Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier in this series. You can read my reviews of these novels here:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Days of Blood and Starlight | Night of Cake and Puppets

Dreams of Gods and Monsters was written by Laini Taylor and first published in 2014. It is a fantasy story that tells the continuing tale of two star-crossed lovers, and the world-spanning war between their people. The novel forms the final part of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, following Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011), Days of Blood and Starlight (2012) and Night of Cake and Puppets (2013). As it carries on directly where these previous instalments left off, I would strongly recommend reading the books in sequence to have any idea of what is going on.

Karou has finally managed to seize control of the chimaera from the shadows, but it has come at a terrible cost. Thiago the White Wolf has been destroyed but his body is now inhabited by the soul of gentle Ziri, the last of the Kirin. Still, this is a small victory for Karou as it has enabled her to broker a tenuous alliance with Akiva and his rebel faction of Misbegotten. Although their numbers are few, they finally have a chance at defeating Jael once and for all.

However, it will not be easy. With the help of Razgut, Jael has led his army through the gate to Earth. His hope is to gain access to the humans’ weapons of mass destruction, and with them a way to destroy the chimaera forever. Yet his arrival sparks chaos all over the world. For the first time, humans have irrefutable evidence that angels exist. When Ziri’s demonic-looking original body is then found buried in a traditionally Muslim country, this excitement quickly turns to violence.

As Karou and her friends battle to save the chimaera, something worse still is brewing. Bruises are growing in the sky over the Far Isles and the Stelians know that it is a sign that something terrible is coming. They have the power to contain the threat, but the only way that they can do so is by hunting down the one who is responsible…

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Muse of Nightmares

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Strange the Dreamer. You can read my review of this [here].

Muse of Nightmares was written by Laini Taylor and first published in 2018. It forms the second part of the Strange the Dreamer duology, following Lazlo as he takes his place amongst the Godspawn. As the novel carries on directly from where Strange the Dreamer (2017) left off, I would recommend reading the novels in sequence if you want to fully appreciate them.

Both joy and tragedy stemmed from the destruction of the anchor. Lazlo has discovered his place in the world. He is one of the blue-skinned Godspawn, and a powerful one at that. His ability to control metal means that he can finally ascend into the citadel to be with others of his kind. But it came at a terrible price. Sarai has died and now exists as a ghost, able to take physical form only because Minya wills it. Problem is that this now means that Minya has a bargaining chip.

Minya has not forgotten the horrors that the people of Weep inflicted on the Mesarthim. She uses her control over Sarai in an attempt to blackmail Lazlo into taking her and her spectral army down into the city. Yet Lazlo knows that he can’t do it. Even if it risks Sarai, he can’t allow Minya to slaughter those that he has left behind. In secret, he and Sarai begin to search for another way. Perhaps if they can use Sarai’s power over dreams to cure Minya of her lust for vengeance, they can all be happy.

Yet something else is moving against the Godspawn. A long-lost warrior is travelling towards them, half-maddened by the endless search for her missing sister. This wanderer nurtures a burning hatred for the Mesarthim, particularly Lazlo’s long-dead father…

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Night of Cake and Puppets

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels by clicking the links below:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Days of Blood and Starlight

Night of Cake and Puppets was written by Laini Taylor and first published in 2013. It is a spin-off novella that takes place in the world of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, telling the story of how Zuzana and Mik started dating. The story largely stands alone but is designed to be read after Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) and Days of Blood and Starlight (2012). The final instalment of the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, was published in 2014.

Zuzana has always believed in magic. With a friend like Karou, it would be impossible not to. Yet Karou has now gone and left Zuzana with a parting gift of five scuppies. Zuzana knows that the minor wishes aren’t good for much but she hopes that they will be enough for what she has planned. She has been looking for a way to get to know a certain handsome violinist, and a little magic could be all it takes.

Unknown to Zuzana, the violinist has also noticed to her. There is something about the fierce puppet maker that appeals to Mik, but he does not know how to approach her. Zuzana can be intimidating and he does not want to make a bad first impression. However, he certainly does not expect her to make the first move. When he finds a treasure map hidden in his violin case, he knows that he has to follow its cryptic clues. The prize at its centre is the thing that he wants most of all.

