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Strange the Dreamer #2

Muse of Nightmares

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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.

528 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 2, 2018

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About the author

Laini Taylor

43 books38.1k followers
Hi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out :-) Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It's about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas.

Thanks for reading!!



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Profile Image for Melanie.
1,174 reviews98.8k followers
October 7, 2018

ARC provided by Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

1.) Strange the Dreamer ★★★★★

“I would have chosen you, if they had let me choose.”

Strange the Dreamer was my favorite book of 2017, and Muse of Nightmares is probably going to be my favorite book of 2018. These two books just bring so much love into my heart, and so much hope into my soul. I have no word combinations to ever begin to describe how much this book meant to me, or to do a review worthy of it, but I am going to try.

“Sarai had lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old. For four thousand nights she had explored the dreamscapes of Weep, witnessing horrors and creating them. She was the Muse of Nightmares.”

Whenever I try to give a synopsis for Strange the Dreamer I always say it’s about a librarian who is in love with a lost city, and a girl who only wants to know what love is. Muse of Nightmares is a story all about love, and the different kinds of love that we will experience, and some that we will never experience, in our lifetime. The love between found families everywhere, between siblings both blood and not, between parents both distant and close, between lovers both new and old. And how all this love makes us choose actions that are both good and bad and all the things in-between. Love is truly the most complex force in the entire world, but when someone loves selflessly it can change everything. Sometimes we are unaware of how much power we have inside us, especially when that power is kindled from unconditional love.

“For fifteen years, the people of Weep had lived with the certainty that the monsters were dead, and Eril-Fane had lived with the burden of it…”

And this book picks right up after the harrowing events in Strange the Dreamer. So many of these characters, both blue and not, are dealing with a monumental amount of sorrow and grief. Lazlo, the librarian who has finally found the city that has taken over his heart and mind for his entire life, is going through the greatest amount of changes.

If Strange the Dreamer is about finding the lost city of Weep, Muse of Nightmares is about why no one can remember the city in the first place. We get so much background on so many different worlds, and we get to see them all thread together to create a universe truly unlike anything else. But beautiful and terrible things happen in the name of good and bad, and we get to see pivotal choices be made, that resulted in what happened to Weep.

“Skathis: god of beasts, king of horrors, daughter-stealer, city-crusher, monster of monsters, madman.”

Yet, Muse of Nightmares also introduces you to two new characters: Kora and Nova. They are sisters that were born long before the last Godspawn, but the two stories quickly entangle with each other. And their sisterhood, even though heartbreaking, is so damn beautiful. Laini Taylor really expands on not only this story, but this world and universe too! And you’ll quickly see how this can all be connected to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. And even though this was the final book in this duology, I believe Laini has so much more in store for us.

I’ve been reading stories for over two decades and, in my opinion, Laini Taylor is the best storyteller I’ve ever read. Her words have such a magical impact on me, and I honestly think she has to be a little supernatural to weave words the way she does. (I’m secretly hoping she is fae!) You can just feel so much emotion while reading her passages, like she truly pours every ounce of herself into the words she uses, and I truly think there isn’t another human on earth who can do what she does. The word “beautiful” doesn’t even do her prose justice, so I’ll just say that it’s completely magical, so very immersive, and totally enthralling. She is easily my favorite author of all time.

“The gods had been dead for fifteen years, after all, but their hate had lingered, and ruled in their stead.”

I can’t even believe I’m typing this paragraph, but this book also heavily deals with children in cages, which is something that I truly, with my entire being, wish was only in fiction. Sadly, it’s not. Some of the scenes in this book were a little harder than most, just because of what is going on in 2018, so please be warned going in. Also, trigger and content warnings for war themes, death, torture, graphic blood depictions, slavery, human trafficking, a lot of talk of implied past rape, rape, extreme parental abuse, child abuse, thoughts of suicide, suicide, PTSD, grief, trauma, and sexual content.

Trauma and grief, and how each person deals with those two things very differently, plays a huge role in this book. Yet, this story is a love letter to how we don’t have to be the mistakes of our ancestors. We can change, we can do things differently, and that it’s never too late. And vengeance will always be a driving factor, but you’ll soon realize that nothing, not even redemption, will lessen the feeling of loss. The only thing that can heal is love, but that’s a lesson that is so very hard to learn at times.

“Once upon a time, a sister made a vow she didn’t know how to break, and it broke her instead. Once upon a time, a girl did the impossible, but she did it just a little too late.”

Overall, I’m not sure another story will ever touch me like this duology has. My review doesn’t even do it justice, honestly. This is a once in a lifetime story that I will cherish for the rest of my life. This isn’t just a shining star in literature, but a glowing constellation over the world. If you haven’t picked up Strange the Dreamer, please do so, because I love this series with every bone in my body, with my heart, with my soul, with every fiber of my very being. And remember, it is never too late to start over, and it’s never too late to do good.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

(Forever thankful for Arys, for trading me an ARC of what I'm sure will be my favorite book of 2018! You will never know how much this means to me, but I promise I'll cherish this ARC forever. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you! 💖)
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
October 3, 2018
Good little girls don’t kill. They die.
And Minya was not a good little girl.

I know a lot of us were expecting Muse of Nightmares to be good, but I have to say, this book actually exceeded my expectations. I have a lump in my throat and I can't stop thinking about it. I usually spend time making detailed notes while reading a book but, at one point, I opened Notes on my computer just to type "oh fucking god, this is so good".

No spoilers, of course. The beginning opens by introducing us to two new characters - Kora and Nova - and their compelling story eventually becomes deeply-entwined with the main plot in ways that were unexpected, thrilling, and sad.

If you are that sort of reader, this is definitely a crying book. There is one scene - you'll know it when you come to it - that was so heartbreakingly emotional that I had to put the book down for a few minutes to organize my feelings. Taylor creates such strong ties between characters that it feels like a physical, painful thing when those ties are broken.

The story at the heart of Muse of Nightmares continues Strange the Dreamer in that it's about discovering the origins of Weep and the floating citadel. What really happened all those years ago? How did five half-human children survive the Carnage and become trapped in a secret prison?

