The B&N Podcast: Laini Taylor

Explore the stories behind the young adult books you love with the B&N YA Podcast. Join host Melissa Albert, editor of the B&N Teen Blog and bestselling author of The Hazel Wood, as she sits down with fellow YA authors to talk about books, life, their teen years, their pop cultural obsessions, and how they came up with the stories that keep us up at night. Subscribe to listen in on fascinating new conversations every other week.

In her beloved Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, a portal fantasy spanning Earth and the angel- and chimaera-populated land of Eretz, Laini Taylor cemented her reputation as a creator of rich, expansive worlds, author of impossible love stories, and spinner of narrative spells. In her new Strange the Dreamer duology, she introduces an unlikely hero: Lazlo Strange, an orphan-turned-librarian whose obsession with the lost city of Weep leads him, finally, to its borders. The duology closed in October with Muse of Nightmares, a book that is glitteringly magic, achingly romantic, and stuffed with gorgeous prose. We talked with Taylor about her process, her perfectionism, and her fictional obsessions.

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?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

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