Old and New: Breaking the Cycle of Despair in Strange the Dreamer and The Darkangel

Often focusing on female-focused YA speculative fiction, Thea James’s Old and New is a new monthly column that examines new and shiny speculative fiction titles, contrasted against an older, foundational (or underrated!) SFF work.

This month, I look at common themes in the Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer, Muse of Nightmares), and the Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel, A Gathering of Gargoyles, The Pearl of the Soul of the World).

This post contains unavoidable, mild spoilers for both the Strange the Dreamer duology and the Darkangel Trilogy.

I suppose that the secret—if there ever was one—is out about Laini Taylor.

Finalist for the National Book Award for her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and a Printz Honor recipient for Strange the Dreamer, with many, many dedicated fans, Laini Taylor is kind of ...