Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer cover

The basics

Title: Strange the Dreamer


Series: Strange the Dreamer #1

- Strange the Dreamer (2017)
- Muse of Nightmares (2018)

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Goodreads Summary:

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 or 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?

Read a full summary of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor below. If you can’t remember what happened in Strange the Dreamer and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

what happened in Strange the Dreamer?

  • Lazlo was sent to a monastery when his parents died in a war. He grew up hearing about a legendary forbidden city that was situated across the desert. The name of this city was wiped from Lazlo’s mind, but this only made Lazlo more curious about the place.
  • And so, Lazlo joined the Great Library of Zosma as a librarian to find information on this forbidden place.
  • Lazlo shows a guy called Thyon Nero how to create gold using lifeblood. Nero finds out that Lazlo learnt this from books, and so he demands that Lazlo hand them over for him to read.
  • One day, Lazlo sees the ghost of a bird. This seems to be an omen, because a bunch of warriors arrive in town. These warriors are led by a guy called the Godslayer, who is trying to recruit scholars. Nero ends up getting invited along, and it turns out that the warriors are heading to the forbidden city.
  • Lazlo is accepted as the Godslayer’s secretary. It takes six months to reach the city.
  • In the city, a massive metallic citadel floats above ground. There are five demi-gods trapped there, which happened when their parents were killed during the Carnage, which was a war during which the humans rebelled against the gods. These demi-gods are called Sarai, Sparrow, Ruby, Feral, and Minya, and they all have magic powers. Some of them still look the age they were when the Carnage happened fifteen years ago.
  • Minya speaks to one of the human’s ghosts, which tells them that the Godslayer is returning.
  • During the six month journey, Lazlo bonds with someone called Calixte.
  • The group reaches the city, and it’s revealed that the Godslayer intends to get rid of the citadel once and for all. The humans don’t like the gods because they used to wipe people’s memories and enslave them. Lots of humans were forced to have their children. The Godslayer, Eril-Fane, was one of the humans who was enslaved at one point. He later led the revolt.
  • Sarai, one of the demi-gods, enters the warriors’ dreams and investigates. The demi-gods need to know what Eril-Fane is planning. Lazlo spots her in one of his dreams, something that he shouldn’t be able to do.
  • Minya uses ghosts to form a ghostly defence army.
  • Nero uses his lifeblood to create alkahest to dissolve metal. He gets sick. Lazlo lends some of his own lifeblood.
  • Lazlo notices that his hands turn grey when he touches the metal of the citadel.
  • Sarai enters Lazlo’s dream a few times. At one point, Lazlo is already dreaming of her. She warns him to stay away from the city.
  • The group makes a machine that will fly up to the floating citadel. Lazlo, Eril-Fane, and a couple of others board it and fly up there. Minya is waiting for them when her ghost army, which attacks. Sarai tries to stop the fight. The group escapes, and we learn that Sarai is Eril-Fane’s daughter.
  • Minya is angry with Sarai for betraying her, and locks her away in her room. Minya tells Sarai to kill her father.
  • Sarai visits Lazlo again, and tells him there are other survivors in the citadel. She tells him about the ghost army.
  • Lazlo asks Eril-Fane questions about the demi-gods, particularly what happened to the children who weren’t in the nursery any more. Eril-Fane says he doesn’t know.
  • Nero is still creating alkahest with Lazlo’s blood. He realises something is up.
  • Lazlo teaches Sarai to control her nightmares.
  • Sarai asks Minya to arrange a meeting with Eril-Fane, but Minya won’t agree to it.
  • Nero puts a hole in one of the metal anchors that hold down the citadel, and a bomb expert called Drave them plants one of his bombs there. It goes off, but instead of destroying the citadel it causes earthquakes and affects the waterway. The earthquakes cause the citadel to tilt dangerously. Sarai is flung from the balcony.
  • Lazlo rebuilds the metal anchor using his mind. His skin turns blue, which scares everyone around him.

How did Strange the Dreamer end?

  • Lazlo is a demi-god as well!
  • Shook.
  • Everyone realises that Skathis is Lazlo’s father.
  • Lazlo finds Sarai impaled on a gate. He takes her body to Minya, and tells her to find Sarai’s spirit. He’s now stronger than Minya now that he can control metal, so Minya tethers Sarai’s spirit to her body, which is great, but then she takes control of Sarai’s body. She threatens Lazlo, and tells him to do as she says or she’ll let Sarai’s spirit go.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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