Published by Hodder & Stoughton on October 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
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 Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.
This review may contain minor spoilers for Strange the Dreamer. Check out my review for the first book here!
How do you follow up with such a phenomenal book such as Strange the Dreamer? Creating an equally phenomenal sequel, that’s how. Thankfully, Muse of Nightmares was as epic and awesome as the first book, and reading it definitely gave me goosebumps! The book is definitely worth the wait and all the hype, and I’m so thankful I got to read an early review copy.
It’s clear that Laini Taylor knows exactly who her audience is, as she provides exactly the answers that we are all asking at the end of the last book. What will become of the godspawn of the Weep? Where did their powers come from? Will they get the vengeance that they are seeking, and how does Lazlo and Thyon fit into their story? Having all of these explored in detail in Muse of Nightmares was so incredibly satisfying, as Laini Taylor leaves no loose end unturned.
She was a ghost and he was a god, and they kissed like they’d lost their dream and found it.
It was such a lavish experience delving straight into the fantastical world of Mesarthim, picking up exactly where it left off with the blue-skinned goddess Sarai, the librarian Lazlo Strange and the terrifying child-god of vengeance Minya. I loved the character development here for most of the godspawn, including Lazlo’s mysterious past and Minya’s traumatic memories. We find out more about their powers and I loved seeing them use them to their full potential. Minya’s development was one of my favourite things about this book, as we go from fearing her wrath to actually seeing where she is coming from – which is a lot to be send for a vengeful, powerful creature of wrath.
As Strange the Dreamer resulted in a sappy romance, there’s definitely more of the same here. I loved seeing different forms of love explored, whether it’s parental love, family love or the love shared between two people. Sometimes love is not what it seems though, especially the love between family members. In Muse of Nightmares, we see love that results in loss, sacrifice, fear, and of harbouring feelings of anger and resentment which had me feeling so many emotions.
“…If that’s what it means to be a hero, Sarai -” She bared her little milk teeth and snarled, “I’d rather be a monster.”
We are introduced to some new characters here including Nova and Kora, who are close sisters bargained off to the highest bidder. I loved the world that was so different to Weep and was fascinated in how they linked in to the overarching story. The novel switches between scenes happening in Weep, to flashbacks, to Nova and Kora, and also Thyon as well. I did find it a bit jumpy at times, especially as the action switched to these quieter moments of reflection and banter, but it got so intense I was glad to have a reprieve at times.
If you’re wondering whether Muse of Nightmares will live up to Strange the Dreamer, it will definitely exceed them and more. Featuring a fantastical world filled with magic and dreams with lyrical writing, lots of twists and turns and extremely epic action sequences, Muse of Nightmares is definitely one of the best books of 2018. It delivers a satisfying ending to the duology, leaving you wrecked as you turn its very last pages.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Content warnings: rape, child abduction, death, drugging and violence
Muse of Nightmares will be available upon release from Australian bookstores for RRP$19.99 or from The Book Depository.
Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy!
Latest posts by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence (see all)
- The Last Tale of the Flower Bride Review: A Gothic Dark Fairytale - May 3, 2023
- The Issues I Had With It Ends With Us - March 4, 2023
- Nona The Ninth Review: A Challenge to The Brain Cells - January 13, 2023
I didn’t know this was a duology, now I’m excited to read Muse of Nightmares! I enjoyed Strange the Dreamer, but it’s a huge book and took a while for me to get through her beautiful writing <3 I'm glad to hear the ending is statisfying and provided answers to all our questions. Lovely review Jeann!
Tasya @ The Literary Huntress recently posted…Top 5 Wednesday #48: Favorite Magic System
Yay, that makes me so happy that you enjoyed Strange, because this one is even beter omg! Thank you so much Tasya!
Oh gosh. I need to re-read the first book before I can jump on the second. I hardly remember what happened in the first book. Whelp.
Ohhh maybe you can look up a plot recap of the book? That tends to help with me!
AGH I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH.I’M UTTERLY FLOORED BY ITS MAGNIFICENCE. My review is basically going to be all caps and screaming, I swear, I can’t be stopped.Also how is it just so gorgeous?! And I really like that it’s not full on action scenes all the time, because long drawn out battles in fantasy books usually put me to sleep, but this crafted the characters and emotions and settings so so well. And the way everyone changed and grew throughout the book ajfdskald. I love Minya. I accidentally love Thyon (and Ruza ) and thoroughly hope Laini Taylor writes a short story about them finding those dragon eggs (like she did for Night of Cake and Puppets for Zuzana!) and also Calixte is a gIFT. And the ending… so perfect. I have such a book hangover ahhh.
CG @ Paper Fury recently posted…10 Authors I’ve Actually Talked To (Without Freaking Out And Vanishing) Part 2
OMG I KNOW RIGHT? It was so hard to write this review without giving anything away! I loved how it built upon everything we knew from the old book and omg the new characters are amazing! I’m so happy you loved it too Cait!
I cannot WAIT! I sort of breezed through your review because I want to go in blind, but I’m so glad you loved it
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…What’s On My Plate – October 2018
OMGOSH it was so good Tammy! I can’t wait for you to read it too!
I MUST catch up on Laini Taylor. I still have to finish her other series and it sounds like this one is good too. I’m picky with YA & fantasy lately but if this is anything like Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I’m sure I’ll love it.
Braine recently posted…Finally Got My Own #HEA #justgotmarried #blogger #NOLA
I totally know what you mean with being picky with Fantasy series! This one is so fantastic, I think you’ll love it 😀