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Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, 1) Hardcover – March 28, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,212 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, 1)
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Popular Highlights in this book

From the Publisher

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor
Muse of Nightmares Daughter of Smoke & Bone Days of Blood & Starlight Dreams of Gods & Monsters Night of Cake & Puppets
Get lost in the visionary epic fantasy of National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor! The highly anticipated, thrilling sequel to Strange the Dreamer, from Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. In a nation on the brink of war, a young art student's star-crossed love begins to bloom in the start of this epic fantasy trilogy. A monster's apprentice must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people in this riveting sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Two worlds threaten to crumble in the face of a common enemy in the epic conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. In this stand-alone companion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana's fantastical first date.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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

Review

A NPR Best Book

A Goodreads Best YA Fantasy and Science Fiction Nominee
A Boston Globe Best YA Book
A Popcrush Best Young Adult Book

A Popsugar Best Book for Women

A Booklist Editors' Choice

An A.V. Club Favorite Book


A Tor Top Young Adult SFF Book

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book

A B&N Teen Blog Best Young Adult Book

A Forever Young Adult Best Book

"Laini Taylor is so damn good and like no other."―
Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

"Laini Taylor set my imagination on fire so hard that it spontaneously combusted...This is the kind of story that paves dreams."―
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Times}Roshani Chokshi, author of The Star Touched Queen

"[A] must-read YA!"―
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Times}USA Today

"Part adventure novel, part romance and part exercise in epic myth-building, it's gorgeously written and full of surprises."―
NPR

"[One of] our favorite books of the year!"―
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Times}Popsugar

"An epic world of gods, moths and nightmares; a world where the dream chooses the dreamer."―
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Times}Justine Magazine

"Weighty as a nightmare and as transportive as the finest of fantasy, Laini Taylor's new novel will leave readers with miracles on their minds."―
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Times}Hypable

* "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

* "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

* [Readers] will dive into Taylor's gorgeous prose and brilliant imagery and relish this story about dreams, love, monsters, gods, ghosts, war, and alchemy. Told from alternating points of view, this is complex but satisfying, a story about cultures meeting and clashing."―
VOYA, 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
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition (March 28, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 544 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316341681
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316341684
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL820L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.75 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.25 x 1.63 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 3,212 ratings

About the author

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Laini Taylor is the author of the National Book Award Finalist Lips Touch: Three Times, as well as the novels Blackbringer and Silksinger. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
3,212 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 25, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 6, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Story that Felt Like I Was Dancing with Words
By Robin Snyder on April 6, 2017
This was an incredibly beautifully told part of a story (It is a dualogy so consider this the first half). The writing was impressive, full of wonder, elegance and felt like I was dancing with words. It was beautiful and terrible and full of monsters.

Laini Taylor writes like I think other people dream. There are stories within her stories. I adore her prose and the way she can turn something ordinary into something completely extraordinary. Her writing is lyrical and like music you either love it or hate it. I’m firmly in love with the way she builds her characters, the world and the wondrous breadth of emotions she makes me feel.

*** Sometimes a moment is so remarkable that it carves out a space in time and spins there, while the world rushes on around it. This was one such. ***

I’d like everyone to meet Strange the Dreamer my new book boyfriend. I feel in love with him when he was just a boy and was kidnapped by the library. But he won me even more that he thinks like this.

*** I lived seven years inside these books. My body may have been going about its duties in the library, but my mind was here. Do you know what they called me? Strange the dreamer. I was barely aware of my surroundings half the time.”
[…]
“I walked around wondering what kind of wings I would buy if the wingsmiths came to town, and if I’d prefer to ride dragons or hunt them, and whether I’d stay when the mist came, and more than anything else by far, how in the world I was going to get to the Unseen City.” ***

He is a boy/man after my own heart in his love of books and everything they have inside of them. His mind is open and full of the possibilities of the world. It is his dream to help the people of weep a city that has lost its name in any way he can.

When he meets Sarai he sees her differently than she has ever even seen herself and I utterly adored the beginning of their love story.

*** She asked in a hesitant whisper, “Do you still think I’m a… a singularly unhorrible demon?”
“No,” he said, smiling. “I think you’re a fairy tale. I think you’re magical, and brave, and exquisite. And…” His voice grew bashful. Only in a dream could he be so bold and speak such words. “I hope you’ll let me be in your story.” ***

Through Sarai we get a look into the history of the people of weep and understand like she does why hate blooms in the city and the pain of various character of the story. I loved that she could show both sides of a conflict because she understood them due to her gift and knows the people in the city better than she might even know her own family. Her time with Lazlo is some of my favorite.

This was a story full of wonders, horrors, love and beautiful prose. A story where there isn’t a right side and a wrong side. Everyone is flawed in some way and the would be villains aren’t terrible and horrible people but just people who in some horrible circumstances made devastating decisions. I understood why they did the things they did and I loved the way the information was doled out slowly and seductively to draw you into the story even more.

*** Vengeance. Sarai heard the way he said it, and she understood something. Vengeance ought to be spoken through gritted teeth, spittle flying, the cords of one’s soul so entangled in it that you can’t let it go, even if you try. If you feel it—if you really feel it—then you speak it like it’s a still-beating heart clenched in your fist and there’s blood running down your arm, dripping off your elbow, and you can’t let go.
Feral didn’t speak it like that at all. It might have been any word. Dust or teacup or plum. There was no heat in it, no still-beating heart, no blood. Vengeance was just a word to him. ***

Lazlo isn’t the only one on his way to help the city there has been a collection of various skilled people to come and help the city with their ‘Problem’ there was just no way they would have ever guessed what that problem was. I’m not even going to tell you because I want you to read the book and discover it the same way I did when we crested the hill leading into the city. Laini Taylor’s imagination is incredible.

There is so much I could say. So much I want to say but half the wonder of this story is the way it is laid out and shown to the reader. I will say that I had every emotion during this story. There were some extremely fantastic things that happened and so many questions going into the next book which is on my most anticipated list for whenever it is coming out.

I have over 200 highlights with some of the most beautiful writing I’ve found in a long time. I can’t wait for the conclusion to this magical story. I wanted to stay in this world much longer than the 2 books it is currently slotted to have.

I’m off to stalk Laini to read every scrap of info I can find about this book and the next.
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Sarah (Feeling Fictional)
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange the Dreamer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 29, 2017
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Joanna Gawn, Author of The Lazuli Portals
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational and Magical
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drawingmad
5.0 out of 5 stars Is everything you want and more
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 18, 2019
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little bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully imaginative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 5, 2018
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J. Ang
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Start to A Series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 2, 2020
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