Finding out opens up doors to horrors and, let me tell you-- some parts of this are really creepy.
The little girl thrummed with a dark fervor, eyes big and glazed, breath fast and shallow, skin seeming to crackle with a barely contained energy. In a baleful singsong that sent chills down Sarai’s spine, she said, “You shouldn’t be in here,” and Sarai didn’t know if she meant in the nursery or in the dream, but the words, the tone, seemed to slide into a dance with the unmoored shadows and the thrum, and it was all getting faster and louder, and the shadows were closing in, and a terrible dread stirred in her.

Taylor tells the story in parts, through different perspectives, and these eventually come together to form a whole. The plot and world here are pretty dense, but that made it even more rewarding for me when I discovered how everything was connected. It's such a complex, thoughtful and imaginative plot, quite unlike anything I've ever read before.
When a hundred sets of eyes pin you in place, and all of them see the same thing, how can you not be that thing? The Tizerkane looked at children and saw monsters, and Minya’s darkest self rose to the challenge.

Older characters continue to fascinate, while the new additions bring something fresh and exciting to the story. Minya, for one, is such a fantastic messed-up character, and we get to delve deep inside her mind (literally!) in this book. Cute side relationships between Ruby and Feral, and Calixte and Tzara, offer some much-needed light and happiness, too.

I think, overall, this is just a really great book. It's well-plotted, it's unique, and it's... maybe not the end(?) 🤞


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Profile Image for chai ♡.
322 reviews156k followers
August 11, 2022
This book holds more beauty and wonder than many places in the world, and I wish I could find some way to hook myself to this world, and never leave.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
302 reviews40.2k followers
November 8, 2018
Wow. I am in awe of Laini Taylor's ability to craft such a magical world, beautiful characters and fascinating plots. I loved every minute of this journey, and now that I've finished, I'm just so impressed by how the author tied up this series. WOW indeed.

Now to reread this series again!
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51.7k followers
September 29, 2022
I'm a sloooow reader. Between February 19th and August 17th I read two books. Two.

Then I picked up this book on Monday 17th and had it finished on Wednesday.

The key difference was that the previous two books did not DEMAND my time. I gave it to them grudgingly in very small bursts when other diversions were denied to me. Taylor's writing though is so compelling I just can't stop reading it.

The biggest ingredient in this paper-based crack is, for me, the prose. I shouldn't let my personal love of world-class word-smithing overshadow the fact that the story and the characters are also superb though.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to this second (final) book after absolutely loving the first. Likely it was fear of being disappointed - a lack of faith that the story had interesting places to go. That fear was misplaced. Book 2 is full of novelty, imagination, and earned emotion.

Like the eponymous hero of book 1 the narrative itself is constantly seeking the good in people and swerving perspective so that we can see it too. It's a feel-good book without being too in-your-face with it or saccharine, but it's also a feel-good book with very sharp edges and the constant threat of plunging into the abyss - and of course, not everybody's story ends well, or we wouldn't value those that do.

Putting my critical hat on there is very little to say. I guess the "lots of people have a random power" idea has been and is being thoroughly explored in book/film for quite a while now. From the X-Men to The Boys, Umbrella Academy and Project Power we're used to the idea. But like all such things, the important part is the execution and Taylor does that with such heart and skill that you will forgive the Human Torch and Ice Man analogues.

In the end some resolutions involve a complex stacking and meshing of powers that could be pleasingly devious or overly contrived depending on your point of view. But I loved it and I think most readers will.

Go try the first book and pause only for a breath before diving into the next because it's just as good.

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Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
382 reviews1,010 followers
January 31, 2023
Re-read with Lynn and Alison ... Because we can't only read the first one! AHHHHHHHH! :D

“There comes a certain point with a hope or a dream, when you either give it up or give up everything else. And if you choose the dream, if you keep on going, then you can never quit, because it's all you are.”



This is what I looked like on release day. In fact, I didn’t even wait for the school day to end before bolting to the bookstore in excitement. Who cares about class when you could be picking up your most anticipated release of 2018?!

And can I just say how SATISFYING it is when…not only does the aforementioned release meet your expectations…but it completely surpasses them and blows them out of the water?!!! Every time, I think, “there’s no way that Laini could top this”, and every time, I’m proven wrong! The woman is a master wordsmith and I aspire to be her apprentice one day! The writing style was obviously beautiful and magical, as Laini’s always tends to be. I also really enjoyed the witty banter from all of the characters!

This was definitely a more plot-driven novel, in comparison with the character-driven Strange the Dreamer. And whereas, the first instalment revolved around Lazlo and we spent the majority of the time in his head, this sequel was definitely Sarai’s book (although I won’t lie…I kind of missed Lazlo, as we didn’t spend quite so much time with him *sad face*). This makes sense though, seeing that Lazlo’s book is Strange the Dreamer and Sarai’s is Muse of Nightmares.

Having said that, the plot was bloody brilliant. The foreshadowing was mind-blowing and the world-building was massive with multiple worlds and dimensions. And the references to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy!!! Everything is connected and Laini Taylor is my world-building goddess. It was just TOO GOOD!

“Those seraphim who escaped into the neighbour world Eretz managed to hold the portal closed, and they held it to this day, pouring their strength into shoring up their sky to keep the darkness at bay. A bold young queen in that distant world was even now training a legion of angels and chimaera to battle the darkness and hopefully destroy it. But that’s another story.”

I’d also like to point out that the chapter titles in this book are GLORIOUSLY HILARIOUS! For example: “Tea Break from the End of the World” or “From a Long Line of Indignant Nostrils” or “A Man Who Loves You Enough to Come Back to You Even When You’re a Biting Ghost”!!! I shall forever refer to Thyon as “Indignant Nostrils”, by the way. xD

Ruza snorted. “But I am a stupid barbarian?”
“Did I say so?”
“You say it with your face.”
“That’s just his face,” said Calixte in a pretence of defending him. “He can’t help having indignant nostrils. Can you, Nero? You probably come from a long line of indignant nostrils. Aristocrats are issued them at birth, along with haughty eyes and judgmental cheeks.”
“Judgmental cheeks?” repeated Ruza. “Can cheeks be judgmental?”
“His manage.”


