Review of Laini Taylor’s MUSE OF NIGHTMARES

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started Strange the Dreamer, I wondered if Ms. Taylor foresaw a connection to her first trilogy. There were threads that read similarly and promised a common bond of worldbuilding if nothing else. So I wasn’t entirely surprised to receive that confirmation here. But at least she didn’t decide to join the two in an awkward format the way another author I could mention chose to, throwing two beautiful tales into a tangled mess. Instead, she preserved the separate stories within the arc of a gorgeous world (perfectly acceptable to the devoted reader).

And she continued to marvel with the weaving of time and dream. The lingering questions and doubts smoothed into reasonable answers, complete with her unique brand of heartache and heartbreak (so very different when handled by her prose). She took already complex and multi-faceted characters and added new depths and complexity, giving them a reality in a fantastical world that makes her an author to love and admire. Even the antagonists leave you tearing up in regret and pain, and that’s no small feat. There are no undamaged parts in her world.

My only irritation was the point of view. Third-person omniscient became challenging to follow in certain scenes, necessitating a pause and backtrack to follow who the action represented. And the occasional second-person sentences disrupted the flow. Both felt like a stylistic decision that could have been eliminated for a tightened third-person limited that would have provided more clarity. (Much as I hate to remark on anything that would spoil the gorgeous phrasing and literary beauty of her writing)

As always, Ms. Taylor is a gifted artisan with the written word. She weaves poetry into her prose – and makes you clamor for more.

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