasy are duly blurred, and this vibrant, stunningly improbable world is full of people from all walks of life, each with heartbreaking and yet inspiring stories of their own.

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: A Whimsical, Impossibly Imaginative, Lushly Narrated Fantasy

The story begins with Lazlo Strange, an orphaned child who escapes the misery of his terrible, abusive childhood through daydreams of a fabled magical city that allegedly existed up until 300 years ago. He (and the reader) get their first taste of magic when one day, while Lazlo is still a child, everyone across the world forgets the name of this magical city–every time they try to speak it, they can only say Weep.

Things begin to get even stranger after that. But that’s not important at all. What’s important is that after a series of absurd, unfortunate incidents, Lazlo gets the chance to actually visit this mystical fabled city of Weep.

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Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

What power can bruise the sky?
Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.
When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited–not in love, but in tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.
But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

Trigger Warning: This book contains graphic scenes of violence

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is without a doubt, an excellent ending to an excellent series, but before I start fangirling reviewing this book, please note that this review might contain minor spoilers for those who have not yet read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight. I highly recommend you read my review of those books first before you read this review.

Here’s what I enjoyed about this book:

World building (again): this time we get to explore the other side of Eretz, the home of the mysterious Stelians. The imagery is so vivid, and it truly shows how fantastical Taylor’s imagination is.

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Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor




If you haven’t read the first book please do not read further as there are spoilers in this review.Feel free to read my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone here if you are interested in starting this series!

Trigger Warning: Graphic scenes of violence and sexual assault

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Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone


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Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? 


5 out of 5

As someone who makes a point of avoiding the romance genre and has a particular distaste for any story that even remotely has the true-love-conquersall trope, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone caught me by surprise. This is a fantasy novel where the whole premise is based on the fates of star-crossed lovers–and yet, this story has so much more to offer: this is a story that explores colonization, racism and the pointlessness of war in a way that very few Young Adult (and even Adult) books have been able to do.

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