Muse of Nightmares Review

On Friday, I reviewed the first book in the Strange the Dreamer duology, by Laini Taylor. Today, I will review the second installment, Muse of Nightmares

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Synopsis

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?

Review

Honestly this book was a slog to get through. I really struggled with it, and would probably have DNF’d it if it wasn’t part of a wider multiverse, where the content could be referenced again.

His death was poetic justice. Sarai’s was just bad luck.

I felt that the idea of adding Kora and Nova was badly done, when it could have been done really well. I think if Nova’s journey had been the main focus of the book, with infrequent looks at what is happening in Weep. This would have developed the multiverse plot point a lot better, and made it a lot easier to understand. In addition, I think it would have been a lot more interesting.

We don’t have to be monsters. Don’t make us monsters.

The characters in this book were quite interesting in their exploration of trauma, abuse and grief. However I felt that it would have been better to experience these things from the POV of those characters instead of through the filters of Sarai’s moths and Lazlo’s empathy. While these two characters are definitely the best at sharing and understanding the experiences of others, I would have prefered a more direct retelling of these emotions through more POV characters.

I expect they make perfect sense, just under a different set of rules.

I gave this book three stars.

3 stars

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