Strange the Dreamer feels like a party I've arrived at several years too late--the building's empty, the guests have left, and I can tell a good time was had by all but I'm just...late...and the balloons are sagging toward the ground. Which is okay, it happens. I'm a little sad I missed the hype wave but in a way, it's a good thing, because the reader I was in 2017 would not have appreciated this slow, lingering, mythical honey-sap tale of becoming.
Lazlo Strange is an orphan-turned-librarian obsessed with fairytales and stories. All stories, really, but the magical ones appeal to him best. And the most magical tales come from the city of Weep.
Well, the city's name isn't actually Weep. It was something else... but that name is gone now, and no one seems to remember that except for Lazlo, who coveted the real name in his mind like a jewel from the deep. Now it's just "Weep", and Lazlo feels like the lack like a sore tooth that never quite heals up.
But then, like the beginnings of all great stories, a caravan of delegates from the lost city of Weep show up to Lazlo's town with a need for keen minds and hearts to solve a problem. Lazlo's just a librarian—he knows that this isn't is story, but Weep is the thing he loves most in all the world. So he shoots his shot, and miraculously he is accepted.
When Lazlo lays eyes on Weep, he can feel the story of his life shifting, adapting, growing to accommodate several new truths. A storyline path unfolds in front of him like those tales of myth. Lazlo is about to become a part of something much bigger. And he can't wait to begin.
This story surprised me.
I don't know why I was so surprised--Laini Taylor's writing is undeniably gorgeous and all of her tales are lyrical masterpieces. But for some reason, I was still surprised at Strange the Dreamer.
This tale was slow. Too slow, honestly, for me. It takes a LONG time to get off the ground--haha, a pun for those who have read the story--and even when the plot starts to take shape, I found myself aching for a faster plot, a thread of urgency to arise. There is literally no pressing urgency to this story at all, which is odd considering what happens.
However, those gripes aside, there is definitely a charm in this story. It grows on you, slowly, from its beautiful writing to its wholly unique premise and beyond that to the characters we come to love and hate. I can see why this book is so beloved. (I wish I loved it as much as everyone else.)
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.