Just out this week, Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares is one of our most anticipated YA reads of this year and it did not disappoint!
I cannot fully express just how much I have been looking forward to reading the Muse of Nightmares. Along with being a massive Laini Taylor fan, I’ve been desperately dying to read Muse of Nightmares since about the minute I finished its predecessor Strange the Dreamer in 2016. It has the (dubious) honour of being one of the first books we featured in Cinders, I raved about it then and I’ll rave about it now. Strange the Dreamer created a beautifully lush and detailed fantasy world in the way that only Laini Taylor can – with true originality and inspiration. And after reading the conclusion, Muse of Nightmares, I’ve come to a realisation: Laini Taylor doesn’t write books, she weaves tapestries. Tapestries filled with stories upon stories, details that are so delicious you want to eat them whole. She weaves treasured items and should be lauded as one of the best fantasists working today because to my mind, she’s incomparable. Muse of Nightmares takes us to a new state of living, literally. Sarai – having fallen to her death at the close of Strange the Dreamer, now must live with a new reality, that of being a ghost and being under her foster sister – and fellow godspawn’s – Minya’s total control. She and Lazlo have to tread carefully and treat their budding romance with caution. Lazlo has to deal with his own discovery of power over the godsmetal citadel that has haunted the city of Weep and figure out what it means to finally have answers about where he came from.
Most authors would struggle with tying up the loose ends of a story like this but Laini Taylor is not most authors. She deals with all of the stories, from the godspawn in the citadel, to the citizens of Weep with care and passion. Her characterisation is sympathetic and nuanced, there isn’t a single one dimensional player to be found. The only question over the story is whether perhaps the eventual antagonist ought to have been introduced in Strange the Dreamer? However Taylor weaves them into the story deftly in Muse of Nightmares and I was just left wishing I could have more time with them. Laini Taylor has gifted the fantasy world with another gem of a series and I for one could not be more grateful. These will be stories you’ll want and need to read again and again.