Oh hi, I’m back, and I just finished reading a really good book…
(Where have I been? Work has been crazy. Wedding planning has been stressful. On top of that, after toying with the idea for quite some time and worrying I wouldn’t get enough work, my fledgling freelance business is kind of starting to take off. No more than a few inches off the ground, but taking off all the same. I’ve been trying to be like my cat — keep paddling — but finding time to do other things has been hard.)
The summary, from Goodreads:
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.
Why should you read this book?
1.The Prologue I’m a writer, and have heard the admonition over and over again that prologues are generally bad and you should cut them. I have always disagreed. I love prologues. And this one is no exception:
On the Second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.
Her skin was blue, her blood was red.
She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossible arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm. One slick finial anchored her in place. Its point, protruding from her sternum, glittered like a brooch. She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and torch ginger buds rained out of her long hair.
It takes us a long time to understand what has happened here, but it’s like a puzzle to figure out as you’re reading — who is this girl? How did she fall? I loved it, and the book wouldn’t have been the same without it.
2. The writing Laini Taylor is a master wordsmith and reading any words written by her is a delight.
“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
“Beautiful and full of monsters?”
“All the best stories are.”
3. Lazlo Strange Any book lover will fall in love with this book’s protagonist instantly:
He read while he walked. He read while he ate. The other librarians suspected he somehow read while he slept, or perhaps didn’t sleep at all. On the occasions that he did look up from the page, he would seem as though he were awakening from a dream.
4. The world-building The worlds Laini Taylor builds are incredible, from the libraries of Zosma to the desert called the Elmuthaleth to Weep itself. I want to climb inside this book and live there.
5. The other characters From the monks in the abbey to the Godslayer to the tragic golden son Thyon Nero to the blue girl herself, every single character is just so well drawn.
6. The shades-of-gray conflict I don’t want to give anything away, but Taylor is a master of creating a world in which two bitter enemies are facing each other — but both sides have good, and both sides have evil. I love conflicts and characters who are not black and white. It makes for a much more interesting read.
I’ve stated before how I’m not a fan of insta-love, and like her other series, this book has that. Those scenes were a bit bloated and slowed down the story.
Also, I’m not a fan of books that end in full-on cliffhangers. This one’s last lines are literally To be continued.
Still, those are small quibbles, and not a reason not to pick up this book. 9/10 stars for me.
Have you read Strange the Dreamer? Will you? Let’s discuss!