#MuseofNightmares: The right mix of fantasy and romance…

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, Book 2)
By: Laini Taylor
My Rating: Four out of Five Stars
Best for: 18 and up

I had hoped Muse of Nightmares would continue that balance Laini Taylor found in Strange the Dreamer–just the right mix of romance mixed in to help keep the fantasy moving and emotional. And it did…mostly.

Like book 1, Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, Book 2) is as beautifully written as it is whimsically imagined. I didn’t quite love book 2 as much as book 1. Judging from other reviews, that’s not the popular opinion, so be sure to read other reviews besides mine. Please don’t miss-judge! I enjoyed the story! The beautiful writing! The fantasy! The gooey love! It was all in there and it was great. But I did find book 2 to be a little…presumptuous maybe?

The conflicts are so emotionally painful in this story! Even with resolution, I still felt sad. I also found some missed opportunities with the cool surprises around the fantasy elements. I wanted more of that, but instead got more gooey romance. Obviously, I’m not the target demographic, but still.

This fantasy-loving dad with a soft spot for a great love story was entertained by the world building, captivated by the imagery, pulled along by the mystery, captured by the characters, and spellbound by the love story. I couldn’t have pulled myself away if I tried.

No language, PG violence, some frights, and romantic love–mostly in the form of chaste kissing and lots of desire. 99% of the content is comfortably accessible for teen readers 16 and up. However, in a couple of scenes the descriptions got steamy enough that I’ll say Muse of Nightmares is appropriate for 18 and up.

Note on the audiobook. It’s performed flawlessly by Steve West, who I know best from his performance of The Queen’s Thief series. It was very hard to get his distinct voice away from the voices of The Queen’s Thief, but once I did it was brilliant.

Happy Reading!

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