It is ungrateful to write reviews of the series’ sequels; when you write a review of the first book in the series, then you can somehow make an impression without ruining the whole shop for someone who is just reading the book.  However, when you want to give your impression of a sequel, you have to be careful on two sides – not to ruin not only the sequel to those readers who have already read the first book, but not to indirectly ruin the first book too, to those who are just going to read the series from scratch.

So, can I write a spoiler-free review for this book? Of course, I can. I can do anything.

Just kidding, I just drank two coffees with milk and ate half of a chocolate muffin, so I was tempted by the temporary euphoria and grandiose fantasies about myself caused by the only drugs available to me, sugar and caffeine.

The first book in this series, Strange the dreamer, introduces us to a young man who grows up as an orphan and whose only pleasures are the book and his obsession with legends of lost gods, monsters, and the city whose name alone is lost – he even remembers the day when someone stole the name of that city from his memory.

Little of this righteous and beautiful happened in Strange’s life, but an event that threatened to take away the only thing in the world that mattered to him, something he devoted his entire life to, sent him on an adventure where all the forgotten legends would meet of which he once read but also finds himself in the midst of a painful conflict that he will not be able to avoid.

In fact, which he will NOT want to avoid.

But how to resolve the horror in the middle of which he found himself at the end of the previous book? The author, Laini Taylor, brought us to the last page right there, she just slammed the back cover of the book in our face and left us broken hearts, with a thousand unanswered questions.

Of course, I could hardly wait for the sequel! When the book ends the way Strange the dreamer ended; there is nothing further to happen, reduced game over, there is nothing more to do, there is nothing more to happen than to get over it, forget it and move on. How is it possible to complete the first book in that way and then claim that you have a sequel, and such a comprehensive sequel? Not possible. I have already seen how such attempts have failed and, after painful resuscitation, the action has notoriously failed…

Of course, I was afraid that the sequel would be worse, that it would disappoint me. Experience has taught me that other books in serials are generally the worst, slowest, most complicated, regardless of having a series of three or thirteen sequels. The author leaves an amazing impression with the first book and then duly executes it in the second; they test, they try to guess direction and they gives the impression that they never thought about the sequel thoroughly because they did not expect the first book to thrill so much and set the readers expectations so high.

I was additionally concerned that the author had announced that this story would consist of only two books – meaning that, if bad, Muse of Nightmares would somehow rob the first book and not get the chance to redeem it in our eyes some sequel.

Or it will happen, as happened with Jojo Moyes’ book “Me Before You” – the second book will be so bad that readers will be asked to write an alternative second book or to write a third sequel that will fix everything that is the second book messed up, so everyone will conclude, after book three, that all of this is correct, but that it really should have ended in the first.

Everything I knew about other sequels to the series told me that this book was doomed to fail.

But I should have known this was Laini Taylor after all. Is not that I have not read EVERYTHING this woman has ever written, including tweets, Instagram posts, all blog posts, all available interviews she gave, etc.

Not that I did not know that this woman was so talented that, without departing for a moment from her beautiful, fairy-tale and picturesque style of storytelling, she entangled her story and actions not only in the fictional past of her fictional worlds, but in the parallel, fictional worlds of her fictional worlds. I should have remembered that many times in the past, reading her books and stories, I was amazed and admired by the fact that her imagination knew no bounds.

When you think you’ve already met the most amazing, the most adorable, the most defiant female characters, Laini surprises you. Fuck you and your realistic expectations; the woman takes them and smashes them all into ashes and takes you in some dizzyingly exciting direction, starts the same story at another, far start, and breaks your heart again, and again, and again, and again and despite all this, leaves you to over with her book you are silent, amazed and delighted, determined to learn all the clever paragraphs of the book by heart.

It’s okay if you’re confused by what I’m writing; with Laini, everything is so perfectly clear, and when her loyal fan and careful reader understands what she’s done, you will only be able to grin from ear to ear and quietly bow to this woman who deserved to be as rich as J. K. Rowling.

If it’s not clear to anyone what I’m trying to say about Muse of Nightmares, I’ll write the simplest I can – this book is even better, more amazing, more exciting, more fantastic than the first, Strange the dreamer.

And I refuse to believe that this is the last book in this series … And if it is… Hah, when you read it, you will realize what a storytelling space that smart, wonderful, amazing Laini Taylor has created for herself.

I hope that her career is only booming and that her creativity is only flared up, because I cannot be satisfied with her imagination and the magic she creates with words.  I have nothing but, while I wait for some new titles, to read her previous series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  I do believe I will enjoy those books too.

1 thought on “MUSE OF NIGHTMARES – Laini Taylor”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s