“Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just that when they do them, they call it justice.”
In a Nutshell: Lazlo Strange aka Strange the Dreamer, was an orphan (foundling) raised by monks. He grew up to be a librarian happily living 24/7 within his books. When opportunity comes knocking, he takes the chance for a real adventure – to come to a place with a forgotten name, and a mysterious past.
Read this if… you are okay with heavy world-building and weird and hard to pronounce (and remember) names, places and terminologies. If you have read something of Laini Taylor’s, this one’s another testament of her excellence. But if you’re a newbie to her writing style, I’d recommend starting with Daughter of Smoke and Bones series. This one’s maybe not the place to start. Also, as a warning, if you feel bored at the beginning, do NOT let that stop you. I promise you, it gets better. Oh and have I mentioned how good Taylor does romance? She slowly pulls you in until you have no idea how invested and sucked in you are.
As per usual, Laini Taylor showed excellence in creating a whole new world. Her whimsical writing style just pulls you right in and gives you that fairy tale vibe. At first, I felt there were too many descriptive statements and it was a bit boring for me. But I pushed through and I’m glad I did. Never mind the hard to pronounce words and the hard to remember names of characters you’d only see on a few pages. Don’t let those things bother you. Focus on the story. Because that’s what she does best. She creates an internal and external struggle and binds both together in the most satisfying way possible. She writes plots within a plot and make your imagination run wild. She’ll make you think you know where things are headed and she’ll turn everything around (and sometimes, rip your heart out in the process). And she creates complex characters complete with background stories and internal monologues that you can’t help but sympathize with all of them. And she has dipped her toes on so many relevant social issues (prostitution, racism, discrimination, war, slavery etc.) which made added value to the story and actually made it more real and more touching.
Plus, the love story is just wonderfully done. I didn’t expect to enjoy the romance as much as I did. It’s just so beautifully done, I cannot even begin to describe it. Nobody does romance like Laini Taylor.
And there’s just so many things I did not see coming. And there’s also some, I did, and yet I still felt the emotional punch. Bittersweet ending. I cannot wait for the next one.