Muse of Nightmares

Muse of Nightmares

Book - 2018
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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. 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, as forgotten doors are opened, the question arises: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead? -- adapted from jacket.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316341714
0316341711
Characteristics: 522 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

5/5

“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.”

First reading this novel, I thought really nothing could top my utter love and adoration for what was Strange the Dreamer, and yet I still managed to be blown away by what Laini Taylor presented within the novel.

The novel, the sequel to the previous Strange the Dreamer, follows the aftermath of the first novel and the near fall of the citadel, the floating terror within the sky onto the lost city of Weep. The first protagonist, Lazlo, now learns that he is himself, a god, and learns about this new identity. The other protagonist, Sarai, on the other hand, is now a ghost due to the aftermath of the citadel’s close collapse, under the power of Minya, one of the half gods who lived with Sarai in the citadel, and she feels helpless as ever within her ghost form. While this happens, in the aftermath of it all, new questions are asked about the City of Weep, and old questions are asked again and answers begin to unravel within the sequel, as new enemies appear and Lazlo must choose whether to save the city or those whom he loves.

What astounds me most every time with Laini Taylor’s work is how the writing flows so easily and each sentence is flowery and leaves an impression in your mind. Such a style is not for everyone, but I love the way every word she writes and every sentence or description gives her worlds a whimsical, far away feeling, yet so close to home that you wish you were there right along with the characters, or even right along with them for every point in the story. You can sense and feel every emotion along with the characters in the book, along with their triumphs and troubles and heartbreak, and to see the characters succeed makes it so much more rewarding.

As mentioned beforehand, the writing of the book is exquisite and a delight to read, as well as the characters. Each of the main and side characters are well developed and given their own unique stories which connect to the grand, overarching story of Weep and their relationships with the gods that once terrorized the city, and each complex people. On top of that, the plot, while not too hard on action, goes at a steady pace which allows the reader to really feel the thoughts of each character and their actions and keep one entertained.

Overall, I have never read a book so emotional and as good of a heartbreak as Muse of Nightmares gave to me while reading it. I suggest this book carefully, as Laini Taylor is not for everyone, but anyone who enjoys well developed characters, whimsical romances, flowery writing, and a good heart wrencher I urge to give a try to Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares.

JCLHebahA Mar 17, 2021

After the bleak ending of Strange the Dreamer, it took me a while to come back and read this sequel. I shouldn't have worried--Taylor can take a story to places where it seems all is lost and then bring back hope. A recurring theme of her writing seems to be that just because a place is scarred by war and unending conflict, people have the choice to make things better. I suspect Laini Taylor isn't done telling stories in her shared universe, and I will eagerly follow her to the next adventure.

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WritingChick65
Aug 25, 2020

This is a bit of an incoherent review because I'm still reeling over the ending. Lazlo Strange has become a god. The love of his life has become a ghost. And a woman from another world who's been searching for her sister for two hundred years threatens them all. This book was one heck of a ride with so many AHA! moments. There is violence in this book, sexuality, and dark themes of abuse, but nothing that isn't necessary for the story. And what a story it is!!! Those who haven't read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series need to read that as Taylor ties Muse of Nightmares into the same world with hints that there is more to come. How amazing would it be to have Lazlo and his gang join up with Karou, Akiva and the rest? In my humble opinion, Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo are the top teen fantasy writers out there. Read them!!!

LoganLib_Kirra Jan 30, 2020

I enjoyed this book while I was reading it but there wasn't an even flow to reading it. The consistency of interest throughout the book was a rollercoaster. At the end of the book, I feel like I enjoyed the story and I liked the way it ended but I don't know that it had to be so long because there were a few lulls that could've been cut to keep the story flowing at an interesting pace. I loved the moment between Lazlo and Sarai but Minya's story was the most exciting of all the characters and I was hooked into every chapter that they delved deeper into her mind and her history.

IndyPL_SteveB Sep 27, 2019

A great conclusion to the award-winning YA fantasy novel, *Strange the Dreamer*. The publisher calls it a “sequel;” but it’s really more of a continuation, since the first book ended on a spectacular cliffhanger. Every chapter in *Strange the Dreamer* had an unexpected twist and an added mystery, while providing only temporary answers – which might be turned upside down two or three chapters later.

The pace of newly added twists is slower in *Muse of Nightmares* because Taylor has to start solving some of those mysteries. To do that, she has to hold two plots together at once: the continuation of the basic story as the blue children (insultingly called “Godspawn” by the people of Weep) begin to interact with humans, and a look back two centuries to show how the enslavement of the city of Weep by the self-proclaimed Gods began. Eventually we as readers begin to see that the two plots will come together again with the appearance of other Gods; but the climax is not as easy to predict. The dead are still present, which means that there can be a perfectly plausible romance between a ghost and a living main character who only met previously through dreams.

I read the last three-fourths of the book barely stopping to eat or breathe. If you are looking for something that is wildly creative, hard to see where it is going at times, and ultimately emotionally satisfying, this two-book series will appeal to you.

m
megoscar
Jul 06, 2019

A beautiful and fantastically written follow up to Strange the Dreamer! The lyrical prose is perfect for such an unusual story!! The story is strange but easy to follow and a fun ride. The love plot is a little unbelievable, but then this is a book about giant metal angels and little girls who command ghosts, so not to out of place. The lore for the world deserves a book all for it's self!
If you can listen to the audiobook narrated by Steve West DO IT!! His voice is perfect!!

j
jac523
Apr 11, 2019

An absolutely stunning follow-up to Strange the Dreamer. If you get a chance to listen to the audio version narrated by Steve West, it is not to be missed.

h
happycanuck
Mar 18, 2019

Great and unusual story. The author has quite an imagination. It does become a little complicated to keep track of everyone and their gifts as the book progresses but overall it is a very worthwhile read with a satisfying ending. Am looking forward to the next installation.

g
GuyN
Jan 01, 2019

It is refreshing when a quite fascinating book is followed by an even better concluding volume. This is the case with Muse of Nightmares succeeding Strange the Dreamer. (not a spoiler--Taylor leaves herself open to some of these characters going on to other adventures together, but definitely wraps up this complex story line.)

OPL_BreanneS Dec 14, 2018

The mysteries of Weep are finally revealed in this epic and sweetly satisfying conclusion to the Strange the Dreamer duology, delighting readers with a lushly detailed fantasy world, well-rounded characters, imaginative alternate mythologies, and beautiful prose.

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"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." He said this with all the wonder of a lifelong dreamer who's found out he's half god. "You don't know yet what you're capable of, but I'm willing to bet it's extraordinary."

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