Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I turn my nightmares into fireflies and keep them in a jar.
WOW. If there’s one author whom I want to write my autobiography, it’s Laini Taylor. No matter how boring my life is, I think she has the power to make it interesting to readers through her magical way with words. She can make the most mundane of things sound so extraordinary. I might sound like I’m exaggerating, but I just love Laini Taylor’s writing style so much.
Muse of Nightmares follows the events of Strange the Dreamer after Sarai died and became a ghost that could be controlled by Minya. This situation is a dilemma for Lazlo since he’s now given the choice to follow Minya’s orders and become the destruction of Weep or disobey Minya and risk Sarai’s evanescence.
In this sequel, the remaining mysteries about Weep were brought to light. The questions left unanswered in the previous book (Where did all the Godspawn before the Carnage go? Why was Lazlo in Zosma when he was a baby?) were answered here.
The plot was nothing but spectacular and captivating. There were some parts in STD where I couldn’t help but snooze off, but not in this book. I found it very hard to put down! I could have finished it faster than I did, but school was so demanding and I wanted to savor every bit of the story rather than hastily devour it.
As the mysteries of Weep were slowly unraveled, the characters also developed in their own way. I loved that each of them had a distinct personality that made them remarkable or distinguishable from the rest.
LAZLO. I loved that even though his skin was now blue and he had one of the rarest and most powerful abilities among the Mesarthim, he was still the Lazlo I had come to love in STD: the nerdy boy who was kind, selfless, and charming. He was such an adorable cinnamon roll who must be protected at all costs! While his father, Skathis, used his ability to control the Mesarthium to do terrible things, Lazlo used it with such gentleness and splendor. I couldn’t help but imagine him as the male version of Elsa. However, instead of making things out of ice, he uses Mesarthium. Also, I couldn’t help but note that if Elsa had Olaf, then Lazlo had Rasalas hahaha (please excuse my weird sense of humor).
SARAI. It’s hard to find yourself dead, but I think it’s harder to find yourself in an ironic situation where you’re a ghost that can be possessed by a living person. Imagine if you’re kissing a nerdy librarian and then suddenly a child (who is not really a child anymore) took control over your body. That couldn’t possibly end well. Just ask Sarai.
When Sarai was alive, she was called the “Muse of Nightmares,” but as a ghost, she was the opposite; she fought off the nightmares that haunted other people. Her power might not be that “strong,” but it was powerful in a special way. It could smother the internal battles raging in someone else’s mind. And for me, that’s the best way to end wars.
MINYA. I really disliked her in STD and at the beginning of the book, but after everything that happened, I just want to give her a hug. Her actions might be questionable, but if we looked into the deepest parts of her heart, we would see that her intentions were good. I also got the feeling that she wouldn’t let go of Sarai even if Lazlo disobeyed her. She just wanted to protect her family, whatever the cost might be. With all the horrors that she had witnessed during the Carnage and the nightmares that constantly plagued her sleep, I understood why her hatred for the citizens of Weep was great and why she just couldn’t let go of it.
FERAL, RUBY, and SPARROW. These lovely people were so precious. Feral’s nerdiness and cluelessness about the feelings of the latter two were enough to make him so likable. Ruby’s risky and bold behavior made her very remarkable and interesting. However, my favorite among the three was Sparrow. Her quiet and soft demeanor was something that I could identify with.
ERIL-FANE. Another person whom I just wanted to hug. If Minya’s burden was hatred, his was guilt. For years and years, he carried the weight of the events before and during the Carnage. My heart swelled up when he also found a way to let go, move on, and forgive himself just as Sarai had forgiven him.
THYON NERO. His character arc might have been my favorite. I could resonate with his loneliness and desire to become a part of something. I was so happy for him when he became friends with Ruza and Calixte. I always loved it when he said something witty or hilarious. Also, his blooming attraction to a certain someone was so cute. Hihi.
In this novel, two new characters were also introduced, Kora and Nova, who would eventually have a large impact on the lives of both the godspawn and humans in Weep. These new characters brought more to the plate, and it didn’t destroy the dish but greatly enhanced its flavor. I loved how their story became a vital part of the plot; they were the missing pieces of a very puzzling mystery.
Muse of Nightmares also contained elements connected to the world of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I failed to notice it in the first book, but when I finally realized the connection, it completely blew my mind!
In conclusion, I adored this book so much. I was sad when I discovered that it was the end already. I didn’t know that this was just a duology! I was expecting this series to be at least a trilogy just like DOSAB. I was not yet ready to say goodbye to the characters whom I had learned to love. Huhu. But it might not be the end! The last sentences indicated that there could be a sequel or spin-off someday. Dear author, please do write more about this captivating world and lovely characters.