Laini Taylor has solidified her spot as one of my favorite authors with this release.
I am unapologetically in love with her style of writing. I am a shameless worshiper of her artistry for willing forth magnificent worlds & characters & scenarios from her pen.
I devour her books like oxygen.
Before I get ahead of myself, I want to mention that I did notice some small things that bothered me here and there, which I will detail later.
However, I still chose to give this book a 5 stars because overall I don't feel those issues weigh enough to affect my rating.
This is one of the richest worlds we have seen from Taylor yet.
We focus mostly on the city of Weep, but the story is crafted in such a way that it suggests magnitude beyond that focus. It's crafted from a bloody, fantastical history. It's teeming with science & lore & magic.
This is the type of world I savor.
"Beautiful, and full of monsters."
I appreciate the intense degree of characterization in this novel. I got such a well-formed picture for each character in my mind while I read, especially our two main characters, Lazlo and Sarai.
Lazlo is a tender-hearted librarian, and entirely consumed by his whimsical imagination. His dreams and benevolence run as deep as the ocean, and I tripped and fell head over heels for him almost immediately.
Strange the Dreamer.
Sarai is a solemn, intelligent godspawn. She is woven from the material of conflict, light and darkness spun into the form of a young woman. She is at war with her own compassion, experiencing both hatred & empathy for the opposing sides of a war she almost didn't survive.
The Muse of Nightmares.
I believed in both of these characters. I was never bored with either perspective. I was ravaging my fingernails while waiting to see how this dreadfully exquisite plot would unravel.
This story is much more than the sum of its parts.
It's about the ferocity of love & hope. It's about the persistence of hatred & prejudice. It's about underestimating people, and overestimating people, and finding out whether or not we are capable of forgiveness.
As for my issues, of course we do see a small bit of insta-love. It was not a glaring problem. Taylor's style of writing and depth of characterization almost always keep my suspension of disbelief intact.
Reading the about Lazlo and Sarai gave me that giddy, fresh love, honeymoon infatuation feeling you get when you first begin seeing someone.
Your heart flutters & your breath hitches and the pure potential for a spectacular love leaves you glowing.
And so just like with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, I found it easy to excuse any insta-love hints I may have seen.
Also, the pacing for the first 70% of the book was rather slow but if you know anything about me, I'm almost never bothered by a slow pace.
I actually prefer it because I feel it gives the author a chance to properly introduce and provide adequate details for the story they're writing.
Objectively though, I can see where some may feel it was too slow.
But this book was everything for me. Laini Taylor is the kind of artist who inspires me to want to create and add something beautiful to this world.
I adore this book & I want nothing more than to get my hands on the next one.