Title: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.
“For four thousand nights she had explored the dreamscapes of Weep, witnessing horrors and creating them. She was the Muse of Nightmares.”
I’ve been putting off writing this review, because how it’s impossible to put into words how much these books mean to me. How could I possibly attempt to describe the perfection that is Laini Taylor and Muse of Nightmares? No other book that I read this year has any chance of topping this as the Best Book of 2018.
“He gave her a tired smile, and turned to walk away, and she wondered, as she watched his back if he would ever turn back to her, truly turn back to her, and walk toward her again.”
As with Strange the Dreamer, Laini’s writing is unparalleled. Her vivid descriptions, imaginative world-building, and magical storytelling is one of a kind. I took my time reading this so I could savor each and every word. She is extremely talented at drawing you into a story and making you feel connected to the characters and their journeys.
“She was a ghost and he was a god, and they kissed like they’d lost their dream and found it.”
With Muse of Nightmares, comes the introduction of two new characters, Kora and Nova. I really enjoyed reading their chapters and the ways in which we were able to learn more about the Mesarthim, and especially how everything and everyone connects by the end of the novel. Lazlo continues to be the sweet, cinnamon roll of a character who must be protected at all costs. His relationship with Sarai was so heartwarming and endearing, and you can’t help but root for the two of them throughout all the turmoil.
And now I am going to spend the next paragraph talking about my darlings Eril-Fane and Azareen, because even though they aren’t the main characters they literally mean EVERYTHING TO ME in these books. First of all, after reading Strange the Dreamer, all I wanted was their backstory and oh boy, did Laini Taylor deliver. Chapter 25 was the best blessing I could have ever asked for.
“It made her want to be worthy – of the sacred legacy of the Tizerkane, of being alive, and of him, whom she loved from the moment he grinned at her, handed her a sword, and said, blushing, ‘I hoped it would be you.'”
“But he was no longer her husband, not then or ever after. He was Isagol’s broken toy. He could not touch or love her. He couldn’t even weep. She never could stop loving him, though in the worst of times she’d tried.”
I maintain my statement that Eril-Fane and Azareen’s story is the most tragic and heartbreaking, yet beautiful, love story I have ever read. There was so much emotion in regards to those two that I had to take breaks at some points – and if you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. I’m one hundred percent convinced Laini did the thing to personally attach me. She really did me dirty for a few chapters and I’m still not over the upheaval she put my heart through.
“But she had never forsaken him, and he knew she never would. She would share his fate, whatever it was.”
There are not enough words to describe Muse of Nightmares: beautiful and tragic, heartwarming and heartbreaking, stunning and magical. This book took me on a wild ride of emotions that had me both praising and cursing Laini Taylor’s name while reading. And that epilogue was everything: e v e r y t h i n g. I finished this with a full, grateful feeling and the knowledge that these books will always have a very special place in my heart.