STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor


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. 


Title : Strange the Dreamer
Author : Laini Taylor
Series : Strange the Dreamer #1
Format : audio/ebook
Narrator : Steve West
Length : 18 hours 19 minutes
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : March 28, 2017

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Holy cow, Hollis…thank you for foisting Laini Taylor in front of my nose numerous times. This was a winner of winners in terms of reading, full absorption from start to finsh and a read that was mostly audio but sometimes ebook.

I fell into this book with a determination after loving Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I didn’t need to worry because I loved this world with an awe immediately, it didn’t ebb, not once. This book brought characters to live and long for and a world that was an exceptional creation. I am in awe.

I feel that there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said coming late to a duology like this but it’s new to me and so I give you my fresh eyes. These fresh eyes were all on Lazlo. Unconventional hero, humble librarian, strength of character, kind and intelligent – 100% loveable. Lazlo started off in one land, travelled across a vast desolate plain and ended up in Weep.

“You know me, Strange the dreamer, head in the clouds.” He paused and added with a grin, “Miracles for breakfast.”

The world was on the one hand complex, but also not difficult to understand; that said, I couldn’t explain it that well. Sarai the other main character was a daughter of a godess but trapped and enslaved to a gift and future that was dismal. I felt for her, I liked her and seeing her come alive more as events unfolded was beautiful and enchanting.

As these two met, everything went still in my mind as I read, wanting every detail, every feel and boy, did I feel their connection. Sometimes I moan about not feeling connected to characters in books, this was such the opposite experience, it was a situation where I have rarely felt so much in a fantasy read, nor so tethered to two characters.

She wanted. She wanted. She wanted to wake up holding hands.

The story was exciting, tragic, haunting and vivid. The world was further enhanced by brilliant narration injecting further personality into the characters and so I can highly recommend this format for the duology. I will be listening to MUSE OF NIGHTMARES rather than reading. Pick this story up and you will be ensnared in its trap.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE TRILOGY WRAP UP by Laini Taylor

  1. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE – 4.5 stars
  2. DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT – 4 stars
  3. DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS – 4.5 stars

    This is a Micky post but it is fuelled by Hollis suggesting that I read this story FOR YEARS. We nearly had a disrailment early on reading book one when I realised this was a book about angels and beasts, my blog review is here if you need a refresher on what nearly went wrong for me. However, I came out of book one realising there wasn’t really a Christian connection to this story and that this was a other-worldly yet this-worldly story. There was a lot of action in this book but once it got to the half-way mark, a love story started to build in the form of Akiva and Karou. I was disconcerted for a bit by what I thought was a love triangle but really it wasn’t. There was one of the best gal-pal storylines that began in this book and continues throughout the series. I adored Zuzana and Zuzana with Karou are friendship goals. I loved book one and gave it a 4.5 star review.

Book two, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT was a great action-packed read but it was steeped in sadness, disconnection between the two MCs and that was hard to swallow. I wanted them together but I understood the rift. This was a story to learn more about the world of Eretz but also of the different species that inhabited it. Into this story entered a younger Kiran man called Ziri who pretty much stole my heart. Zuzana and her guy, Mik were very much crucial in this story. I rated this book 4 stars and my review is here.

Book three, DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS was about journeys, battle and strategy. It was about foes becoming friends and reconnections but oh my word, the tension, the mind-blowing tension between Akiva and Karou. I was glued to the page and wishing for them to kiss. I said numerous times ‘just kiss already’ to myself and them.

There was a superb main plot in this book and so many great sub plots apart from one that I disliked (that’s what has taken the rating down from heart eyes to love). Fake grandma was a highlight, Zuz and Mik shenanigans of course and all things Thiago, Ziri and Liraz. The bad guys were epically gross but I loved to read about them.

This is the book of final fulfilment and three books in, binged from start to finish, I needed the sweetness of completion. The culmination did not let me down. These characters became fast book friends and beloved favourites; I think I’ll remember this series for a long time. DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS got a whopping 4.5 stars.

