Review of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor


Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors. I love her storytelling, the fantasy elements and feeling of wonder she invokes, her worldbuilding, her quirky characters, and her masterful ability to weave beautiful language and humor together all in the same book. Her books are clean young adult fantasy with love stories, for those looking for books in that genre. I have never read anything by her that I didn’t like.

How did I discover her?

Years ago I read an audiobook I got from the library, Lips Touch Three Times. It was a collection of three novellas or novelettes in different fantasy worlds. All were beautiful and compelling love stories, though not all three were happy, two out of three were. I loved the author’s writing. Years later I read another book she had written, probably Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I kept thinking about beautiful it was and it reminded me of the style of writing of Lips Touch, so I looked it up and discovered she is the same author! When I was doing research on the author, I discovered she lives in Portland, Oregon, where I used to live! I was amazed and sad that I probably could have gone to her author readings while I lived there but I never knew.

When Strange the Dreamer became available as an audiobook, I listened to it and found I loved it just as much as her other books. Maybe I even loved it more. I love the protagonists and the villains. Every moment I was immersed in this other world, I was in bliss.

The only downside was that the book ended. Not only did it end, but it ended in the worst imaginable way with a cliffhanger line about “that was another story.” I feel a little betrayed. Okay, maybe a lot betrayed. I don’t feel like I was given what the story promised from the beginning, which was a complete and satisfying ending. But I shouldn’t have been surprised by the ending. I had a similar reaction to Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I heard other people were disappointed with the cliffhanger ending there too. On the other hand, I was able to listen to the next audiobooks in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy because the books had been out for a while so I didn’t have to wait.

Right now the sequel to Strange the Dreamer, Muse of Nightmares is available as a hardback. Although I would recommend the book and her writing, I don’t think I would actually recommend the first book—unless you are more patient than I am.

But, I guess that is okay. I am busy writing books anyway. If you are curious about what I have been doing, check out my series, WOMBY’S SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD WITCHES.