Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Summary:
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.
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Review:
Alright lovelies, let’s talk about one of the most hyped books on the internet, Strange the Dreamer. I finally did it. I’ve been trying to get through all the nominees for the BookTube SFF Awards and this duology has been on the bottom of my list because I tend to procrastinate reading hyped books. Part of me is glad to finally be able to say I read this and another part of me is sad because I didn’t love it as much as the rest of the world seems to.
I’m happy to say that I loved the plot and the characters. I really was sucked into the world. I was so invested in Lazlo and then in Sairi and how their stories were going to turn out (spoiler alert: not in any way that I even slightly predicted). The relationship was a little instalovey but I didn’t really care. Lazlo and Sairi were both so insatiably curious about the world and the things they wanted from the world. I couldn’t help but love them, especially for each other.
The world was incredible and mostly well built. There was mythology and history and I just wanted to know more about the mysterious Weep. I thought the gods and the godspawn were fascinating. I loved learning more about the world as the story progressed.
Now, don’t hate me dear lovelies. I really didn’t like the writing. I think everyone in the world knows about Laini Taylor’s flowery purple prose. I’m sorry but I hated it. I can honestly say that I skipped pages here and there because it was filled with descriptions that I just didn’t think were needed. I skimmed constantly through the book. I had a hard time with it because sometimes it really pulled me right out of the story. I’m certainly going to be reading the sequel, but I’ll likely face the same situation.
Overall, I’m glad that I finally read this beloved book. And I mostly enjoyed the reading experience. Especially with that ending. I’m excited to read Muse of Nightmares and see how the story ends.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Summary:
In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?
Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this astonishing and heart-stopping sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.
Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)Review:
I’m honestly still reeling from everything that happened in Muse of Nightmares. I’m not sure how Laini Taylor managed to wrap everything up the way that she did. I’m in awe.
While I am able to acknowledge that the writing in this novel was beautiful, I do need to say that I didn’t like it. At times, it took me out of the story and I honestly had to just skip paragraphs and sometimes pages because the prose was so flowery.
Despite my dislike of the purple prose, I still really enjoyed the story and the plot. Muse of Nightmares went in a direction I don’t think anyone could have predicted. The things we learned and that these characters went through was wild. There’s really no other way to explain without giving anything away. I definitely had to put the book down and whisper “WTF” to myself a few times.
The characters were the highlight of this book and series for me. Lazlo was so loveable and kind and my favorite softboy. Sairi was so good at heart and her inner conflict between her family and the people below in Weep was a compelling one. I even came to love Minya despite her being the absolute worst.
Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the story (except the last two lines) but sometimes the flowery writing bothered me. I’m interested to see if she writes anything else in this bookish world.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.