“People are our safe places. I have one: a person who’s a home and a world to me.”



“The way he looked at her, she felt like some kind of miracle, as though his dreamer’s eyes cast her in their glow of wonder.”

The novel picks up right where Strange the Dreamer left off. Laini Taylor drowned me in a gorgeous world with rich mythology and beautiful characters…and then left me in emotional turmoil. Thanks, oh so much! xD I took my time and savoured this faery tale of a story. I want more and hope that she delivers one day, especially considering the open ending that we were given. Laini’s ruined me for all other fantasy authors for the years to come and I’ll spend my days counting down to her next magical release.

“Wishes don’t just come true. They’re only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bull’s-eye yourself.”

We learn SO MUCH history about the city that fascinated Lazlo since childhood…Weep, the city that he studied meticulously, and was unknowingly a part of (AND WE FINALLY LEARN ITS TRUE NAME). Lazlo learns to use his fascinating new powers and to embrace who he truly is. He is no longer the shy and meek librarian that he once was. Sarai, Feral, Sparrow, and Ruby also finally learn about the world below the Citadel that they’ve always been kept hidden from. Minya, so broken and so wrathful, is also forced to finally face the Godspawn-hating world that she’s tried to protect them from. She also holds Sarai’s very existence in her hands, giving her even more power over the Godspawn and Lazlo. She has the ultimate bargaining tool.

“For an instant, at least, they seemed one and the same, as though all anguish exists in the same deep well, no matter what loss or misfortune leads us to it. We might be at odds, hate each other, and desired each other’s destruction, but in our despair, we are lost in the same darkness, breathing the same air as we choke on our grief.”

But despite that…every single “villain” in this duology gets a redemption arc, which RIPPED MY HEART OUT. They all had tortured pasts and were forced to do awful acts in order to empower themselves, which was so heart-breaking to witness. There was so much rage and pain and MY HEART HURTS. So, I guess, I’m now a shell of myself…

“You’re the good kind of faranji, I suppose.”

“Oh yes,” she said. “Very good. I even taste good, or so I’m told.”

He was focused on not falling to his death, and so he missed the mischief in her voice. “Taste,” he scoffed. “I suppose they’re cannibals. Who’s calling them barbarians now?”

Calixte laughed with delighted disbelief, and it was only then, too late, that Thyon took her meaning. Oh gods. Taste. He flung back his head to look up at her, nearly losing his balance in the process.

She laughed harder at the shock on his face. “Cannibals!” she repeated. “That’s good. I’m going to start calling Tzara that. My sweet cannibal. Can I tell you a secret?” She whispered the rest, wide-eyed and zestful: “I’m a cannibal, too.”

The faranji! My beloved faranji! They were amazing! Calixte and Tzara, Thyon and Ruza. Ah, their dynamics warm my heart. The sass…the humour! And to think I hated Thyon in Strange the Dreamer! His character development was honestly amazing and everything I ever wanted! My only complaint is that they had such small and insignificant roles here. I was definitely left wanting more! Eril-Fane, Azareen, and Suheyla were also highlights for me. I’m so happy with how their storylines wrapped up. It was beautiful. <3 And of course, KoraandNova’s storylines made me cry. It’s just not fair what Laini Taylor does to me. My heart cannot handle all of these emotions!!! She left me SOBBING at multiple points in the book!!!

“The gods had been dead for fifteen years, after all, but their hate had lingered, and ruled in their stead.”

This duology had so much mythology in it that Laini Taylor could’ve definitely stretched this into more than two books, and honestly, I wish that she had. But no matter. This was a fantastic and satisfying conclusion. The ending was also left open enough that it provides hope that someday, we’ll be given more stories in this brilliant world. All I want to see is a crossover of Strange the Dreamer with Daughter of Smoke and Bone! Is that too much to ask? ;)


“You should have seen them, Thyon said. "It was surreal." As an afterthought, he added, "Though I can't believe none of them rode the dragon."

"I know!" said Ruza. "What was Azareen's thinking, choosing a winged horse when she could have a dragon?"

"I don't think she was really focused on which creature was best," said Tzara. 

"You shouldn't have to focus on it," said Ruza. "It's instinctive. Dragons are always best.”

I also heard that Laini is considering writing a Thyon and Ruza novella (much in the vein of Zuzana and Mik in Night of Cake & Puppets) about hunting for dragon eggs, which I need ASAP! :D

I swear, every time I read a Laini Taylor book, I’m like, “This one! This one’s now my favourite!” xD How do her books just keep getting better and better?!!! Needless to say, this book has replaced Days of Blood & Starlight as my favourite book of all time! <3 I can’t wait to re-read this again next year!!!

Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
February 14, 2020
‘once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then i found you, and now everything is music.’

i am so enchanted with this story, which lives and breathes magic. ‘muse of nightmares’ is the inspiration for dreams and the home of beauty. it is the sequel i have been desperately waiting for.

my love for ‘strange the dreamer’ came entirely from lazlo. he was such a delight. a reader, a dreamer, a man after my own heart. i loved following him on his journey and seeing his progression into becoming the man he wanted to be. so i was beyond excited to be reunited with him again and see how his story continued.

and even though i got that, it wasnt to the extent i was hoping for. i wouldnt exactly say lazlo took a backseat in this, but there was a lot more to this book that took some of the attention away from him. where ‘strange the dreamer’ was primarily character driven, ‘muse of nightmares’ was all about the world building and storytelling. new characters and events were introduced, which played a pivotal role in how and why the world of weep is the way it is. i enjoyed how many of the questions i had from the first book were answered, and in a way that was mesmerising. the writing quality of this story is unparalleled. open to any page and you will be immediately transported into a world of wonder and awe. and because of that, reading this was such a captivating experience, right until the very last word.

and i feel quite content with the ending. i thought everything was wrapped up nicely, but also gave some room for an additional book. which i hope if the case, because i will always need lazlo, my dreamer, in my life. <3

4 stars
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
June 7, 2020
My heart is so. Full!


Initial review.

This is how I woke up feeling this morning.


I thought I could not review Strange the Dreamer properly because of how much I loved that book and though I did kinda manage to review it, I’m not even going to try with this one.

