Strange the Dreamer by Lani Taylor

Strange the Dreamer
by Lani Taylor
Book #1 in the Strange the Dreamer Duology

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date: 2017
Pages: 536
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 11
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

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 on why did it take me so long to pick up this book?! I finally found it on Audible and knew that the writing was lyrical and wanted to experience it as an audiobook.

I honestly love Strange as a character and a narrator. He is so sweet and innocent and completely and utterly adorable. He has an innocence that doesn’t make him naive but conscientious and kind. I loved when -as readers- we experienced things in his perspective.

The world the Lani Taylor creates really revolves around Weep, a lot civilisation that Strange studies in his spare time as a Librarian Apprentice. Its a land of magic and myth and when Strange talks about it gave me whimsical vibes.

It was really interesting to look back on what Weep was really like before everything happened and before the name was forgotten, there is such a big difference between what people thought of Weep and the reality of those who lived there. That contrast was really interesting to see.

Overall Strange the Dreamer is a magical and whimsical story. Lani Taylor writing is so lyrical and it really lends its self to the story. It’s a story that had different perspectives that you want to hear from all the time.

I loved my time reading this book and am so sad that its all over!

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 6/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 10/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10
Stars: 5/5

What are your thoughts of Strange the Dreamer?

Review: ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’ By Margaret Rogerson

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Enchantment of Ravens

‘An Enchantment of Ravens’
By Margaret Rogerson

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 300
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD 

“As the years passed I grew disenchanted with enchantments, which were just as much a lie.” – Isobel

SynopsisA skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

“Walking along a blades edge was only fun until the blade stoped being a metaphor” -Isobel

Thoughts

So I’ve been tentative to pick this book up. I’d first read a fae story in the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ By Sarah J. Mass. I wish I hadn’t been so nervous to pick this book up because… AMAZING!

The plot of this story picks up with Isobel, a portrait artist from Whimsy – a small human town set in the the Summer Court. We follow her adventure as she is is painting a portrait of Gadfly. A fair one (or fae) who is a continual patron of Isobel’s. We soon follow has as she meets a new fae. The Autumn Prince. Let the adventure begin.

As the story continues, we meet many fae, each with a very specific personality. Isobel must try and navigate her way through the fae world.

The character development in the 300 short pages of this novel are amazing!  I loved how they progressed at a speed fast enough for the length of the book, without being illogically fast or unreasonable.

There were some points in the plot where I was able to guess what was going to happen, however there were a few things I didn’t see coming which I LOVE!

Overall this is a great fae novel and depicts the fae in a different way than what I have read before. Somewhat more vapid and vein. Although I know this is a key characteristic of fae I felt like it was appropriately played upon in ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fae tale!

 

“No human has ever visited a fairy court and lived. Or at lease, none had ever done so and remained human” – Isobel

Rating

“Make no mistake, it’s a small price to pay for the power and beauty of immortality. Yet it does make one wonder, doesn’t it? Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us.” – Gadfly

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 6.5/10
Character Development: 8.5/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 7.5/10
Stars:  4.5/5

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