Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum's Reviews > Muse of Nightmares

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
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really liked it

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is one of my favourite books of the year so far and Muse of Nightmares is the sequel to this Young Adult fantasy duology.

The story picks up right where we left off in Strange the Dreamer and I was immediately thrust back into the world of Zosma and into Weep with Sarai and Lazlo. Early on I felt there was way too much time spent on the romance between Lazlo and Sarai and I longed to get back to the action of the previous novel.

The action soon returned and we begin to learn more about the history of the Mesarthim and the gods, Lazlo's origins, Minya's back story and so much more. The writing is of the same calibre as the first in the series, and I especially enjoyed this description from page 227:

She had seen horrors hidden in a biscuit tin and planted under a seedling so the roots would grow around it and hold it fast. The mind is good at hiding things, but there's something it cannot do: It can't erase. It can only conceal, and concealed things are not gone. They rot. They fester, they leak poisons. They ache and stink. They hiss like serpents in tall grass.

Despite great writing, I'll admit I did start to feel a little out of my depth as the rest of the world building fell into place and the full scope of Weep's place in the world/s came to light. The use of powers by the godspawn and the revelation of the purpose behind the nursery in the citadel led me to the realisation this is a complex fantasy novel with lashings of magical realism. Muse of Nightmares doesn't have the same general appeal to readers as Strange the Dreamer and I wasn't anywhere near as entranced or gripped by the narrative.

As the title suggests, this sequel is about Sarai who is the muse of nightmares, with the ability to enter the dreams of a sleeping human or godspawn. I wasn't as interested in her story as Lazlo's and I'm sure this contributed to the fact this wasn't another 5 star read for me.

Themes of love, obsession, race, power, revenge and redemption were explored by the characters, with some succeeding and others failing. I wasn't left with any questions and all characters were neatly wrapped up by the end of the novel in a satisfying conclusion.

Several times the author alluded to the fact something was 'another story' so I wouldn't be too surprised if Laini Taylor returned to this universe in the future. There is more to explore but if she doesn't, I think readers can finish this duology satisfied in the ending.
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Reading Progress

January 30, 2019 – Shelved
January 30, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
July 4, 2019 – Started Reading
July 4, 2019 –
page 86
16.48%
July 6, 2019 –
page 147
28.16%
July 6, 2019 –
page 147
28.16%
July 6, 2019 –
page 178
34.1%
July 13, 2019 –
page 214
41.0%
July 14, 2019 –
page 274
52.49%
July 27, 2019 –
page 321
61.49%
July 28, 2019 –
page 385
73.75%
July 29, 2019 –
page 452
86.59%
July 30, 2019 –
page 522
100.0%
July 30, 2019 – Finished Reading

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