My mind is exhausted. Laini Taylor had a field day with it and I am wiped. The reading experience I had with these books could be summed up in two words: healing and spiritual.

I can’t wait to revisit this world and all it encompassed, but that’s for another time. When I think I can handle it again.

Go and bless your souls with these book. That’s all I’m going to say.

Over and out.


Rambles and thoughts. 💭

Look at this beaut though, jeezus! 😍


I'm currently in the process of reading Strange the Dreamer and wanting this book already even though I'm not even half-way through book one.

US cover is great and all but let's be real, UK cover.. >>>>>>>>>

*Possibly. This could go really wrong. Potentially. Highly doubt it, because UK cover > US cover. 🙃
Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,083 followers
May 13, 2019
Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. I am always mesmerized by how much emotion a single word can carry and Laini Taylor has honed that skill to perfection. Her writing is truly divine. Every time I read one of her books I never fail to notice that she uses words so perfectly that not a single phrase could have been written any better. Every sentence seems near musical and not a single one is out of place. Words simple seem to do her bidding and I am forever in awe. Inconsequential of the characters, the plot, and the story, her writing is simply magical.

This book and the last were both absolutely fantastic and are on my favorites list. The characters are beautifully written and I love every single one of them from this world to the next and back. Lazlo Strange is everything that's right in the world personified in one body. His character is one of my favorite things about this series and even though so much happens in this book and the last he maintains a central role in the story which I absolutely loved. Sarai, Sparrow, Feral, and Minya each have remarkably different personalities and watching them revolve around one another and now Lazlo is fascinating. We also see Eril-Fane, Azareen, Thyon Nero, Calixte, and Suheyla and all of them play amazing roles in this story however simple they might be.

The story is exceptionally narrated. Every single part of the book contains so much emotion about love, loss, and heartbreak. If you think about it, the story is fundamentally very simple but the abundance of emotion that follows every instance is what makes the book so uniquely beautiful. Every character brings out more emotion from the person they’re standing next to and even when all we hear is the thoughts of one character the depth of emotion that is infused into it is unbelievable.

This book reveals a lot more about the past of the godspawn and a few new characters are introduced in this world. We see so much more about Minya in terms of her character and the burden she bears and I loved the part she plays in this story. In this book, Laini Taylor switches between the story and characters that we already know and another story from this universe’s past. This story takes place before that of Lazlo and Sarai and watching this story collide with ours in the present is breathtaking.

I loved every single sentence in this book and will miss this series dearly. I obviously give this book 5 stars and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Profile Image for l..
491 reviews2,137 followers
January 5, 2022
When your most anticipated read of 2018 actually lives up to all your high expectations, and you still feel its traces of beauty and wonder on every surface of your mind and soul, long after you’ve finished reading it.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
425 reviews1,641 followers
May 3, 2020
3.5 Stars

“It’s the mind. It’s the most complex and astonishing thing there is, that there’s a world inside each of us that no one else can ever know or see or visit.”

BEFORE y’all judge me for giving Queen Taylor anything less than 4 stars, please remember I am cynical and dead inside, thank you.

Okay, but for real. Laini Taylor’s writing is decadent, tightly-crafted and flawless. And if I was just rating this book for her ability to stream words together into sentences so beautiful they make my soul cry… she gets all the stars.

“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.”

“There comes a certain point with a hope or a dream, when you either give it up or give up everything else. And if you choose the dream, if you keep on going, then you can never quit, because it's all you are.”

(I mean CMON. Just look at that)

But that’s not all a book is. I’m not saying this book is bad. Because there are still some great things-- and I’m still in love with all the characters. This entire cast is precious and you root for literally everyone. Lazlo is still a dweeb, but he’s my dweep. Minya is still morally-challenged, but you feel for her and her expanding backstory. Ruby is underrated. Sarai’s arc didn’t make sense but she’s adorable and I love her.

AND I would just like the record to state that I recognized Thyon’s potential back when the first book came out and y’all all hated him. But he totally reaches it here in an unexpected side-plot that I loved. So you owe me and him a formal apology, please and thank you.


Whyyyy does everything have to be about saving the world and preventing complete and total apocalypse??? The stakes were simply too high. The first book had already worked to establish these characters and plenty of conflict, I just don’t understand why the ante had to be raised to an unbelievable point.

Why was there SO much romance?? Look, I love the characters, I love their chemistry, and I genuinely love the romance. I just don’t want to read a make-out scene and blissed out happiness every other chapter for an entire book. It was repetitive I’m sorry. I just think some of those scenes would have held more impact they’d trimmed the fat a little bit.

In Conclusion:

I’m sure I had more thoughts but it’s been a year, y’all. This book doesn’t quite live up to the first. Problems are solved too easily (without real pay-out other than some repetitive scenes) and then the stakes are raised dramatically again. But these characters are some of my favorite, Taylor’s writing is astounding and it’s definitely not bad.


Buddy Read with the fantabulous Mary! ✨💕
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews560 followers
September 23, 2021
"How Not to Act Like a Supercilious Gulik to Your Barbarian Hosts."

Going to keep this one short. After appreciating Laini Taylor's imagination, prose, and world building thrice with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and again with Strange the Dreamer, it is redundant to repeat the same things over an over again. Muse of Nightmares picks up from the last twist in plot we encountered at the end of Strange the Dreamer. But that's not all: we are finally getting the backstory of the first book, using an independent plotline to explain how everything came to be prior to godspawn. I'm not a big fan of heavy romance in Fantasy, and it felt a little repetitive to go through Strange's romance life with Sarai, but it was nothing intolerable. Other than that, the plot was quite good, and the author brought the two plotlines together at the last. When compared to the first, I think I liked the first book a little more, but this was not that behind.

