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Strange the Dreamer

My latest read: “Strange the Dreamer”

 

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

I want to tell you about some of my favourite books. I read this recently and I love it! “Strange the Dreamer” is a fantasy novel written by Laini Taylor, whose previous work includes the bestselling “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” trilogy.

The plot

The book focuses on Lazlo Strange, an orphan and junior librarian. Lazlo dreams of a lost city and a blue-skinned goddess but has always believed that he wasn’t brave enough to go in search of the city himself. The city is known as “Weep”, its real name having fallen into myth – or possibly having been stolen from everyone’s mind. The teenage Lazlo devotes himself to finding out all he can about the city and why it was cut off from the rest of the world.

Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story if Lazlo didn’t get the opportunity to go on a quest. He is soon presented with a chance to go on his own magical journey.

What’s the style?

I’ve found that people who don’t like fantasy novels tend to be put off by the writing style. I confess that I’ve read a few where the writing is just a bit too flowery, or they try too hard to evoke an ‘other worldly’ feel. This certainly isn’t the case here. Taylor’s prose helps you to feel as if you’re reading a fairy tale, so Lazlo’s journey into another world feels natural when it happens.

There were a couple of moments when I felt as if the writing could fall over the edge and become too overblown, but thankfully it didn’t. Taylor manages to keep a dream like quality to the novel that’s a great fit with the title.

Why I love this book

It’s very easy to go on (and on) about the writing style. In fact, many reviewers have. You could happily lose yourself in the quality of the writing for a while. I know that there are those of you who can also keep that going for a whole book, regardless of the plot.  However, I’m not one of those people. I need great writing along with plot and characters that hold my attention.  I get bored if I don’t have at least some sympathy for the characters.

“Strange the Dreamer” delivers everything I want in a book. It comes in at 544 pages but it held my attention throughout. Taylor has created an underdog hero in the tradition of Harry Potter and Peter Parker. It’s an epic journey through a magical world populated by gods, goddesses and ghost that still feels completely real.

I won’t give away the ending. I’ll just say that there is a dark side to this story but that our hero might just be able to make his dreams come true. It’s a beautiful tale and I hope that you decide to discover it for yourself.

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