Laini Taylor

Some authors stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Laini Taylor is on that list.

I’ve written about the genius of Laini Taylor here before—in reference to her Faeries of Dreamdark series, which I re-read at least once per year. (Click here for the post.)


Strange The DreamerI’ve just Laini Taylor’s new book —Strange the Dreamer— and I’m considering picking it straight back up to read again from the beginning.

How many books inspire that response? Savor, yes, but re-read immediately???

It isn’t the plot, although that’s interesting. It isn’t the characters, although they are engaging. It isn’t the fantasy world, although that’s rich and inviting. Of course the emotional lives of the characters are dense and satisfying. It’s all that, and…


It’s the way Laini Taylor uses language that leaves me in awe.

Her metaphors and similes are so unexpected, so surprising, so magical… It might be poetry,


A few examples:

  • “He groped for what he knew had been there, and all he fished up was the awful word Weep, slick with wrongness, damp as bad dreams, and tinged with the residue of salt.” 
  • “As the sun climbed, its gleam raced upriver like a lit fuse […]”
  • “The cathedral bells rang out, and all the other church bells followed—light and sweet, like children answering a parent’s call.”


I swear, the woman could write a plumber’s manual on switching out the shower faucet and it would be delightful. It might read something like this:

How to Install a New Shower Handle, by Laini Taylor (as imagined by Lindy MacLaine)

  1. Using a Phillip’s Screwdriver, turn the middle screw widdershins—like a tangle of fairies herding fireflies at twilight.
  2. If water spews forth, gnashing and spitting, you’ve undone the wrong screw. Cut the water supply to the house with a single blow. Otherwise, look for a lake leeching through layers of linoleum.
  3. Run to the plumbing shop, pay any price for plumbing magic, as this wizard’s pipes rusted long ago.
  4. Return with a part that fits only if you’ve three tridexterous hands and the patience of Merlin’s beard awaiting a razor.
  5. Charm your spouse into doing it —promise a dragonback spin o’er the town if you must.


Go ahead—try your own imitation! It will only reinforce your respect for Laini Taylor’s genius!

Strange the Dreamer is Young Adult fiction, for teens and adults. It contains violence and a number of things I don’t usually seek in my books. But the reading experience is exquisite. Laini Taylor’s writing makes every scene irresistible. It’s mind-expanding for the right side of the brain!

Happy Reading!


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