Muse of Nightmares
by Laini Taylor
my rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Sequel to Strange the Dreamer
synopsis via 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?
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.
ATTENTION: I don’t think there are any spoilers present but if at any point you disagree please let me know.
I’m not even fully sure what I want to say about this besides that it was amazing and everything I wanted plus more. This is 100% how a sequel should go, this book is my new standard.
The first pages introduce you to two new characters named Nova and Kora and at first, I was very anxious to find out what was going on back at the citadel with Lazlo, Sarai, and Minya, I didn’t fully care about these two for about two paragraphs before my feelings changed. These sisters sparked my curiosity because of their love for each other and their dire circumstances and throughout the book I found myself aching to get back to their story. My heart broke for them and I just cheered them on as they continued to hope for a better life.
My favorite thing about this sequel was the complexity about the conflicts, there were no true right and wrong for any of the characters. You could truly empathize with anyone’s motives, I found myself understanding why the characters took the actions that they did. Most of the actions were caused by the trauma that the gods had inflicted and started.
Looking over my notes I saw that I wrote “Minya is the worst villain I can ever imagine,” and while that’s still true, it doesn’t give any justice to the complexity of her character. She was incredibly spiteful and cruel, vindictive and manipulative, but ruled by trauma and nightmares that no one else could ever fully understand. I can’t say that I grew to like Minya but my heart broke for her and I did come to respect her. At the end of the day, she was selfless with her love and devotion.
Laini Taylor’s writing is so beautiful, its something I continue to marvel at after reading 5 of her books. My memory just doesn’t do it justice. There were so many passages that I tabbed and I can’t think of another author that invokes feelings of wistfulness and poetry in me when I read the words “Once upon a time,” I’m so sad that there aren’t any further books of hers for me to read but now I’m really debating on having a Laini Taylor reread marathon with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and rereading this wonderful duology.
Some favorite quotes:
“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song and then I found you and now everything is music,”
“She was sky and night and everything, suns and novas and the surface of the sea.”
“The goddess he met in his dreams and fallen with into the stars,”
“It was like trying to hold on to the reflection of the moon,”