14 April, 2020

[Review] Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

25446343  38525180. sy475
Cover images from the goodreads website.

Series: Strange the Dreamer Duology (#2)
Release Date: 2 October, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (Hatchette Audio)
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Epic Fantasy/Friendship/Romance/Mystery
ISBN: 9781549122774
Edition: Audiobook (also available in Kindle, Hardback, and Paperback)
Rating: ★★★★
Review Written: 2 March, 2020
Summary: The highly anticipated, thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer, from National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise. She was wrong. 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? Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

See more by Laini Taylor at her Website.
I'll admit I picked this book up quickly after finishing the first in the series (Strange the Dreamer, review here) but had to take a moment after a while to just process what had happened. This novel is packed full of information, and some of it can be very confusing.

Lazlo, the young junior librarian, has revealed himself as a godspawn, and not only that, but he's the one who can manipulate Godsmetal. The story becomes more complicated at the introduction to Kora and Nova. Kora (one of the six "gods" of Weep), was once a fishman's daughter on the home world of the gods who was perceived to be the most power of the chosen. That said, she was held captive for a promise to save her sister Nova's life. Nova, who was considered a blight due to her power being one that borrows other's powers (think Rogue from X-Men in her earlier years), is left behind with a bleak future ahead of her. When Kora steals a diadem of the Mesarthim and sends it to Nova, she sparks a chain of events that she had no control over.

This book highlights the struggles of trauma, both on part of the children who have grown up trapped in the Seraph above Weep, and the people below who thought that all on the Seraph were dead. Lives collide when Nova finally finds the world where the Seraph is stationed, enacting her revenge on those who stole her sister away by attacking the children and lashing out at Eril-Fane as she realizes he's the one who killed her sister.

Through many twists and turns, Nova and the children must sort out the truth of what their lives mean and how to heal from the trama.

If you enjoyed any of Taylor's previous works, don't miss out on this treasure that helps illustrate what grief and hatred can cause.

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