MUSE OF NIGHTMARES (Strange the Dreamer #2)
Written by Laini Taylor
Published by Little Brown, October 2, 2018
My star rating – 4.5 stars
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? FIND IT ON GOODREADS
This book had me feeling so many things! It felt totally different than Strange the Dreamer for some reason, and I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t end up liking it. But, when the last page was turned, I was smiling like a fool and my heart felt full!
The book starts out immediately where Strange the Dreamer left off. Sarai had fallen from the Citadel, Lazlo was Godspawn, and the Citadel was tilted in the sky. I reread Strange before picking this one up, so it felt like I was reading a really long book. But, if it’s been a while since you’ve read the first book, then it will make it easier for you to get in the same spot you left off. There are subtle reminders of how the plot went and how the characters got there, so you won’t be lost.
Being that I read the first book in January of 2017, I had a long time to create theories of where the plot would go. Immediately, things went into a direction I never expected! My jaw hit the floor a few times as things were revealed that were so impossible, terrifying, and heart breaking. I will say though, that with this different direction, the book felt a little different than Strange the Dreamer. In Strange, we were exploring this world and getting a grasp on the situation and the characters. It was so fast paced, unique, and interesting. With this one though, things slow down to focus on the characters, their reactions, and the reality of the Godspawn themselves. We knew in Strange that they were the only Godspawn left after all others were murdered. We knew that there was a citadel floating in the sky, made of soft blue stone, but we had no clue how or why it was there. About halfway through this book I was getting weighed down by the chance of pace and the plot direction. It focused more on the characters, their abilities, their past, and their history. It wasn’t that I was bored, I was just hoping that it would go a little faster. But, about 150 pages from the end, all of these details come into play, the pieces start to come together at lightening speed, and you are captivated by it all.
Because this book is paced slower and focuses more on the history of the Godspawn, this one was more of a character driven book. And let me tell you, it was glorious!!! So many characters were able to learn who they were, what they were capable of, and what they wanted for their future. Literally every character was able to reflect on themselves, and make their own destiny. I can’t express how amazing this was! Laini Taylor captured their thoughts and emotions of each and every character, allowing us to be a part of their transformation, and it was enough to bring tears to my eyes on many occasions. Three in particular being Thyon (the golden boy), and Suheyla (the godslayers mother), and Nova (who you haven’t met yet until this book).
This book also dealt with some really deep and hard hitting issues and emotions. We see hope, freedom, love, family, grief, healing, and so much more throughout this book. We see all of this from the beginning stages all the way through to the end and then a transformation to something else and IT WAS SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL!!! Laini Taylor’s way with words made this book so much larger. She was able to convey emotions and feelings in a way that wasn’t noticeable until you were slammed back and wanting to cry with the heaviness of it all. She made my heart break and swell so quickly that I had to take a step back and let it sink in before I could move on. Quite a few time, especially during those last 200 pages, I had to close the book and just breathe. The ending of this book was one of the absolute best endings I think i’ve ever read. I didn’t move for at least 5 minutes because I needed to compose all of my emotions.
I will absolutely read more of Laini Taylor! Her writing is so effortless, beautiful, and impacting, all without trying. I wanted to show you come of that by leaving a quote from the book. Remember, this is an advanced copy so this may not be the same in the finished copy, but it was too stunning to keep to myself:
Wishes don’t just come true. They’re only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bullseye yourself.
Thank you so much to Hachette Books Canada and Little Brown for this advanced copy. All of my thoughts and opinions within this review are my own and are uninfluenced.
Until next time, happy reading!