Book Review: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

This book is the sequel in the Strange the Dreamer series. You should definitely read the first book Strange the Dreamer before picking up Muse of Nightmares. The first leaves the reader with so many questions and this one is the answer key. In fact, this book leaves off right where the first one ends. I’ll try to leave this review spoiler free so it is thin on book summary.

What can I say about this book other than it is amazing. It ripped out my heart and then fix it back into my chest and filled it again almost to bursting. I finished reading this book before bed and I couldn’t go to sleep because I was just so happy. I feel like I was on a journey right along with the characters feeling everything they feel. Laini is a words smith. She makes the reader understand how characters can be good and bad by creating the clearest, realist picture of people. The magic and the world are huge and detailed but not confusing. Plus, shout out to an epilogue I needed to read. Perfect closure to a story leaving me satisfied and dreamy.

In this book, we follow the same cast of characters but even a few new ones, Nova and Kova, enter the fold becoming a critical point of the story. Lazlo returns but we spend less time in his head. Sarai also returns and as the title of the book leads you to believe, yes this is her book. She is sweet, strong, and instead of breaking people down she is learning to use her magic to help people. Rudy, Feral, and Sparrow are back. I think Sparrow gets a little more magical growth in the story but Rudy and Feral set the perfect teenage tone. Minya is a marvelously complex character. All the pain she holds and knowing every decision made was to protect the others. Even though I disagreed with her so many times, it is so easy to understand her position completely. The character with probably the most unexpected arc is Thyron. I don’t want to give anything away but at first, I was a little confused why he was getting page time. Let’s be honest he isn’t the best person in the first book but it made me so happy to see him develop. (Squeal!) Lastly, Eril-Fane and Azareen. Sigh. So much emotion.

Yes, these books are considered young adult but the themes in this book are ones we are constantly facing throughout life. How grief can be blinding and holding on to pain is such a negative weight. Learning to let go of hurt and learning from mistakes and after all that knowledge, you can still do good. Moving on from the ugliness. Thank you Laini Taylor.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.  Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on October 2nd, 2018.

Purchase Muse of Nightmares through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository.

Purchase the first book in the series, Strange the Dreamer, through AmazoneBooks.com, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository.

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver is much more than the retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It incorporates fantasy, myth, and dark retellings making it a lush layered novel with flushes out characters and worlds.

The story starts with Miryem, daughter, and granddaughter to a moneylender. Her family is poor since her father repeatedly fails at collecting dues. When her mother becomes ill and Miryem has grown sick herself from constant poverty she goes out to collect the funds owed. She soon finds she is good at the job and over time turns more silver into gold. But this causes the notice of the Staryk, a terrible being who brings the winter and wants gold above all else.

The story includes a woman hired to pay her (physical) abuse father’s debt and take care of her siblings. There is also the story of a noble girl, considered plain and useless to her father but who must fight for her life and those she loves after she is married to a cruel tsar cursed with a fire demon in his body.

The world building is seemingly simple. The introduction to the world builds on the people’s stories and fears till the magic is more than just under the surface but true and an increment part of these women’s everyday lives.

Novik has a talent for presenting multiple character point of views with complex sub-plots weaving everything into a single brimming tale. I didn’t find it hard to follow the different perspectives. Each character had a distinct voice but the book also uses a corresponding symbol for each character at page breaks or beginning chapters. I loved the strong empowering female theme throughout. Another thing to note is Miryem and her family is Jewish. The novel touches on the importance of her Jewish identity as well as with small-town prejudices, and anti-Semitism making it more relevant to today’s world.

Spinning Silver has a way of taking historical and present topics of discussions, mixing in myths and fairytales, and making everything relatable. Overall, Naomi Novik can transport you to a time and place you can believe without a doubt is real and that is real magic.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. Spinning Silver by Noami Novik will be published by Del Rey on Tuesday, July 10th 2018.

Purchase this title through AmazonBook Depository, or Ebooks.com.

A Possible Tattoo

January 12, 2012

I think I finally came up with a possible tattoo idea. I am a happy, smiley person for the most part. I do have a slight problem of being to hard on myself and it is in no particular area. If I make a mistake, I feel I’m not where I should be, I’m late for a very important appointment, or someone looks at me the wrong way. I guess most can say it is the way of a Virgo but I know it is my way. It’s hard to change. It isn’t until I’m not in the moment of beating myself up that I look at myself and laugh or just shake my head at my ridiculousness.

This tattoo could be something to look at in those moments. Calm me, remind me, just bring me back to reality, and point out my craziness. Are you ready?

“Always look on the bright side of life.”

Don’t know where it would go but if you are reading this and you know me you will know I am most likely never getting a tattoo but it’s a nice fantasy I play out and now I’m one step closer.