Number of pages: 532
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 5
“You think good people can’t hate?” she asked. “You think good people don’t kill?”… “Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just when they do them, they call it justice”. She paused. Her voice grew heavy. “When they slaughter thirty babies in their cradles, they call it necessary” (Strange the Dreamer)
I pre-ordered this book in January 2016, and it did not disappoint. I went in not understanding the synopsis in the slightest and only having read a short story written by Laini Taylor, so I went in completely blind. My recommendation is to stop attempting to decipher the synopsis, and go in expecting a strange high fantasy book that doesn’t seem all that strange while you’re reading it.
Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely fantastic. It is so simply beautiful, powerful, and enthralling, and every word is perfectly placed. It gives the effect that if you had the choice, you would surround yourself in her words for eternity. Her writing makes a story about people with physical “spirit” that flow beside their veins, forgotten cities, and blue-skinned gods seem perfectly sensible. Her words draw you in, and don’t let go. They leave you wanting more of something you had no idea you wanted. It is a truly magical experience.
Her world-building is some of the best world building I have ever read. It is so fantastically detailed; with rich histories of cities, and ancient myths and fables so perfectly crafted they could be myths of our world. Everything said has a purpose. Everything makes sense for a Fantasy world. There are laws, rules of magic, classes systems, strange creatures, and it is so incredibly fantastical.
The characters are heartbreakingly human, with fears, desires, struggles, and grudges. The more I think about them, the more their stories affect me. You see whimsy beaten out of a child, happiness replaced with hate, and love replaced with loss and agony.
Despite Strange the Dreamer being a rather grim tale, there are moments of dry humour perfectly sprinkled throughout the pain and despair. It lightens the mood just before your heart and your beloved characters are crushed.
Overall, Strange the Dreamer was a fantastically crafted novel in every way, earning it 5 out of five stars.