5 out of 5 Stars for Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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?

After the gut punching end of Strange the Dreamer it was difficult to know what to expect from Muse of Nightmares, could the beautiful lyrical quality of the writing continue in the same way after such a tragedy?  I think it would be impossible not too.  The depth of richness and tone in the writing just blew me away, page after page there was a waterfall of words cascading beautifully into the ache and despair of the story.

As Minya struggles under the weight of her tethers and her anger for Weep, the remaining godspawn must find a way to bring balance.  As Lazlo’s new found gift brings life to parts of the citadel closed off since the carnage, however for Sarai she must come to terms with her new status and what that truly means for her gift, as the secrets start to unfold of just what happened on the day of the carnage.  These revelations are heart thumping, as each new piece of the puzzle fell into place I felt an almost desperation to claw through the pages to get to the next part.  Alongside of this there is a secondary side story with new characters who initially seem out of place, but again, as events unfurl this secondary story blooms into a bloodthirsty crescendo that will push them all to the brink.

That’s not so say there aren’t lighter moments, there are some fantastic pieces of self revelation for the characters and the reactions to eating something other than plums and kimril are laugh out loud.  I don’t want to say too much as these are the parts that really bring turning points to the story.

Where I really enjoyed Strange the Dreamer, I straight up adored Muse of Nightmares.  I had so many emotions going through me whilst I was reading this and just basically all out awe at the writing.  This is an outstanding conclusion to the duology and one where I wish I could go into a time loop to read and re-read for the first time over and over again!

5*

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