Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
From Goodreads: 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?
So Muse of Nightmares was absolutely one of my most anticipated reads of this year. I absolutely adored Strange the Dreamer and the gorgeous language woven into it. Everything had a brilliant fairy-tale feeling to it, and I just never wanted the book to end.
Muse was also a beautiful book [I mean just LOOK at the cover]. I loved that we got to delve more into some of the characters, and how Taylor took time to explore the backgrounds of characters like Minya, who is obviously meant to be an antagonist in the series. I love when authors take the time to do this, because it gives readers a chance to get inside an antagonist’s head and understand why they do the awful things that they do. It really helped me see why Minya acts in certain ways, and I liked her chapters so much, even though they were often super-dark.
The other thing that drew me in with this book is seeing the relationship between Lazlo and Sarai develop. Obviously, there were some huge plot twists at the end of Strange… that left everyone in a terrible state of suspense, but I like that we got to see how the characters coped with that and how they tried to move on from it. I’m a little bit disappointed that it wasn’t explored more, since I was almost anticipating the Lazlo, Sarai and Minya problem to be the main driving force in the book, but I guess maybe I’ll just have to live with that.
If there’s anything that did take away from Muse a bit, it was the weird turn the plot took. I wasn’t expecting such a huge twist away from the familiar, and it took me out of the book a little. I liked reading the chapters that were from the POV of a character we haven’t met yet, and trying to figure out how that connected to the main storyline, but at one point it got just so bizarre and different that I struggled to get through portions of the book. Which was a bit of a shame, because I loved the language and writing style and the characters, but the plot just went all strange. Also, there were several occasions when I felt almost as though it was being dragged out a little too long– like things would seem to wrap up and then BAM another disaster strikes so close to the end of the book. And I just felt that, as much as I enjoyed it, it didn’t quite live up to the high expectations I’d placed on it after finishing Strange.
Overall, I’m giving Muse of Nightmares an 8.5/10. I loved the language and the characters and the world-building, but the plot got really strange in the second half of the book and it never quite got as good as Strange the Dreamer did.
Has anyone else read this book or plans to? What are your thoughts on how the series wrapped up? Please don’t post spoilers [or if you do, give a warning first] but let me know what you thought in the comment section below ❤