The Enchanting Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer was one of my favorite reads last year, and though its pace was a tad too slow compared to my usual taste, the book was beautiful that it left a mark just like magic dust on a carpet. Since then, I've secretly been a fan of Sarai's moths while still standing a little in awe of how talented Laini Taylor is that she could manage to make these insects seem alluring.

I finally got my copy of Muse of Nightmares this year. Squeezing in some time to read every morning before work, after about two weeks, I could proudly slide this book to my December's wrap-up this morning and dare I say it's even more beautiful than its prequel. Both books contain the same lyrical writing style but plotwise Muse of Nightmares is the one that exceeded my expectation.

Disclaimer: Please skip my review below if you haven't read Strange the Dreamer yet.

Following Sarai's unexpected death in the first book, Muse of Nightmares picks up where we left off after Minya caught her soul and used this opportunity to exploit Lazlo. Minya's agenda is still the same: she wants to take revenge against Eril-Fane and destroy Weep in the process. To do that, she needs Lazlowho turns out to be a godspawn and also her brotherto obey her command. While Lazlo, Sarai, Ruby, Feral, and Sparrow try to think of a way to stop Minya, this book also introduces us to two new characters, Kora and Nova.

Despite how slow the first part of this book was, I did find a lot of interesting things in Muse of Nightmares such as:

  • Amazing character development. Minya's was my favorite followed by Thyon Nero's. I had considered them spiteful in the first book and therefore I found it impossible to expect anything good from either Minya or Nero. However, the two managed to surprise me eventually by their emotional growth as complex characters. I ended up sympathizing with everything they had (or in Minya's case: had had) to go through in order to be their very selves now.

  • Sarai and Eril-Fane scenes were the ultimate tear-jerkers. How I wish they had more time to bondit would have been more amazing.

  • Ruby was such a mood. She's so sassy and I adored her so much! 

  • Kora and Nova's parts honestly intrigued me the most. While their backstory alone was intense, how Laini Taylor crafted the bridge between the two and the other godspawns was pretty mind-blowing also. The secrets they brought, including everything in between, were concealed brilliantly and revealed even more cleverly.

  • Suheyla, for her role as the warm grandmother the lost children unconsciously needed.

Muse of Nightmares contains all the answers we must have been dying to unfold since Strange the Dreamer and while the two are equally beautiful, this book tops off the first in almost every aspect. The ending was pretty unlooked-for but it was still a satisfying one, all redemptions considered. Though I was not exactly indifferent to the fact that we didn't get to see more of Lazlo here, I was still able to enjoy this book even more thoroughly than the first. Muse of Nightmares was overall a brilliant and enchanting sequel.

Actual rating: 4.7