I’ve tried really hard to make this review more than just incoherent babbling, and I’m not sure I’ve succeeded.
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 gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.
As usual, Laini Taylor’s writing has blown me away. I don’t know how she does it, but every sentence she writes has a purpose, and that purpose seems to be destroying my heart. Whether it is the beautiful prose, the intricate worldbuilding and storytelling, the heartbreaking character arcs, or the sweet moments between the characters, her writing always leaves me in awe.
Muse of Nightmares itself, now that I’m done obsessing over the author, is a fantastic book filled with backstory, love, heartbreak, and healing. It has the characters we grew to love (and maybe hate a little) in the first book but also introduces new and vitally important characters. It was so intriguing to see how the new characters, specifically Kra and Nova, fit into the overarching storyline. Minya was always the character that I love to hate in Strange the Dreamer, and that held true for a lot of this book too. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the character development she and Sarai experience is amazing (also, shoutout to Eril Fane and his development).
I love the way Laini Taylor makes everything feel connected, even between this duology and her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. The little loose ends in Strange were tied off nicely in this book, and the new plot twists she introduced in Muse were mostly resolved by the end of the book. I think she left some things open to our imagination and maybe for some future books down the line (please??).
It is really difficult to talk about this book without spoiling anything or discussing important plot points, so I feel like I should stop here before I accidentally say something I shouldn’t. But please, if you have read this book and want to talk about it in more detail, send me a message on Goodreads or leave a comment to this post.
Also, head over to Sarah Enni’s First Draft podcast to check out an awesome interview with Laini Taylor. I’m not affiliated with this podcast, I’m just a fan!