"Disaster makes strange bedfellows."
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
February 3, 2019
Wishes don't just come true. They're only the target you paint around what you want. You still have to hit the bulls-eye yourself.

i’m telling you up-front that i’m not going to write a “proper” review for this one. talking about the plot would sound like gibberish to someone who hasn’t read Strange the Dreamer, and if you are a person who has read Strange the Dreamer and aren’t planning to read this one, you should see a doctor about that.

this book made my jaw drop. more than once.

this is everything i want out of a book, out of a reading experience. it’s immersive, it’s well-constructed, it’s lyrical and dark and sad and sad and sad.

no one can touch laini taylor when it comes to setting up obstacles. they are traps within traps, and there were more than a few instances in this book where i was left stunned, wondering, “well, how you gonna get ‘em out of this one, lady?” and her solutions were never cop-outs. they were never cheap. there is always a cost.

this book is so intricate, so tight. i am dying to see laini taylor’s vision board. 

for the record, one of my jawdrops was a result of her tying this series to her daughter of smoke and bone trilogy because WHO COULD HAVE ANTICIPATED THAT???? i got to that part around 3 am and just stilled, afraid to break the ‘oh my god, did that just happen?’ spell.

her writing gives me all the happy shudders. she’s light lacy prose and delicate touch, but then she’ll kick you in the heartballs when you’re least expecting it. she does love a dramatic declaration, she loves a foamy description, she loves writing sentences that you know fans are gonna get tattooed over and over.

Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.

yeah, it's borderline cheesy, but it rouses something. because she offsets the prettily poetic with such brutality, such blistering raw anguish, it’ll leave you hollow.

There comes a certain point with a hope or a dream, when you either give it up or give up everything else. And if you choose the dream, if you keep on going, then you can never quit, because it's all you are.

that one’s maybe too big for a tattoo, but damn, it’s delicious.

i think, with this book, she has edged into first place in my “favorite YA authors” rankings. she’s probably in my top ten authors, the 'of all-time' edition. if there are any adult readers out there who are still reluctant to edge into YA because you’re all grown and that, grow up out of that mindset because this is better than most “adult” books i have read. it’s immediate, it’s compelling, she doesn’t offer easy answers, she’s a master of flow, and man - she knows how to end a chapter with a bang.

this one takes the foundation of Strange the Dreamer and develops it into entirely unexpected directions - offering redemption for some ‘misunderstood’ characters, introducing new badasses while keeping the old, and spackling on more context to things we thought we understood in the first book but now realize were only the iceberg’s tip. there’s a little too much of the breathless romance for my particular tastes, but i’m a ‘yuk, kissing’ kind of girl (in my reading), so i’m used to squinting past it.

it’s perfect. just perfect.

and even if this is the end of this story (although please god, no), i know that whatever she does next will be just as good. and if it is a continuation of this one that also brings in karou and them, i might explode into a large quantity of goo.

which is fine by me.

perfect book. review to come.

well, it turned out to be 2018, and despite how much my soul was howling for this book to be released, i haven't managed to get to it until now. but i am just as excited now as i ever was.

bring it on, taylor!

does "2016" mean i will be celebrating in three months or crying for fourteen?

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
Want to read
May 9, 2015
The need is real. So very real.
Profile Image for chloe.
246 reviews28.5k followers
October 27, 2018
2nd read: Oct 2018 (audiobook)
Ugh I just love this series SO MUCH.

1st read: Sep 2018
THIS WAS EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE AND MORE. It honestly feels like my heart is going to explode. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH!!! It's pure ✨ MAGIC

Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy!
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
February 6, 2023
This was glorious.

It's been 5 years without a new Laini Taylor book!
A glorious fantasy, full of pain, heartbreak, redemption and love. Possibly slightly undermined by a too neat ending? I haven't quite decided yet.

This is how you write a sequel - you introduce a set of new intriguing characters with an expansive history of their own, and link their journey with the story of Weep, and make the whole thing 10 times fuller and more brutal.

Frankly, I hadn't been super excited to go back to the conflict at the end of Strange the Dreamer. Lazlo/Minya standoff felt more or less of a forgone conclusion to me. But then Laini opened Muse of Nightmares on a new world, with two wonderful sisters who love each other and want to escape their small lives, and I was hooked and didn't want to go back to Weep. Things unfolded in Weep (and above it) slowly and not nearly as excitingly as in Nova and Kora's world. That is until the two worlds came together and exploded into so much drama, I could barely take it.

I don't think you'll be disappointed in this sequel. You'll finally find answers to all the burning questions. You'll learn to love characters you hated before and you'll hate some that you thought you loved. And then there is Laini's absolutely gorgeous writing...

An absolute delight to experience.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
November 29, 2020
”Many a choice is made this way: by pretending it makes itself. And many a fate is decided by those who cannot decide.”

If I’d have to describe “Muse of Nightmares” with just one word, it either would be “stressful” or “gruelling”. *lol* Because quite honestly from the moment I opened this book and started to read it, it gave me nothing but anxiety. >_< The super tense situation between Lazlo, Sarai and Minya at the beginning of the book already had me gnawing at my nails and with every sentence I read it only seemed to get even worse.

And if that plot line wouldn’t have killed me already there needed to come another story line into play. It was an interesting one, I can admit as much, but boy it certainly wasn’t any less stressful than the main storyline with our blue children. *lol* So yes, throughout this entire book I was a bundle of nerves and even after finishing it I’m still kind of well... nervous?! This definitely should have come with a stress warning or something. XD

Anyway! I guess it’s safe to say that “Muse of Nightmares” threw me for a loop and even though it wasn’t what I expected it was still damn good! Laini Taylor created such a vivid world with plenty of wonderful characters and I just love them all! From Lazlo to Sarai, from Feral to Ruby, to Sparrow, Eril-Fane and Azareen, right to Calixte, Tzara, Ruza and Thyon. Gosh, they are all my children and everything I want is just one more book in which I can follow them on their journey! <333 (Any chance there’s going to be a third book, Laini?! ;-P)

This said let’s head to the part of my reviews I always love the most! My characters section! ;-)

The characters:

Welcome to Weep! The city whose true name changed when the gods and their wrath came down on it! Be careful when you enter the streets, there will be lots of spoilers and gods that might catch you unawares. ;-P Don’t go in there if you haven’t read the book already!


”She wanted to move, delirious, forgetting what was real and what was looming, and find some way to hook herself to this world, this moment, and never leave. She wanted to taste and feel and ache, and she wanted to weep, too, for all she’d lost and would yet lose.”

