Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor
Hodder & Stoughton

“On the second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky. Her skin was blue, her blood was red.” For a second, I thought Laini Taylor, whose Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy was immensely enjoyable, was creating an epic new series for the Smurfs or Avatar. But the most important word here is not blue but Weep, the name given to a city so lost that its original name has been forgotten. This includes the mind of Lazlo Strange, an orphan turned librarian who frets his life is going nowhere until it goes somewhere: towards Weep, as it happens. Mixing Star Wars, The Hobbit and Dungeons and Dragons, Strange the Dreamer sends its hero on a quest that echoes the games he played as a child. There are heroes, magicians, eccentrics and the doomed. There are gods, like Shres, the bastard God of Fortune, and prose that fuses Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin: Lazlo dreams of “seeing those glittering domes with his own eyes, and finding out, at last, what happened to the Unseen City”. Great fantasy fun. Read it and Weep.