As Zuzana leads Mik on a quest through the streets of Prague, the two quickly learn that they were made for each other. While the scuppies make the treasure hunt unforgettable, the true magic comes later as Zuzana and Mik are finally able to enjoy their night of cake and puppets.

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Days of Blood and Starlight

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Days of Blood and Starlight was written in by Laini Taylor and first published in 2012. It is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and is preceded by Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) and followed by Dreams of Gods and Monsters (2014) and the spin-off novella, Night of Cake and Puppets (2013). As the story picks up shortly after its prequel left off, you really need to read the books in sequence to have any idea of what is going on.

When Karou broke the wishbone with Akiva, everything changed. The memories of her life as Madrigal came flooding back to her, bringing with them the shame of her treason. Learning what Akiva did to Brimstone was the final straw, sending her fleeing to Eretz to see what became of the Loramendi for herself. In its ashes, she finds Thiago – the man who once executed her – and accepts her fate as the new resurrectionist of the chimaera army.

Akiva returns to his people broken and world-weary. When his search for Karou uncovers a thurible bearing her name, he convinces himself that she must have perished. As the seraphim, under the lead of their ruthless general, Jael, begin to turn their wrath on unarmed chimaera farmers, Akiva begins to do all that he can to keep Karou’s memory alive by sabotaging their attempts by night.

However, Akiva and Madrigal’s dream of peace seems further away than ever. As the seraphim target the weak and unarmed, Thiago retaliates by tasking Karou with building more powerful bodies for his men – over-muscled and able to match the seraphim in flight. It seems as though both sides will fight until they wipe each other out, until an old friend delivers a message to Karou, offering a different way to end the conflict…  More

Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer was written by Laini Taylor and is due for release later this month. It’s a fantasy epic which tells the story of a young librarian’s quest to discover a legendary city. The novel forms the first part of a duology, though a release date for its concluding part has not yet been announced.

Lazlo Strange has long lived up to his unusual name. Raised by monks, and later finding his calling as librarian in the Great Library of Zosma, he has spent his life ardently researching the myths and folklore that the other scholars sneer at. His goal is to learn all he can about the Unseen City – a place lost to the world years before when its name was stolen from the minds of all who knew of it and replaced with a single word: Weep.

Yet everything changes when the Tizerkane – the legendary army of Weep – come to Zosma. Their leader Eril-Fane – a man known as the Godslayer – is in search of the wisest men in the world. He needs them to solve a problem that has been plaguing Weep, but he will not speak of exactly what that problem entails. Although Lazlo has no skills to offer, he still manages to impress Eril-Fane with his stories and thus secures a job as the Godslayer’s secretary.

Lazlo dreams of discovering all of the mysteries that Weep has to offer, yet everything he finds just raises more questions. Fifteen years previously, something terrible happened in the City – something that gave the Godslayer his title but also left him filled with shame. As a blue-skinned woman begins to appear in Lazlo’s dreams, he slowly starts to put the pieces together. Yet who is this mysterious stranger, and could she possibly be somewhere in Weep?

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was written by Laini Taylor and first published in 2011. It forms the first part of a fantasy epic which follows Karou, a teenage girl in search of the meaning of her life. The novel is followed by its two sequels, Days of Blood and Starlight (2012) and Dreams of Gods and Monsters (2014).

Karou has always lived as part of two worlds. By day she lives as an art student in Prague but whenever Brimstone calls on her she must drop everything to rush to his assistance. To most, Brimstone and his friends would be called monsters – half human, half animal chimaera who reside in a place called Elsewhere and trade teeth for wishes – but for Karou they are the only family that she has ever known.

Yet Karou still feels alone. Although she has Brimstone and her art, a piece of her has always felt as though it is missing and she does not know what she can do to find it. Her life becomes more complicated as black handprints appear across the world, each marking a door to Elsewhere. Although Karou at first does not realise the significance of these marks, while on an errand in Marrakesh she comes into contact with the being who has left them.

Akiva is a seraphim and his race have been at war with the chimaera for centuries. When he first sees Karou, he views her as being his enemy and knows that it is his duty to destroy her. However, as he studies her, his resolve falters. There is something about her, something that sparks memories of a happier time in his life, and even if it makes him a traitor to his people he knows he needs to learn more about her. He may well hold the answers that Karou has always desired but, in the world of the chimaera, wishes always come at a terrible price…

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