"Muse of Nightmares" Book Review
Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Author: Laini Taylor
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor is one of the best books I have ever read, 2nd just under Harry Potter. I cried three times. THREE TIMES! I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much while reading. The novel is the closing to the Strange the Dreamer duology and has left me feeling slightly hollow. I already miss it... So, if you have any Strange the Dreamer-like recommendations, let me know.
In this novel, Minya has taken control of Sarai’s ghost and is using it to blackmail Lazlo into doing her bidding, to help her gain revenge on Weep. But the plot is so much more than that, though I can’t say anything without dishing out some spoilers. This book is too beautiful to spoil.
One of the most wonderful things about this novel, which I’m not sure I’ve seen many other books achieve, is that I care about what happens to every single character, even the bad ones. This is huge, since the characters are what drive the novel.
There are chapters dedicated to specific people and their pasts, such as Minya or Eril-Fane. Within those, Taylor builds important plot points you wouldn’t expect and creates sympathy for characters you may not have liked otherwise. Through that sympathy, the moments and important events that happen to the characters effect the readers that much more, and make you cry like a dang baby…
Then again, I have always loved the complex characters the most, not as much the ones that seem to be purely good or purely bad. For example, I absolutely adore Snape and Draco from Harry Potter. Not necessarily because they are the heroes, but because they are not simply that or even the villain. Taylor takes this to a whole new level. She really examines the human condition and where the good and bad parts of us come from, that not everyone is just one thing. And this examination creates incredible character development throughout the book.
Another thing that makes this book so amazing is the writing. The prose itself is magic. There were times I swear I drew in a breath or set down the book for a moment in awe of how quotable it was. Seriously, with all its magic, Muse of Nightmares is basically Harry Potter for adults. The prose gave important scenes breath and life. Without Taylor’s fabulous writing, the book wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful.
And without that writing, the world-building wouldn’t have felt as real. In this book, you learn a lot more about Weep’s backstory. But it’s not just info-dumping. All of this background manages to weave itself into the main plot, making every part absolutely relevant. Taylor could probably have convinced me that something as small as Lazlo going through puberty had some deeper meaning. What’s even more impressive is that I never felt overwhelmed, despite how complex Taylor’s world was. She managed to introduce it logically and slowly so that it all made sense.
So, for the love of Gods, read Muse of Nightmares. Just make sure you have some tissues and cake nearby. They mention cake a few times in this book, and it made me want some…Also, request for Laini Taylor: You should definitely write Miracles for Breakfast, so we can obsess over this world sufficiently. ‘Till next time, Nooksters!