I was so heartbroken by the ending of the first book and I think I still am. I mean even though Sarai is a ghost now and Minya is tethering her to earth she’s still not truly alive. What was done to her in this book was so cruel and her despair and fear was so tangible it gave me anxiety. This poor girl that only wanted peace, tormented by a person that raised her and should have loved and cared for her. It was just too much! So much misery and hate. It really killed me to see Sarai struggle like that and I just wanted to help her somehow. I’m kind of glad things changed so drastically towards the ending because urgh... I couldn’t have taken to see Sarai hurt even more. >_<


”He had, in his hearts, declared war on the dark child, but Lazlo was no warrior, and his hearts had no talent for hate.”

My poor and brave boy got a brief taste of hatred and it almost destroyed him. T_T Lazlo is too innocent and pure to hold on to an emotion like that and it became more than just apparent when he had to face Minya. I swear, to live with Lazlo and Sarai, to see their love and to be unable to help them was pure torture! And through it all he still held on to his beliefs. He didn’t give up and he didn’t give into Minya’s demands even though it almost killed him to do so. Gosh, I love Lazlo so much! <333 He’s still the purest soul I ever read about and I just wanted him to be happy, but nope after Minya’s torture the goddess Nova had to enter the scene and I think I died about a thousand deaths with Lazlo when she forcefully took him away from Sarai. T_T Seriously, my stress level was so high when I read this book. No kidding. XD I’m just glad Lazlo somehow managed to get through it all and that he was able to keep his innocent flame alive. <33 The world really needs more Lazlo Strange’s!

”I belong here,” he said, feeling the truth of it all through him. With Sarai, whom he loved, and with others like himself, and with the metal, too. It had awakened a dimension of him that he had never known existed, a whole new sense, as real as sight or touch.”

”Impossible?” Lazlo gave a soft laugh and shake of his head. “There must be things that are impossible. But I don’t believe we’ve gotten there yet. Look at us. We’ve barely begun. Sarai, we’re magic.”

Just because the power is mine, it doesn’t follow that al the choices are.”


”This was what Minya knew: Have an enemy, be an enemy. Hate those who hate you. Hate them better. Hate them worse. Be the monster they fear the most. And whenever you can, and however you can, make them suffer.”

I still hate Minya and at the beginning of the book I wanted to strangle her!! The things she did, how she hurt Sarai and Lazlo! It wasn’t right and she should have been stopped! It was so frustrating to see her hatred and to watch how she made Lazlo and Sarai suffer! The worst thing was not to be able to do anything against it! It made me feel really helpless and I started to loathe her even more than I already did. I understand why Minya is the way she is, but even a saint would have been tempted to kill her if given the chance. This girl only knew wrath and she didn’t even listen to the voices of reason. She just blocked them out and ignored everyone who had a different opinion. I really thought she’d never change her mind and if Nova wouldn’t have shown up she probably would have continued on her dark path. I guess Nova’s presence finally put things into perspective and this only just because she was even worse. >_< Urgh! Let’s hope Minya continues on the right path and that getting rid of all those negative emotions that came along with the souls she trapped will make her a better person in the long run. Optimism! See, I’ve taken a page out of Lazlo’s book. *lol*

”She believed it was rage, only and always rage, but that was the costume it wore, because fear was weakness, and she had vowed to never again be weak.”

”This was different. Sarai and Lazlo were pieces on the game board, and there was everything at stake. If they wanted their pleasure, their honey heat and little sounds, they could earn it with obedience.”


”Thyon knew this smell. For all that he was a duke’s son, born in a castle, with a palace of his own gifted him by the queen, he was a scholar, too and he lived this smell. It was unmistakable. Universal. It was books.”

Now that’s how you write a believable redemption arc!!! Of course Thyon didn’t become a better person overnight but by making new friends and finally opening up to them he started to show his true colours. I wouldn’t say the person beneath all that cold exterior was a completely different person but there were good parts of Thyon he never dared to show and in “Muse of Nightmares” they eventually got a chance to shine. =) There’s some soft part of him that only wanted to be loved and to be a part of things and his friendship with Calixte, Tzara and Ruza kind of helped him to understand himself better. Sometimes it needs the reflection of others to see who you truly are. ;-) So I definitely liked this Thyon better than the one in the first book and I’d have loved to see even more of him. (Hence my wish for a third book. *lol*)

“Thyon, earthbound, felt every choice he'd made, every action he'd taken, as a weight he carried with him. He wondered: Was it weight he could shed or throw off, or was it forever a part of him, as much as his bones and his hearts?”

”Will this help?” he asked, breathless. “Is it... is it enough?”

The relationships & ships:

Sarai & Lazlo:

”He reached for her, and she gave up all resistance.
The others watched, transfixed, as she melted against him, sweetly heavy and his to hold. Their eyes closed, and they rested their foreheads together as they breathed soft words from each other’s lips.”

First of all: Minya interrupting their kiss in the way she did was unforgivable! Like seriously!! Who does things like that? URGH! I suffered so, so, so, so much with Sarai and Lazlo it’s not even normal anymore! I just wanted those lovebirds to be together but first Minya had to get between them and then Nova had to jump right into the fun too! ARGH! I swear this book killed me and gave me an entirely new level of stress I didn’t even know a book was capable of giving. *lol* Despite it all they still found ways to be together and to spend a few sweet and very precious moments in each other’s company. I loved them so much and how I raged against Nova with Lazlo when she took him away from Sarai. Poor Lazlo! The amount of despair I went through while I followed this pair through this book is tremendous. *lol* I’m all anxiety and bitten nails. *takes a deep breath* I’m so glad things worked out in the end and that Lazlo and Sarai could be together but I’m still kind of bummed by the fact that Sarai is still a ghost who’s bound to Minya. I just hope that they found a world in which they could give her soul a real body gain. Lazlo and her would deserve it! <333

”They could be wrenched apart by Minya, though, at literally any moment, and their hearts felt ragged, frayed by desperation and the thoughtless drub of time.”

”He was careful with her. This wasn’t a time for wildfires. She wanted his dreams and he wanted to draw her into such safety and splendor as only he could make for her, not in the world, but out of it, in their world.”

