I have previously reviewed this title for work, but want to share something that better captures the crazy awesomeness of this book.
Lazlo regularly dreams of a faraway land, one of mystery and marvel. This place traded regularly with Lazlo’s home city…until one day it disappeared, never heard from again. Two hundred years later, Lazlo is one of few remaining people who remember the tales of this majestic place. As a young child, during one of his imagined recreations of the city’s legendary presence, the impossible happens. The real name of the city disappears from his mind, and he remembers it only as Weep. He isn’t the only person effected; no living person or written record recalls a name other than Weep. As Lazlo leaves the monastery where he was raised to become a junior librarian, his life goal is to learn what happened to Weep. The book would be without purpose if Lazlo did not get a chance to travel to Weep and uncover its mysteries, so an opportunity arises.
(And this is only the very, very beginning.)
The first couple of chapters–the ones where you find out about the name plucked from Lazlo’s mind–are amongst the most memorable opening chapters in recent memory. Literally, I was clutching the book, with my eyes wide and my mouth gaping open. The story starts so simple, with this mystery at the forefront. I couldn’t keep myself from reading.
If you follow me on Goodreads, there is something interesting to note about how I read books. I’m not much of a live-updater. If I am reading it, and just like it (or less), I won’t update while reading it. If I love it, I will update occasionally, but not much. If the book is ridiculously amazing and thought-inspiring, and creates a bunch of random, flying thoughts in my mind…I will be updating it a lot. This pattern isn’t 100% true…sometimes my schedule, or where I am reading, will keep me from updating. Even so, I updated quite a few times while reading Strange the Dreamer.
This book is so imaginative. It’s unlike anything else I’ve read. Aside from one predictable plot point–of course Lazlo and Sarai would meet in the way that they did–everything in the book was part of a twisty, non-stop, unpredictable rollercoaster. Laini Taylor doesn’t pull her punches, either. The book has the worst ending imaginable, but she writes it so well I can live just fine, since I know a sequel is coming. I want to read more, and more, and more.
If my passionate feelings toward this book don’t help you decide whether or not to read it, I don’t know what can. Read it! Read it! Read it! Only then will you understand…
I got this book in ARC format from Baker & Taylor before publication. Thank you for the fabulous read!