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Cover for Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer

Laini Taylor


List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (3/27/2017)
Hardcover (3/28/2017)
Prebound (1/1/2018)
CD-Audio (3/28/2017)
Compact Disc (3/28/2017)


From National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor comes an epic fantasy about a mythic lost city and its dark past.

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 just 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 form 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? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams?

In this sweeping and breathtaking novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

The answers await in Weep.

Praise For Strange the Dreamer

A NPR Best Book A Goodreads Best YA Fantasy and Science Fiction NomineeA Boston Globe Best YA BookA Popcrush Best Young Adult BookA Popsugar Best Book for Women A Booklist Editors' Choice An A.V. Club Favorite Book A Tor Top Young Adult SFF BookA 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

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316341677, 560pp.

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

About the Author

Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Printz Honor Book Strange the Dreamer and its sequel, Muse of Nightmares. Taylor is also the author of the global sensation the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy and the companion novella Night of Cake & Puppets. Taylor's other works include the Dreamdark books: Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine. Her website is

Conversation Starters from

1. Lazlo spends his childhood and adolescence with his nose in books. How does Lazlo’s life in books prepare him for his extraordinary journey and the world outside the library?

2. Sarai says, “Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just that when they do them, they call it justice” (page 372). Many characters in Strange the Dreamer can be described as both heroic and villainous. Minya is cruel, but how is she also heroic? Is Thyon evil? Eril-Fane killed babies. Is he evil? Was the good these characters created worth the bad things they had to do to achieve it?

3. “And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can” (page 135). This is how the godspawn endure life in the citadel. How do the other characters in the book lay laughter over the darkness?

4. Eril-Fane is described as “a great man, and also a good one” (page 69). What is the difference between “good” and “great”? How do these terms apply to him? How do they apply to other characters in the book?

5. Sarai’s moths and Lazlo’s books allow those characters to experience life from a distance. How does that distance affect their hopes and dreams? How does it affect their relationship with each other?

6. What do you think the eliliths represent? What do you think the color blue signifies?

7. The libraries of Zosma, Weep, and the citadel are beautiful places that are full of sadness. How does this description reflect the themes of the book?

8. Most chapters follow either Lazlo or Sarai. What do their different points of view bring to the story? What do the other characters’ points of view add?

9. Why do you think Lazlo and Sarai fall in love so quickly?

10. Were you surprised when Feral and Ruby developed a relationship, despite Sparrow having feelings for him? Who do you think is the better match for Feral?

11. What parallels can you make between things that happen in the novel and things happening in the world today?

12. How does Lazlo change on this journey? How will his new identity shape his journey moving forward? How does Sarai transform over the course of the book?

13. At the end of the book, what monsters still need to be conquered to reach a harmonious end? In real life, is a harmonious end even possible?