Welcome to my stop on the Muse of Nightmares blog tour! To celebrate the paperback release, I’m bringing you a review of this gorgeous fantasy novel. Judging by my overwhelming love of Strange the Dreamer, it’s no surprise that I absolutely adored the concluding book in Laini Taylor’s latest duology. Take a look at my thoughts below, and don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free for Muse of Nightmares, but will contain mega, earth-shattering spoilers for Strange the Dreamer. You can read my review of the first book here.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 04 April 2019
Genre: YA fantasy
Page count: 511 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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?
I absolutely adored Strange the Dreamer when I read it in 2017, but I read it when I was in the exact, perfect mood. I’ve been waiting for the right time to read Muse of Nightmares so I could recapture the magic of Taylor’s prose, and it was worth the wait. Taylor’s writing is absolutely stunning and fairy tale-esque, and the story flows seamlessly from Strange the Dreamer into Muse of Nightmares. When I pick up a sequel a year or more after reading the first book, I often find a disconnect that I sometimes struggle to overcome – it often feels like I’ve been away from the story for too long. However, this wasn’t the case in Muse of Nightmares. It felt like I had never left the world of Weep, and that fact shows just how skilled Taylor is as a writer. Although the story has a very different feeling from Strange the Dreamer, I tumbled right in and absolutely adored it.
I’m so happy this book focuses on Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares herself. I like Lazlo Strange well enough, although I find him a little underwhelming, but I absolutely fell in love with Sarai in the first book — she’s so complex, big-hearted,and spirited (no pun intended). For me, she’s the shining star of this duology and one of the best characters in YA fantasy. With her horrifying death and subsequent resurrection as one of Minya’s ghosts, as well as the complications that come with being held by Minya’s power, she becomes even more conflicted and therefore even more interesting. I love the fact that, despite everything, Sarai clings to her compassion and understanding and wants to help ease suffering.
In addition to Sarai, every other character goes through incredible growth in this book. Again, I think it’s a testament to Taylor’s incredibly skill as a writer to build even the most subtle shifts in character into huge overarching changes. Each and every character, no matter who they are and how important they are to the plot, gets so much care and consideration from Taylor. Because of that, the cast of characters in this duology is so incredibly rich and wonderful.
I adored Muse of Nightmares, and this series is one of my absolute favourite YA fantasy series. I am so glad I picked up Strange the Dreamer on a whim back in 2017 because I fell in love with the magic of Laini Taylor’s words.
Want to give Muse of Nightmares a try? You can find it at the following sites (affiliate links):
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Muse of Nightmares paperback blog tour!