The Sins of Strange the Dreamer: A Book Review

The Sins of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

For the Wins of Strange the Dreamer, please head on over to The Nomadic Troglodyte, my sister-in-law and reading companion.

Also, to read more about our ‘Sins and Wins’ book review strategy, please refer back to these other posts:


The Sins of Caraval  |  The Sins of Daughter of the Pirate King  |  The Sins of RoseBlood

Warning: This review has minor spoilers that you can find if you’re terribly clever.
Proceed at your own risk.

I’ve officially taken on the role of ‘bad cop’ for the Sins and Wins posts that The Nomadic Troglodyte and I do together. Usually, that means that I have a lot of fun and get a lot of enjoyment out of nitpicking, ridiculing, mocking, and scrutinizing everything about the books we review, from the characters’ individual choices of hairstyle to the layout, to the plot points, to the denouement and everything in between. I have fun, I get to be dramatic and funny, and it’s great. She gets to look for the good in each story (She’s a great Hufflepuff, I tell you) and it just works out fantastically.

Until I read this story.

As I read it, fell in love with the characters and the world, and Lazlo himself, I kept thinking ‘WHAT am I going to DO?’ You see, there aren’t any plot points or bad decisions that I can blast caustically while chuckling maniacally to myself, as I did with all three previous ‘Sins and Wins’ posts.

But it’s time to uphold my end of the bargain, because no story is 100% perfect, so here goes:


1) Some things are TOO difficult to pronounce.

Okay, so I get that there are words and places on earth that I can’t pronounce. Trust me, I read a lot (ha) and I routinely come across a word when I’m speaking that I’ve only read. Inevitably, it slips out and someone looks at me with amusement. “You know that’s not how you say that, right?”

Me, inside my head: Ahahaha. No, I mean, I– well I thought that maybe I’d pronounce it totally wrong on purpose– you know– just for giggles. NO. I DIDN’T KNOW.

The exterior version of me laughs quietly and tries not to blush.


The words in Lazlo’s world were a little too difficult sometimes, especially since I’m a touch dyslexic.

Elmuthaleth? . . . . . . just a random jumble of letters in my head.
Mesarthium . . . . . . . Hmmm, nope.
Mesarthum . . . . . . . . .Nada. AND purposefully similar to above, but still pretty confusing.


2) Where is the MAP???

I honestly don’t understand why you would publish a story without a map. If it gives a bit of plot away, as it does in Strange the Dreamer, add it in text. Add it in the back. Add it on the dustjacket. JUST ADD IT. I NEED MAPS.

There’s no map anywhere on Strange the Dreamer, and I’m honestly just so disappointed in that.


3) Perspective changes

There are a few POV characters, and the switch between them was not always necessary or seamless.



Okay, so maybe severe emotional pain isn’t a sin, but I wanted to warn you, because if you read this gem of a story, it’s going to smack you full in the face, break your nose, and steal your lunch. JUST BE WARNED. This story hurts. My brownie (the Nomadic Troglodyte) screeched out loud in an airplane and her strong emotion was totally justified. I laughed at the time and cried when I read it.


5) Instalove + Love scenes

Also, I found no problem with either of the above things but I wanted to warn you. There are some ‘kissing scenes’.


6) It’s too short/ book two’s not out yet/ I need resolution RIGHT NOW.

Excuse me while I go weep from how beautiful and how terrible this book is. If you are on the fence about buying it, I wholeheartedly say go for it.

My rating: 5 stars