Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (2018)
Themes: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult
This review will contain spoilers if you have not read and finished Strange the Dreamer.
(I was sent a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for a fair review)
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, if not the most. After reading Strange the Dreamer and loving it, I needed more from this rich and entrancing world. Laini Taylor is fantastic at writing depth into a setting and the characters, I think she adds just the right amount of description and dialogue, I really feel like I’m in the story. This book was no different, Laini Taylor’s writing style shone through the whole way.
I love every single character in this book, even ones I started off hating in Strange the Dreamer. This is an ideal story for seeing character development, so many of these characters change and become better people. A huge character change for me that I loved was Thyon Nero, he went from being a stuck up brat to being someone I quite liked reading about. He had a very realistic development, you could see his mind working out the person he wanted to be and I think he made all the right choices. Of course I also have to mention Lazlo, a character who has constantly been changing since the start of this series. I love him so much, he’s living a very strange version of his own fantasy. I think he handles things really well and fits right into this new situation we see him left in at the end of Strange the Dreamer.
I’ve seen a lot of people criticise Laini Taylor’s writing because of it’s ‘flowery’ nature, but I would disagree. I have read a lot of flowery books and put them down because the narrative was too fluffy and stretched out. But I think that Laini Taylor has written some beautiful lines in this book and added enough description that we know exactly what we’re meant to be imagining. A favourite quote of mine has to be this one, I think the beauty of the writing is demonstrated perfectly here.
“She was a ghost and he was a god, and they kissed like they’d lost their dream and found it.“
This book has so many messages in it that I think are really important. There’s a lot of nods to our choices and the influence they have on who we are. But also a lot on how we can change the person we are and that it’s never too late to start. This was shown through a few different character’s story lines, I think it’s a really important message to send out.
“There’s 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 going, then you can never quit, because it’s all you are”
What kind of a book about dreamers would this be if there weren’t a few mentions of reaching your own dreams. There’s so many different characters and aspirations to learn about, we read about many different goals and dreams. From a girl searching for her sister through worlds for years, to a ghost and her lover trying to be together. The characters in this book are determined for sure, they each have attributes that make them strong and fearsome, but really this story tells us that everyone is also innocent and has their weaknesses. I think this was all about letting go and breathing, something a fair few of the characters in this book really needed to do.
I’ll address the reason I didn’t give this book the full five stars, mainly this was down to the pace. I love this book and I thought the plot was really interesting and engaging, but at times it went on a little too long. There were moments that could have moved quicker and still been just as important. In the middle it felt like we weren’t really going anywhere with the plot, but this soon changed and I was back to being hooked.
I really could go on and on about this book, but really I just love this series. It’s magical, it’s fantastical, it bends the lines of reality. Let me know what you thought in the comments if you’ve read it too.