Thursday, December 27, 2018

Book Review: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Published: October 2, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Hardcover Pages: 514

Synopsis: 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.

Thoughts: Here's the thing, I absolutely LOVED Strange the Dreamer, the first book in this series, and included it on my list of my favorite books of 2017. So I suppose I had some high expectations going into this sequel. And while I did still like Muse of Nightmares, I can't say that I loved it nearly as much.

Why is that, you wonder? I think I can boil it down to a couple things, really. Firstly, almost half of the book takes place over the course of one day, whereas Strange felt much more epic in scope and seemed like it was over a much longer period of time. It was just a bit jarring to go from one pace to the other. Secondly, while Strange does feature the blossoming romance between Lazlo and Sarai, Muse pauses to go into a lot of romantic details between them. While some people might enjoy all of that gushy romance, personally, I'm not a huge fan. And it just seemed like there was a lot of it.

Those are really my two main gripes. Now let's get to what I liked! Basically everything else? Ha. This book goes into a lot of the backstory of how the Mesarthim came to be in Weep and what their purpose was. It connects a lot of different mysteries together in a satisfying and intriguing way that honestly just opens up the world to many more stories. I know originally this was supposed to be a duology, but now I'm wondering if there will be more. While it does end in a satisfying way, there is so much potential for more. I don't want to say anything else because it would spoil things.

Now, if you're a fan of Laini Taylor and you haven't read this series yet, I would just say why the heck not? She has such a lyrical way with words, and is able to connect so many threads of stories in cool ways. If you liked the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, I don't think you'd be disappointed in this one. I would say I enjoyed this series more than that one, so take that how you will.

Rating: 4/5

What I'm Reading Next: Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

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