”She gave words back to him, murmuring, and kept them, too. You could do that: Give them back and keep them. ‘I love you’ is generous that way.”

Sarai & Minya & Lazlo:

Sarai shook her head. “I’m not defending him. This isn’t about him. It’s about us, and who we chose to be.”
“You don’t get to choose,” snapped Minya. “You’re dead. And I choose monster!”

To say the relationship between those three was complicated would be an understatement. Sarai still appealed to the good in Minya because she knew it was there buried deep, Lazlo tried to persuade Minya to do the right thing because he was too pure to comprehend such cruelty and Minya. Well, she loved Sarai but she wanted to get her revenge so badly that she would have sacrificed her in a heartbeat. >_< And after all Minya put them through, after all the cruelty and pain this precious snowflake of a boy still shielded her with his own body when they were attacked by Nova. I can’t! I just can’t! Lazlo is an angel, a saint, a unicorn! I think Minya only realized how much Sarai meant to her when she almost died because of Nova. Up to that point it was some sort of game for her, because she was always in control of it, but once she lost that control she finally realized she’d lose Sarai too. They all broke my heart. T_T

”We have to get to the citadel!” she insisted. “I just have to touch it. We just have to get alongside it and touch it.”
Sarai knelt in front of her. “It means so much that you still want to save me,” she said, her eyes filling up with tears. Minya’s eyes filled, too.

Ruza & Thyon:

”He looks like somebody made him, and delivered him in a velvet-lined box. He probably plucks his eyebrows. I don’t know how you could possibly find that attractive.”

AWWWW!! Those two! I never saw this ship coming but I’m so on board with it! <333 I mean Ruza literally compared Thyon to “a new linen napkin that you’re afraid to wipe your mouth on”. *LOL* Like seriously!!! It’s so obvious! And Thyon saying he should keep his mouth away from him. Ahhhh!!! Also let’s not forget that Ruza bandaged his hands! So sweet! I never thought I’d ship Thyon with anyone, but Ruza and he were just too cute! <3 There were so many little moments between them and the fact they always blushed was just adorable. I think I need a third “Strange the Dreamer” book just to see where this might go! XD I’d be totally down for a book about their relationship and I really hope Laini is thinking about it right now. *lol*

”It’s your holy book,” he’d pointed out. “Do you want to get greasy fingerprints all over it?”
“I’ll get greasy fingerprints all over you,” the warrior had muttered, going to do as he was told. Thyon flushing, had pretended not to hear.

”The more fool him, to think he was part of this group. He pushed back from the table to stand, but before he could, Ruza’s hand closed on his. He still wasn’t looking at him, but he had caught his hand so he couldn’t walk away.”

”He looked at him and saw the child he’d been, and he saw the man he was – warrior, prankster, friend – and he felt a warmth that he had never felt before for any other person. It was affection, and something that frightened him, too, that he could feel in his knees and fingertips and face.

Azareen & Eril-Fane:

”After that her days were a fog, and real life was lived at night in a secret cavern with a sword in her hand, blade dancing with a boy who burned with beautiful fire.”

It was really nice to find out about how Azareen and Eril-Fane fell in love, but it was also painful to get a closer look at how the gods destroyed them. They were good and decent people and then Isagol and Skathis came for them and changed the course of their lives forever. Poor Eril-Fane and poor Azareen. They both would have deserved a happy life together but the gods had come to torture them and there was nothing they could have done. It’s no wonder Eril-Fane killed them all. He just didn’t see any other way and only realized what he had done when it was already too late. They made him a monster and he could never escape his past. I grieved so much with them and I’m so glad that they found to each other in the end. <3 They deserve a bright future and after all their suffering they finally got a chance at happiness.

”Every time he looked at Azareen, he had to face the knowledge that his inability to... get over... what had been done to him – and what he had done – had robbed her of the life she deserved. To hear the word sorry from her lips... it made him want to die.”


"Muse of Nightmares” went in an entirely different direction than I anticipated and I never saw any of those events coming. I certainly didn’t expect this book to be so dark and to fill me with so much despair but that’s exactly what happened. I was a nervous wreck throughout the entire story and to read this was really stressful. Still, it might have been different than the first book but Laini Taylor’s writing style is impeccable and I just love this world and its characters! <3
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
701 reviews3,355 followers
November 1, 2018
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Once upon a time, there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.*

An aching, sumptuous, harrowing book. Muse of Nightmares is an exquisite dance of monsters and goddesses, mystery and romance, witchlight and wonder.

More thoughts to come in my June Wrap Up. :D
*Note: Quote taken from an advanced reading copy.
Profile Image for Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~.
350 reviews942 followers
February 2, 2019
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

I feel so weird rounding this book to a 3 stars, but compared to how much I adored the first one I think I would feel even weirder having it displayed as a 4. It was good, and I’m glad I read it. But it didn’t have the same magic for me that the first one had, sadly. 💔
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,048 reviews1,382 followers
October 8, 2018
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.”

🌟 I feel that the above quote describes my feelings toward this book, after so many disappointments this year, this book comes to change everything to music.

🌟 There are good writers who has good writing styles but are not very good plotters (I have a certain author I like in mind). There are those who are great plotters with average writing and then there is Laini Taylor! Excellent writing and great plotting!!!

🌟 I literally can’t find the right words to review this, I find it usually easy to review books in general. Obviously, this had great writing, a great story, great characters great everything.

🌟 I find it weird when someone asks me to describe Laini’s books, DOSAB has teeth, a thurible, angels, monsters and magic. This duology has blue gods, a scholar, a forgotten city and parallel universes. Which reminds me of Laini’s world building, I feel her books are high on the fantasy school in terms of names and descriptions and characters. That makes them very unique and stand out among the thousands of books released every year.

🌟 I also have a very soft spot for any book that has “A once upon a time” sentence and Laini is the queen when it comes to using this kind of openings.

🌟 DOSAB is still my favorite book by the author and I was checking the quotes from that book and I was speechless!

🌟 Summary: Once upon a time, a guy finished a book but the book finished him first.
Once upon a time, a reader found a perfect book, his life was never the same again.
Once upon a time, a book that is anticipated did not disappoint. I ended up giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I still think that some minor details which are not worth mentioning bothered me a bit.

