Review of Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
I don’t even know where to start…I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!! There were so many twists and turns and straight up roller coaster loops that had my head spinning. So many layers of deception and pain!
Strange the Dreamer, for me, was sooo slow to start. So slow I almost DNF. But everyone kept telling me to push through, and once I passed the 150 page-ish mark, oooweee did it pick up!!
Muse of Nightmares, on the other hand, did not have this problem. Muse grabbed me from the start and I didn’t want to let it go when it ended. When I finished it, I felt absolutely drained, in a good way! My heart was simultaneously full and devastated.
The sequel picks up immediately after Strange ended: Minya is holding Sarai’s essence from drifting away and is essentially calling all the shots. Lazlo is desperate, confused, and afraid. And the citizens of Weep have no idea what’s happening but they are not liking it. And Sarai is, well, a ghost.
There wasn’t a single character I disliked in the duology. All major characters are given rich backstories, something I find rare. Even the newer characters we meeting in Muse felt polished and not simply there to progress the plot.
Lazlo and Sarai…I love them so much! I was seriously impressed with how Lazlo kept his cool as basically his entire world got flipped upside down. Sarai meeting Eril-Fane for the first time gave me goosebumps!
Speaking of Eril-Fane, he was one of my favorites. He is truly a tortured soul and his growth throughout the duology was phenomenal. I could feel his anguish pulsing through the pages.
I also ADORED Minya.
When we finally see her past, it’s clear she embodies so much more than rage. In Strange, I found her to be essentially wicked, but I was very, very wrong. Everything she does is with the ultimate goal of protecting those she loves. She literally carried the lives of so many, and all that pressure almost cracked her. Almost.
AND THE WORLD-BUILDING!
The world-building is absolutely incredible. From the magic system to the portals to other realms (whaaat!?!?!? That was my actual verbal reaction btw), the duology is so well rounded, and yet it didn’t seem overly complex or confusing.
The ending was so beautiful. I especially love that it was so open-ended, though the major storylines were appropriately closed out. I think it’s safe to say that throughout the duology, nothing is really finished, so I’m hopeful we’ll get more from this world in the future.