Cover Reveal & Excerpt // Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

01 April 2016

I want to post something a little different today. I have never (ever) done a cover reveal post or featured an excerpt of a book on my blog but this is a special book from an author I love and so when I received an email about the cover being revealed I just knew I wanted to post about it because I am so damn excited!

If you haven’t heard already Laini Taylor is publishing a new book (it’s actually a duology) and the cover was revealed to all and sundry yesterday. The book is Strange the Dreamer and it sounds fantastic. I mean, I am completely biased, I adore Laini Taylor and have already placed her in my favourite authors category, but even if I hadn’t read a book by her the summary and cover of this one would most definitely have drawn me in. 

Just read the summary (the utterly non descript, no spoiler giving summary).

UK Jacket - Strange the Dreamer HB
Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
Published: 29th September (UK)
Publisher: Hodder & Staughton
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
A breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.
That is the UK cover I’m featuring there because that’s the cover I’ll be getting when it’s released in September (is it September yet?). Everything about this book makes me happy and I am so excited that we now have a cover to go with it! I was dedicated enough that I was excited ever before I got a shiny cover to look at, but that cover matches so perfectly, especially if you read the little snipet I’ve got below!

For those in the US I will take sympathy and show you both covers. They are both equally fantastic and easy on the eyes. Look and be amazed.

That isn’t all being featured here today though folks. I also am proud to present you with a small (tiny really) excerpt from the book. The prologue to this new series, to be exact. This little teaser has made me so happy and so frustrated that the book isn’t out yet. For those wanting to avoid spoilers scroll quickly past this next section. If you see yellow then don’t read!


On the second sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.

Her skin was blue, her blood was red.

She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm. One slick finial anchored her in place. Its point, protruding from her sternum, glittered like a brooch. She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and then her hands relaxed, shedding fistfuls of freshly picked torch ginger buds.

Later, they would say these had been hummingbird hearts and not blossoms at all.

They would say she hadn’t shed blood but wept it. That she was lewd, tonguing her teeth at them, upside down and dying, that she vomited a serpent that turned to smoke when it hit the ground. They would say a flock of moths had come, frantic, and tried to lift her away.

That was true. Only that.

They hadn’t a prayer, though. The moths were no bigger than the startled mouths of children, and even dozens together could only pluck at the strands of her darkening hair until their wings sagged, sodden with her blood. They were purled away with the blossoms as a grit-choked gust came blasting down the street. The earth heaved underfoot. The sky spun on its axis. A queer brilliance lanced through billowing smoke, and the people of Weep had to squint against it. Blowing grit and hot light and the stink of saltpeter. There had been an explosion. They might have died, all and easily, but only this girl had, shaken from some pocket of the sky.

Her feet were bare, her mouth stained damson. Her pockets were all full of plums. She was young and lovely and surprised and dead.

She was also blue.

Blue as opals, pale blue. Blue as cornflowers, or dragonfly wings, or a spring—not summer—sky.

Someone screamed. The scream drew others. The others screamed, too, not because a girl was dead, but because the girl was blue, and this meant something in the city of Weep. Even after the sky stopped reeling, and the earth settled, and the last fume spluttered from the blast site and dispersed, the screams went on, feeding themselves from voice to voice, a virus of the air.

The blue girl’s ghost gathered itself and perched, bereft, upon the spearpoint-tip of the projecting finial, just an inch above her own still chest. Gasping in shock, she tilted back her invisible head and gazed, mournfully, up.

The screams went on and on.

And across the city, atop a monolithic wedge of seamless, mirror-smooth metal, a statue stirred, as though awakened by the tumult, and slowly lifted its great horned head.

And welcome back readers! The prologue just makes you so excited for this book. The writing is so obviously the voice of Laini Taylor returned once more. It’s magical and so different. Obviously a story you want to read without ever realising you were missing it. I know I can barely contain my excitement to September. I know I shouldn’t wish my life away, but when a book like this one is revealed to you it’s hard not to.

Which cover do you prefer, UK or US? I personally prefer the UK one, but I don’t know if that’s because I know that’s the cover I’ll be getting. And for those of you who read the prologue, what did you think? Who will be pre-ordering themselves a copy of this and who is still on the fence?
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