Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
And this was exactly what I've been looking for.
Gods, dreams, epic fantasy, a richly detailed world, and more importantly, characters I can wholeheartedly love.
But what about originality? Oh, there's plenty here. I'm gonna name drop some titles to let you folk know a tiny bit of what's in store, but don't assume that because this book shares some elements of each, that it is a knock-off, because it isn't.
Think about a love child of City of Stairs and The Dragonbone Chair with a very healthy dose of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and a smidge of all the best modern epic fantasies, and you've got what does NOT feel like a tired YA romance... rather, it feels like a wonderful modern fantasy that tugs at you in all the right places and even lets you feel a bit of Gaiman's Dream magic. :)
But the best part of this is the writing, from the characters to the overarching arc of the story. It's good. Plain and simple. Very, very, good.
I love being blown away by hints and tragedies and enormous somethings in the background and the build-up to make it truly delicious when it all comes home to roost.
But if you're thinking that this is a standalone novel, then think again. Nothing can stand as it is now. Buckle up tight, because it's going to be a really big ride.
And yes, this is officially billed as YA but I don't think it should be limited to that sobriquet. It's perfectly adult. :) Perfectly dark and dire, in other words, and simple? This is not. :)
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