Saturday, July 14, 2018

Review: Muse of Nightmares

Title: Muse of Nightmares
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown BFYR
Release Date: October 2, 2018

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 Timesbestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

Okay, first, I will direct you to my review for Strange the Dreamer if you haven't read it here. If you haven't read the book, please be advised major spoilers for the first book will be in this review.

Strange the Dreamer was one of my absolute favorite reads of 2017, so the wait until now was horrendous. Oh, the pain of getting books early. I read the first book twice, and I'm so glad I did. I will probably end up rereading Muse of Nightmares sometime before the year is up. 

We start off right where Strange the Dreamer ended. Sarai is dead and a ghost. Ruby, Feral, and Sparrow are all in awe of Lazlo suddenly appearing and able to manipulate mesarthium, and then we have Minya.

Ah, Minya. We get a lot more information about Minya with this installment. She's so twisted and deranged, but with everything that happened to her, you can almost understand it.

And then we have Kora and Nova, two new characters introduced at the very beginning. Their story is a background built into gods of Weep. And when they are separated by Skathis 200 years in the past, it starts the chain of events that slowly lead to his downfall. 

I love Laini's worldbuilding. I loved it in Strange the Dreamer, and I'm even happier with it in Muse of Nightmares. There's so much background information, but it never feels like an info dump. And the universe is even bigger and more vast than we could have possibly imagined, jumping through parallel worlds.

We finally learn what happened to all the other godspawn children, and we learn what Skathis' motivation behind everything was. There is even some personal growth for some of the not so nice characters.

With everything that happens, it may be a surprise to everyone that Minya is not the main enemy of the book. I mean, she certainly has a villainous part to play, but all she ever wanted to do was protect the godspawn. It was her entire motivation for everything she ever did. And there is someone out there who is far more perilous than she. But Sarai, being dead, is the only one who can help this person.

I loved it. While this is book is the end of the story, I would love to read more stories set in this world. And I can't wait to read more by Laini Taylor. If you loved any of her pervious books or have enjoyed adult fantasy, you should give this series a go.

4 stars

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