Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Review

Muse of Nightmares Signed Advanced Review Copy by Laini TaylorSummary:

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.

She believed she knew every horror and was beyond surprise.

She was wrong.

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this astonishing and heart-stopping sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

Review: 5 Stars

I love Laini Taylor’s imagination and Strange the Dreamer was one of my favorite books. I found the relationship between Lazlo and Sarai to be full of love rather than lust, plus it was so symbolic that it felt as if they belonged together. The way that Strange the Dreamer ended I NEEDED to read the sequel. I was so excited for this book and I’m glad to say that it lived up to my expectations. As it was great, I feel like it wasn’t AS good as the first.

Where Strange the Dreamer focused mostly on the relationship between Sarai and Lazlo, Muse of Nightmares focused a lot on Minya and her growth as a character. Another character that grew a lot through this story was Thyon. There was also some chapters that introduced a pair of sisters and told their story, which eventually intertwined with Lazlo and Sarai’s story. I found that while both of the books in this series are slow paced, a lot more seemed to happen in Strange the Dreamer and honestly, not nearly as much happened in Muse of Nightmares. While there was a lot of great character development, there wasn’t a ton of action.

While in the first book I loved to hate Minya, in this book I grew to understand her and really love her. Laini Taylor shows us flashbacks to her previous experiences that made Minya into who she was. Minya had some serious PTSD, she was a very damaged character. Rather than being sad, she turned all of her pain into anger and rage. The trauma that Minya went through shaped her into a hateful little girl who was angry on the outside, but suffering on the inside. This is probably one of the best representations of PTSD that I have ever seen.

“It’s the mind. It’s the most complex and astonishing thing there is, that there’s a world inside each of us that no one else can ever know or see or visit.”

Part of what sets Laini Taylor’s books apart from other fantasy authors is that they are so different than anything I have ever read. Her ideas are really creative and her writing brings magical worlds to life. I have been fascinated by the world built in Strange the Dreamer and am glad that I got to see more of it in this sequel. The way that she writes scenes is so vivid and really brings the story to life with her descriptions. What I loved in the first book was the dreamscapes that Sarai created for her date nights with Lazlo. In this book I loved the things that Lazlo did with his newfound power to control mesarithim. These actions that Sarai and Lazlo take are incredibly romantic and really show their feelings for each other more than any words ever could.

“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.”

This romance is probably one of my favorite romances ever. It is slowly built up and rather than a relationship that is about lust, this is one of love. I find that it is so symbolic that she is the Muse of Nightmares and he is Strange the Dreamer, from the beginning of this series I had felt that they belonged together. I am not a fan of unnecessary romances in fantasy novels because I feel like a lot of the time they take away from the plot, but their romance made the book incredible. The way they feel about each other is clearly deep and full of passion.

“The way he looked at her, she felt like some kind of miracle, as though his dreamer’s eyes cast her in their glow of wonder.”

I have needed this book ever since finishing Strange the Dreamer and now I am sad that the series is at an end. There was not as much action in this book, but there was a lot of really incredible character development. Once again Laini Taylor’s world building shines through her writing and brought the impossible to life. While Strange the Dreamer was full of fighting and ended in a nightmare, Muse of Nightmares brought peace and ended in a way that felt like dreams were fulfilled.

Check out my review of the first book in the series, Strange the Dreamer, here!

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