Prescription: For those who believe magic is real!
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,230 followers
April 14, 2020
I've been waiting months for this sequel, and at some point, my son and I both synced October 2, 2018, on our calendars, as "D day".

I. Kid. You. Not.

So, it was no surprise to ANYONE ( except for hubby who actually thought we could have a meaningful conversation today *snorts*) that I've been glued to this mesmerizing and brilliantly crafted book, which appears to be even more perfect than its predecessor.

Mind effing blown!
Profile Image for Sara the Librarian.
774 reviews367 followers
October 10, 2018
I’m not happy about writing this review. Contrary to popular opinion I don’t actually enjoy writing negative reviews, especially not of authors I sincerely admire. I think Laini Taylor is an unparalleled word builder capable of weaving together words in such a gorgeous tapestry the end result is almost blinding it’s so beautiful.


C’mon we all knew there was gonna be a but.

She doesn’t seem to know what to do with these worlds once they’re built. She doesn’t seem to have any stories to actually tell. It breaks my fantasy lover’s heart to say it but for all their exquisite, positively breathtaking, beauty there’s just nothing underneath to breathe life into the words.

I think it took me awhile to work out what my issues are with Taylor exactly because she’s such a talented wordsmith. I was dazzled by these just astounding, gorgeous worlds she paints for her readers. It was all so vivid I didn’t even realize nothing was actually happening. But just as with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series I’m left at the end of the Strange the Dreamer duology with the same feelings of looking at a very, very lovely paint by numbers picture.

I think part of the problem is that Taylor seems to want to tell only this one kind of story. She seems to want to tell very simple stories about young people meeting and falling in love and dealing with mean parents who don’t understand them and coming out and figuring out their gender identities.

This should have been a remarkable series. It looks absolutely beautiful. This dazzling, fantastically old city ruined by evil, ageless, all powerful gods who stole the young men and women of the city for their pleasure and wiped their memories once they were done with them should have been just the beginning. A young orphan with no name who journeys to find his destiny and answers about himself in the city is the stuff of epics. A beautiful hidden demi-goddess with the power to walk through dreams and sow nightmares just sounds amazing doesn’t it!? Instead it’s all we get. Things that sound like they’ll be amazing! Pretty wrapping paper hiding a copy of Twilight written by someone with a better grasp of metaphor and a gift for description.

Let me repeat, there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with telling simple stories about growing up and finding yourself. Those stories are great and very important. What isn’t so great is making it seem (in this case) like the story is about a shape shifting spaceship and blue demi-gods with amazing powers and a city with no name and people dealing with years of enslavement is somehow important when really it’s just window dressing for the teenage romance.

I just didn’t care about any of these characters. I couldn’t even keep their names straight most of the time. No one grows or changes, characters just decide to suddenly do things that make sense in terms of how plots work but never feel like they come from anywhere real. And I feel a little duped because I hung in there till the end hoping that something would suddenly hit me and I’d realize what the point was.

But in the end I’m left with pretty, pretty pictures and not a whole lot else.
Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews314 followers
October 6, 2018
This is why I love books.
This here. This freakishly beautiful book is an actual physical representation of everything I love about reading and books.
I swear my heart grew wings and flew out of my chest.
Dear god, I'm so in love right now!
Right now I'm in one of those, what to do with my life now moments.
I'm absolutely and utterly at a loss for words.
Please, please please for whatever you hold dear in your life, read this book, I beg you. I'll do anything if it gets you to read this.

And Goodreads choice awards 2018, I see you there lurking and I have my pick :)
Profile Image for Gavin.
886 reviews398 followers
October 21, 2018
Laini Taylor has developed into one of my favourite authors over the years so I always go into her books with massively high expectations. The good news is that if anything Muse of Nightmares exceeded my super high expectations and was everything I was wishing it would be and then a bit more! This series is YA fantasy romance done to perfection! The story is fantastic and packed full of likeable and interesting characters and imaginative magic all told in a beautiful and engaging writing style.

The story was super fun in this second instalment. The battle lines are drawn as the people of Weep have learned of the presence of the godspawn in the magical floating city above their town and react with the horror one might expect to the news that offspring of the tyrannical Gods have survived. Minya, after years trapped in the Citadel finally has the means to exact the vengeance she has sought since the night of the Carnage/Liberation. We also got a new story arc thrown into the mix to spice things up and give us all those answers to just who were the Mesarthim.

The story was great. It had action, mystery, romance, magic, and optimism, but also a real undercurrent of tension and tragedy that made the whole story utterly compelling and addictive. The best thing about this series for me is the characters. It is so easy to empathise with and understand the motivations of pretty much every single character on all sides of the conflict and that is what makes the story such an emotionally compelling read. Every single POV was a good one and every singe character was interesting to follow!

I love it when a story has the perfect balance and this one really delivered that for me. One of my favourite reads of all 2018 and this fantastic instalment confirmed the Strange the Dreamer series as one of my all time favourites of any genre!

The only flaw is that this was the last book in the series. I want more from these characters and this world!

Rating: 5 stars.

Audio Note: I was not always a fan of Steve West but he has grown on me in recent years and I think his performance of this one was fantastic. He did a great job with the character voices and was top notch with his voice acting. He really made me feel the emotion and the drama in the scenes!
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,327 reviews2,145 followers
March 13, 2019
Isn't it good when the sequel is every bit as good as the first book. Strange the Dreamer was perfect and Muse of Nightmares does not let it down.

Probably the most amazing part is the world Laini Taylor has created which just gets better and better as this book progresses. The town they call Weep whose real name has been erased from memory, the citadel made in the form of a Seraph, mesarthium, the metal which Lazlo can form into anything and the blue gods. All so good.

The characters too are wonderful. Lazlo of course is perfect, Sarai is amazing and Minya is totally menacing. She also has the best character development in the book and a tremendous role to play. This book needs to be a movie and Minya would provide the horror scenes.

All round excellent. The author seems to be finishing this as a duology which is fine. But if she should want to carry it on I don't think anyone will be complaining.
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