[A quick note: This set of editions is the LitJoy Crate editions and they came annotated by Laini which is AMAZING. Getting to read her insights into her writing elevated my reading experience. This duology is top notch. It’s in the YA fantasy genre but can be enjoyed by all ages. Note: I tried to make this a spoiler-free review so that it won’t spoil the first book for you.]
“𝐎𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐚 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐠, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐜.” —Laini Taylor
This duology was PERFECTION. Absolute perfection. Muse of Nightmares surpassed my expectations and wildest dreams. It made me feel so much. I cried once in the first book, but in the second?? I cried TWICE! I almost never cry in books. With its gorgeous writing, fantastic characters, beautiful plot, theme, and conclusion, it lifted the bar on what it means to be a 5-star book.
I didn’t want Sarai and Lazlo’s story end. Ever. When it did, my heart was so full. I’m tearing up even a week later, as I write this review. The moment I closed the book, I was contemplating ordering the paperbacks just so that I could reread it immediately and start annotating every page! How often do you want to reread a book immediately after finishing it?? That’s pretty rare for me. I guarantee you I will be rereading this next year.
Laini Taylor’s writing blows me away. I wanted to highlight every single passage. Every sentence was woven beautifully proving that she is a wordsmith master. I found myself sighing, swooning, rereading passage after passage just to bask in the beauty. **sigh** I can’t even put it into words.
The plot had me GLUED to the couch. I couldn’t stop devouring chapter after chapter. This was a buddy read and I struggled to stick to our pace, wanting to race ahead. I loved the way everything played out, especially the last half of the book where there was tons of action. Laini ended it in such a way that lets you fantasize about all the future endeavors our characters will experience. GAHHH. I’m getting fluttery just thinking about it.
Okay. BUT! The real star of the show is Laini’s characters. OH. MY. GOD. She made me both hate and love the villains. They were so real, so multi-faceted, so flawed, but relatable and believable. How can she make my heart break for a character I was supposed to hate?! HOW?! I feel like she brainwashed me in the best way.
My favorite thing about these stories is that Laini wanted to create conflicts that could not be solved with violence. That was her biggest goal and theme throughout this duology. Rather than solving a problem by killing the villain, instead, her characters had to teach the villain to see the world differently. MIND BLOWN.
Read this duology. It’s the best duology I’ve ever read. Seriously. I’m obsessed with it. I can’t wait to dive into her DOSAB series now.
𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟓/𝟓⭐️