Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. October 2, 2018. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 514 p. ISBN: 9780316341714. Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA.
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?
Sequel to: Strange the Dreamer
Part of Series: Strange the Dreamer (Book #2)
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Strong sexual themes; Mild language
Horn Book Magazine (September/October, 2018)
At the end of Strange the Dreamer (rev. 3/17), godspawn Sarai plunged to her death from the floating blue citadel overlooking the city of Weep; now the vengeful Minya, still intent on invading Weep, is holding Sarai’s soul in thrall. In interspersed chapters, in another world, another young woman is dealing with her own trauma. After being rejected by the Mesarthim, forcibly separated from her beloved sister, and married off to the highest bidder, Nova uses her own formidable powers to regain control of her destiny. By the time Nova appears in the main narrative, readers have learned how her story fits among the puzzle pieces of the plot. The only thing that remains is to figure out how both Minya and Nova can find a measure of healing, redemption, and peace. As always, Taylor’s prodigious imagination is on full display: marvelous world-building, suspenseful plotting, complex characterization, finely crafted prose, and grand thematic flourishes make her one of the most formidable contemporary writers in the YA fantasy genre. jonathan hunt
Kirkus Reviews (July 15, 2018)
Love and hatred haunt survivors in this otherworldly sequel. It’s been 15 years since the people of Weep slaughtered the gods and godspawn in the seraph-shaped citadel, an event known as the Liberation by the citizens of Weep…and the Carnage by the five godspawn who secretly survived. But an explosion revealed their existence and killed 17-year-old Sarai. Yet she remains, anchored by malevolent Minya and still in love with Lazlo Strange. Grief-stricken Lazlo experiments with his newfound smith powers and reunites with Sarai in exotic, erotic dreams. Also sharing narrative duty: fellow blue-skinned, magically gifted godspawn Ruby, Feral, and Sparrow—absorbed in their own romantic triangle—Minya, literally haunted by lives lost in the Carnage, and the mysterious Nova, fleeing a wintry wasteland in pursuit of her sister Kora and revenge. Freed from isolation, the godspawn struggle to connect, wondering about their parents—both Mesarthim “gods” and unwilling Weep humans—and their missing fellow godspawn. Taylor (Strange the Dreamer, 2017, etc.) dances between fantasy and sci-fi, indulging in gods, magic, alchemy, and lost desert civilizations, only to subvert them with spaceships, interdimensional travel, and alien worlds. Depending on readers’ tastes, this is ornate, emotionally charged, and poetic—or florid, overdone, overstuffed, and angst-y. The people of Weep are brown-skinned, but godspawn turn blue when they are in contact with mesarthium. A sequel that surpasses the original. (Fantasy. 14-18)
About the Author
Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author and a National Book Award finalist. She is the author of the global sensation the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, and Dreams of Gods & Monsters, and the companion e-novella, Night of Cake & Puppets. She is also the author of the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the highly acclaimed Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter Clementine.
Her website is www.lainitaylor.com.
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