I’ve put off writing a review for Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor because there’s so much to write. Where does one begin? How do I even start to put down on paper the lyricism, the creativity of this book?
Sarai is stuck between her sister and Lazlo, between her fellow godspawn and the people of Weep, between heroes and monsters and people. She wants it all—love, family, peace, a future—but she might have to make an impossible choice…and ask that same impossibility of Lazlo. Mina isn’t the only obstacle to their happiness, though. There are unknown villains waiting, beings that Lazlo the Dreamer couldn’t even imagine in his wildest dreams, and it will take all their combined powers to combat them and protect themselves and the people of Weep.
I didn’t like this book as well as Strange the Dreamer, but it was a close second. Plus, there was a little plot twist that was fan-tas-tic. I love it when books surprise me.
All too often characters in books, even the protagonists, don’t change and evolve as people do in real life. That’s not the case here. Mina evolves and changes, which is amazing considering the fact that she hasn’t changed in 15 years. Lazlo is in a continual process of change, from the quiet librarian from the beginning of the first book to the…well, you’ll have to see. Sarai changes physically and emotionally; she finds the courage to be good.
Then there’s Nova. What would happen to a person given an impossible task that they fully intend to perform anyway? Would that twist the person, change them beyond recognition? And what won’t you do in the name of love? Is everything fair in love (and war) as they say, or is there a moral line that even the closest love—that between sisters or a man and a woman—shouldn’t cross?
I mentioned that I like plot twists, well this book has one. And it’s twisted in such a way that it gives limitless possibilities to more books and stories. But the plot twist itself brings into question intentions and whether the goodness of intentions can ever outweigh the effects. Is that vague enough?
There’s the ongoing theme about heroes and monsters and how they can often be one and the same.
And then there’s my favorite new theme: motivation. What motivates us? Love? Greed? What happens if you live so long that boredom is a real issue? Does you love turn into cruelty? Does the lust for power and money become your greatest ambition and desire? Can you live forever and retain your humanity? All interesting questions.
Laini is an artist with words:
“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.”
“It’s the mind. It’s the most complex and astonishing thing there is, that there’s a world inside each of us that no one else can ever know or see or visit.”
The world of Strange the Dreamer and the Muse of Dreams is too good, too enthralling to real, to give up. I, like Lazlo, would like to visit it at night when reality relaxes its rules. This book was excellent. Some parts were heart-breaking, some seemed unfinished, some blinded me with beauty, but isn’t that how life is, bittersweet and beautiful and perpetual? You get answers in this book to many of your questions, but not all the answers. And that’s great too.
Because it wasn’t quite as good as Strange the Dreamer.