I realise that I finished this book a few weeks ago but it’s taken some time to sink into my head and for me to really appreciate it. I loved reading it. I shall try to ensure I don’t include any spoilers, so without further adieu here’s the synopsis:
Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.
She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.
She was wrong.
In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.
Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.
As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?
What I loved about Strange the Dreamer, the first one, was the attention to detail, the beauty of the world and the intrigue around blue people with magical powers, a city in the shadow of a metal angel and the perils of the people in the city below. I loved that in this one, we pick up in that same story, with so many revelations around what happened at the end of the first book and how they are going to be dealt with – Lazlo, Sarai, Minya and all the others had a lot of story and heartache to be resolved.
I finished reading this probably about 3 weeks ago so I’m not really sure where to start. Maybe throwing a few characters out there for discussion? Yeah that sounds good.
I’m going to start with Minya, which may not be the obvious choice considering the main characters are Lazlo and Sarai, but Minya probably had the most character development. In this second book we are enlightened to some of her past, of why she is the way that she is and what her gift is, and just how string she really is. Minya, at the age of 6 held the world on her shoulders, committed acts of great violence and shouldered the burden of bring up 4 babies by her self. Literally, by herself. She saved the ghosts of the Ellen’s which admittedly did the caring but only in a way that meant that Minya sacrificed her soul.
We were introduced to a new character in this book, a new and more terrifying Big Bad than what we had seen before. A woman so concerned with one task, and vengeance, that all else was forgotten to her. A rubbish start in the beginning of her life, the tearing apart of her sister and the lengths she went to in order to find and avenge her sister were nothing short of immense. You have to admire the strength of it, even if it did come off a little one dimensional towards the end.
Sarai died at the end (and I suppose the beginning) of the first book. She spends her time in this one as a ghost under Minya’s thrall, but it is what she does there that allows her character to grow. I loved that she knew what she wanted to do by the end and how she would try and help those like her who had suffered the worst of fates. I liked that she still had a gift to use, and that it evolved into something different with her death – and also that it could still be manipulated away from her.
Lazlo was a pretty badass character, but he was definitely shoved to the background in light of Sarai and her story. This book was definitely Sarai’s story, whereas the first book was Lazlo’s story. Lazlo suffered a lot in the book as well, but for a variety of different reasons.
Many of the other characters faded into the background but had potential for more when or if Laini Taylor writes more in this universe, even if she doesn’t write about these specific characters again.
I loved these two books, and I would very much like to have more from the author in this universe.
I have since started The Girl on the Train…. which I am not making much progress with. What are you reading at the moment?