Shout out to Hollis for nagging/pushing me to read this for a few years and for listening to my many ravings along the way. Second shoutout to bookstagram friend Steph for her devoted cooing over my reading of one of her favourite series.

The morals of this reading wrap are as follows:

  1. Do not prejudge tropes, sometimes open your mind and start to read a trope that isn’t your jam, you might have a refreshing surprise like I did.
  2. Series from 5/6 years ago or more should not get brushed under the carpet, keep those recs and positions on your tbr and work your way around to them. I’ve acquired a favourite series from this one.

DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor 🎧

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.


Title : Days of Blood and Starlight
Author : Laini Taylor
Narrator : Khristine Hvam
Series : Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Format : Audio
Length : 16 hours
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : November 8, 2012

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

This is going to be a shorter review than normal because I’ve been ill and I’m writing this much later than I normally would. However, it means I’ve had time to reflect and really think about this instalment.

This was a book steeped in sadness and regret. The way that DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE ended was a blow and so I picked up the next book desperate to know things but also feeling Karou’s sadness as my own. I felt her grief both from the loss of loved ones but also the betrayal and rift between her and Akiva.

Most of this book was told from the separate sides of Karou and Akiva, I missed them together BUT there were bright spots. Karou got to know and live in her heritage and I loved finding out about all of that. Zuzana and Mik were the brightest spots and their place in this story was everything to me. Ziri was a newer character and he really grew on me.

There are a few bad guys in this series but the one that had my focus was Thiago, I hated him. He was vile and never had me fooled but equally he was a great character to hate and fear. Ten, his sidekick was something of a tool too. What a pair.

There was a fair bit of world building in this book as new layers were added mostly in form of life in Eretz. It wasn’t too complicated and brought a richness to the story. The narration continued in excellence from Khristine Hvam.

I can feel it in my bones that this series is going to be beloved by me and I’m straight into book three.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor 🎧

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


Title : Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author : Laini Taylor
Series : Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Format : Audiobook
Narrator : Khristine Hvam
Time : 12 hours 32 minutes
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Audible Studios
Release Date : September 29, 2011

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4-4.5 star review

Starting this much-loved series that has been on my tbr forever was my main reading aim for the beginning of the year. You do know that Hollis and I are of the ‘no-blurbers’ club, don’t you? What this means is that we read a synopsis when we first put something on our tbr, then we don’t go back to it before we read it. What this also means is that you fall foul sometimes of not knowing what a book is about and for DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE this was nearly a derailment. I will explain…

I do not like angel stories, I avoid them at all costs. There’s only one thing worse than this and that’s angel and demon stories. An hour into this listen and it was beginning to become apparent that there were creatures and then there were angels. Fast forward to a hilarous ‘there there, Micky’ convo of encouragement from Hollis and what I found was that this wasn’t a Christian depiction of those beings but otherworldy, yet set in our world. I was able to get into this aspect.

I loved lots about this book but primarily, I loved Karou. She was a character of quirks and giftings that was fascinating. She was also a character full of heart and passion and that was catching. There was an amazing friendship between her and Zuzana that was funny, loyal and heartbreaking too. I was unsure about Brimstone, he creeped me out whilst I found him endearing in moments.

Akiva was a late entry to the proceedings, certainly in the background for much of the first half of the book but when he came face to face with Karou, oh boy, I just sat back and listened. There was something deep and mesmerising when these two were together and they convinced me of their pull pretty quickly. They made me think of Romeo and Juliet, in fact their whole tale did. When all was said and done, the story of Madrigle gave that perspective that slotted everything into place, but it was not a comfortable tale within a tale.

The narration was exceptional for this book. Khristine Hvam narrates with emotion and a wide range of impressive accents. She helped me truly sink into the story.

So, am I fan? Yes I am. Can I deal with these angels and creatures? In this situation, yes I can. There’s maybe a lesson to be learnt for me not to toss certain tropes and contexts out of hand immediately. The proof of this story is really in the fact that I’ve already started book two, mere hours after finishing book one. Thank you to everyone who’s ever recommended this book to me over the years, I got there in the end.