Wednesday, the 18th of March–time again for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. It appears every Wednesday. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, what makes you want to read it, where you got it, and such. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!
This week my pick is a book I got a while ago, but haven’t gotten down to reading yet–Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. Published in 2018, this is the concluding part of the young-adult duology Strange the Dreamer. Strange the Dreamer tells the story of the eponymous Lazlo Strange, brought up in a monastery as he was an orphan. On hearing stories of a mysterious and magical city from a strange monk at the monastery, Lazlo becomes increasingly fascinated with the city, but as if by magic even its name disappears from everyone’s minds including Lazlo’s own, and all that is remembered is the name ‘Weep’ (not its actual name). When Lazlo grows up and becomes first an apprentice, and then a librarian, his fascination continues, and he seeks to learn all he can about it from all the books he can lay his hands on. One day, an unforeseen opportunity comes his way as a warrior known as the Godslayer comes to his city, and he finds himself actually travelling to Weep–his dream being realised. On the other side, in Weep we learn the story of a very different young girl, half-human, half-god, Sarai, who has had a difficult life of her own, and who has a rather extraordinary talent. Their stories intersect once there, where tragedy has touched more than one life, human and other.
In the Muse of Nightmares, things have changed very much for both Lazlo and Sarai, neither of them are who they were in the first book. Lazlo must make an unthinkable choice, save the woman he loves or everyone else, while Sarai must realise what she is truly capable of. The many questions, the mysteries that the first book left unanswered must still be resolved, and a new foe who arrives on the scene must be contended with.
This is a series I came across on a Goodreads friend’s review (video here), and I liked the sound of it a lot and wanted very much to read it. A few months ago, I found Muse of Nightmares on sale on kindle and picked it up even though I hadn’t got the first one yet (silly but the first would be on sale eventually 😛 ). Finally I did get the first book (a physical copy) which I am reading now (nearly finished, in fact) and so very much looking forward to reading this second one. Despite the elements of tragedy and sadness in the book (in the lives of many of the characters), there is so much that is magical and beautiful–both the things/places the author has created and the prose itself, which is making me really enjoy this one. And of course, I want to know what happens next!
The author: Laini Taylor is an American author who writes in the young adult fantasy genre. Born in Chico, California, Taylor, who grew up as a ‘military kid’ earned a degree in English from UC Berkeley. She has written various series and collections, the best known among them being Daughter of Smoke and Bone which has three novels and a novella, and Strange the Dreamer. Strange the Dreamer is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book.
Have you read the Strange the Dreamer books or others by Laini Taylor? Which ones and how did you find them? If you haven’t yet, do you plan to read any? Looking forward to your thoughts!