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Strange the Dreamer
     

Strange the Dreamer

by Laini Taylor
 

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A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.



The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly.

Overview


A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.



The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/16/2017
In the first book of a duology, Taylor (the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy) again creates a complex and layered world of battling gods and humans. The tale begins 200 years after humans wiped out the powerful Mesarthim in a war so devastating that the city where it took place was said to have vanished and became known only as Weep. Lazlo Strange, an orphaned young librarian raised by monks, is obsessed with Weep and dreams of traveling across a dangerous desert to find it. Almost miraculously, the opportunity comes his way, and Taylor’s story takes shape in Weep itself where, unbeknownst to humans, five “godspawn”—each with a special power—and the ghosts that serve them still endure, waiting to take revenge. While the pace is initially slow, momentum and tension build as love blossoms between two young people from warring factions, mysteries of identity develop, and critical events unfold in dreams, thanks to the gifts of a blue-skinned godspawn named Sarai. Gorgeously written in language simultaneously dark, lush, and enchanting, the book will leave readers eager for the next. Ages 15–up. Agent: Jane Putch, Eyebait Management. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
★ 02/01/2017
Gr 9 Up—Lazlo Strange is a foundling who has grown up alone and unloved, sustained only by his fantasies and stories of a city known as Weep. As an adult, Lazlo finds his way to the Great Library of Zosma and becomes a librarian, tasked with supporting scholars in their work. His fixation with Weep continues, and he searches for scraps of information about it and its inhabitants and even teaches himself its language from books in the library. Then Eril Fane, the liberator of Weep, pays a surprise visit to Zosma. Lazlo seizes the chance to join an expedition to the city he has dreamed of for so long, and he is caught up in an old conflict between Weep's mortal residents and blue godlike beings who had terrorized the city until Eril Fane slew them. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Weep, five children of these magical beings have survived and live in the giant seraph that hovers over the city, blocking the light. When Sarai, one of these Godspawn, visits Lazlo in his dreams, their growing relationship leads to the revelation of long-hidden secrets and opposition from other Godspawn, who desire revenge on mortals. This is the first in a pair of planned companion novels by the "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" author, and it has all the rich, evocative imagery and complex world-building typical of Taylor's best work. There is a mythological resonance to her tale of gods and mortals in conflict, as well as in Lazlo's character arc from unassuming, obsessed librarian to something much more. VERDICT This outstanding fantasy is a must-purchase for all YA collections.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2016-12-14
A young man and woman dream amid violence's aftermath in this intense series opener.Twenty-year-old orphaned librarian Lazlo Strange, whose brutish exterior conceals his cleverness, dreams of stories of a lost city. Two hundred years ago, six merciless, magic-wielding Mesarthim landed their seraphim-shaped citadel in the legendary city, blocking its skies and cutting it off from the outside world. Fifteen years ago, the Godslayer Eril-Fane ended their reign of terror with the Carnage, and now the city is known only as Weep. Seeking to restore the skies to Weep, reluctant leader Eril-Fane recruits scientists from the world beyond Weep—and bemusedly welcomes Lazlo—to move the allegedly abandoned citadel. But the long-silent structure instead holds five surviving godspawn, gifted offspring of captured humans and cruel gods, equally traumatized by the massacre. Red-haired, blue-skinned 17-year-old Sarai is a dreamer like Lazlo but fears nightmares even as she inflicts them on the citizens below. Besides literal ghosts, Weep is also haunted by loss—lost memories, lost history, and lost half-blood children. Taylor's lengthy, mesmerizing epic offers an exotic Middle Eastern-esque world with invented words, biology, and mythology, populated by near-humans and strange creatures. The plot (endlessly dilated by dream sequences) is split between the lovers and then again among other narrators, rendered in delirious and sensuous, if repetitive, language. Weep becomes a laboratory in which Taylor examines slavery, trauma, memory, and appropriation, ending this first installment with a cliffhanger that leaves readers wondering if healing is even remotely possible. Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
From the Publisher
"Gorgeously written in language simultaneously dark, lush, and enchanting, the book will leave readers eager for the next."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "...Characters are carefully, exquisitely crafted, the writing is achingly lovely, and the world is utterly real...This is a thing to be savored."—Booklist, starred review

* "[Strange the Dreamer] has all the rich, evocative imagery and complex world-building typical of Taylor's best work. This outstanding fantasy is a must-purchase for all YA collections."—School Library Journal, starred review

"[Laini Taylor] has spun another mesmerizing tale with captivating twists and turns, an array of intriguing characters, strange and beautiful language, and baroque flourishes of the imagination."—Horn Book

"Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling."—Kirkus Reviews

* "The luxurious prose and complex world building invites and rewards slow reading....Here readers will find characters to love and ones to hate and, ultimately, a world to be willingly lost in."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316341684
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/28/2017
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
1,488
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
15 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of Days of Blood & Starlight, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine. Her website is www.lainitaylor.com.