Strange the Dreamer - 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 to 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?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
Best Line: Sometimes a moment is so remarkable that it carves out a space in time and spins there, while the world rushes on around it.
Full disclosure: I adore Laini Taylor. I'm pretty sure there is nothing she could do that I wouldn't fall over myself adoring. And Strange the Dreamer is no exception. Laini's writing is lyrical without tipping over the edge into purple prose. Not only are her concepts fantastical and so casually wondrous it sends an actual thrill up your spine, but her characters are addictively fun as well. She's the whole package.
Our story starts with Lazlo, mysterious orphan come librarian who is fascinated with the magical city of Weep. A city that has been relegated to legend and then myth for his people but which has a hold over him because he remembers the time when Weep had a proper name and remembers the moment everyone forgot.
Then, when the opportunity comes for him to travel to the magical place of his childhood fantasies he, along with a ragtag group of weirdos finds things are so much more complicated than he could ever have dreamed.
This is also the story of Sarai, trapped with her family in a floating castle after a horrifying massacre, served by the ghosts of the people who tried to kill them. Sarai knows that if the people of Weep ever find out that she and her people are still alive nothing will be the same. She knows that they cannot stay hidden forever and when they are found they will have to take their revenge. She knows all of this, and still she dreams.
This book is a little slow to start. Compelling, but the plot doesn't really kick in until about halfway through. But once it does it is daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn all the way down. There's beauty, there's heartbreak and there's one of the best goddamn villains I've ever seen. Definitely give it a shot and make sure you've got some tissues ready for the end.
If you like lyrical prose and ideas that make you gasp and you've got a real soft spot for stories and dreams, this is the book for you. Seriously, though, pack tissues.
Get it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316341681