I’d been meaning to read this once I knew it was coming out. I loved the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, and Taylor’s ability to craft stories – I definitely had high hopes. And I was not disappointed.
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 to 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?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new 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.
Picking up this book we’re introduced to a rather violent start. A girl has fallen from the sky and been impaled. She is blue. She is very much dead. And then we’re transported elsewhere in the world and introduced to Lazlo, and the girl is forgotten about.
Lazlo is an orphan being raised in a monastery. He is a ward of the monks who insist that his life is a bland as theirs, but he revels in stories – specific stories of of a city far south that he knows he’ll never see. But one day as he’s playing in the fields something strange happens and he’s memory of the name of the city is gone. It’s gone from everywhere, no one literally knows the name, and every replacement he knows is not right.
When we rejoin Lazlo he’s an adult, and escaped the monastery by becoming involved with a library. His skill, or rather, his obsession is discovered and nurtured there. He works for years on his own research of the forgotten city, of constructing it’s language and knowing all about it. And naturally, that research is stolen away from him by a rich boy. Turns out, people from that lost city are seeking help from those who have specialist knowledge in various fields, such as philosophy, explosives, climbing, construction etc.
Lazlo surprises them, and even himself, to convince them to take him with them. He can speak their language, and impresses them more that the contingents from the scholars – in fact, he even shows up the Queen’s grandson… or was it nephew? Which naturally creates some animosity between them.
There’s a far amount of world building in the initial first third of the book. In fact, it seemed a little slow to begin with, but it works. It builds the city that Lazlo lives in, his life and actually how grey it is in comparison to what it will become. We meet some interesting characters in the next section as they travel to the unnamed city (also called Weep), and I think here is where I think I have my biggest issue with the book. Not that the travelling is bad or anything like that but Lazlo makes a friend here, how could have also been a potential love interest later in the book, but then when we get to Weep itself she’s not really mentioned or spoken about again, and considering how close he is perceived to be with her during the travels it seems a surprise that she’s not really mentioned again, not even for a catch up and a sounding board for Lazlo’s time in Weep or what he’s been up to.
The world is immersive. And really engaging as well, I couldn’t put it down as I neared the end and was in that state of wanting to keep reading but also not wanting to make it to the end of the book. It was such an awesome book. And that ending?
I mean, I want to talk about it but can’t because spoilers. But seriously. Depending on how the next book goes depends on whether I think Lazlo made the right decision because at this point in time I think the Lazlo that we’ve known up until that point would not have made the decision that he did make.
Have you read this one? What did you think?
The next one is out in the Autumn, but that seems like a stupidly long time away!
Until next time folks,