Tuesday, February 17, 2015

REVIEW: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor 
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Book Purchased by Reviewer
Guest Reviewer: Doris aka La Chiquita
Buy it at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is-and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age –old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Before I get into the in-depth (tears free edition) of this review let me just say that my feels were all over the place. Laini Taylor broke my heart and I fully let her and probably would let her again. What can I say I’m a sucker for punishment. At the end of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Akiva drops a bomb on Karou that shatters her world to a thousand little Ikea-size no-manual-included pieces. Gutted out and seeing red Karou disappears until we meet again in Days of Blood and Starlight.

               The title couldn’t be more accurate of the feel of the book. Though we were introduced to Eretz in the first book we really dive into the world now and see the disaster the end of the war has caused for the chimera still alive. I use the world alive loosely because being alive in Eretz as a chimera is worse than finally being allowed to die. This book is full of the big bad meanies that the world has to live through and unfortunately our beloved Akiva and Karou have to be on opposite sides.
               Talk about war of the villains. It was like Laini thought “Hmm, who else can I throw in the pot to make it surely impossible for anyone to survive… oh yea lets throw in the ugly uncle and give him a scar to cause nightmares! Oh yummy!” We hear about the emperor Joram’s blood lust and we know about Thiago’s higher than thou persona but when we meet Jael all bets are off. The hunger in these characters to not better the world but to enrich themselves only is staggering. The saddest part is that they have support systems in play that allow them to be this way! Say what! No one, that is whose opinions matter, cares to speak up and stop them. Therefore leaving the world to the flames and the people who hold the torches.

               Karou has taken up an alliance with Thiago and is continuing the work of resurrections. Slowly but fully Karou is re-growing the rebel army to take back some of Eretz and avenge the murders witnessed by Loramendi the chimera strong hold. So many innocent lives were burnt. So many families destroyed. Karou carries this load and she bares it in stride only with the hope that she is doing the right thing.

               We find Akiva shamed and remorseful. Still part of the misbegotten army Akiva does what he can to slowly tithe for the deaths he’s caused. At the same time trying to rebuild the broken strand between Hazael, Liraz and himself. He has done what no other angel has ever done. He’s fallen in love with a chimera and how is he to explain that to the ones closes to him? Especially when they too have been brain washed by the past laid before them. The story and the events that unfold in the book really test the strands that hold the characters together. This is not exclusive to the brothers and sisters but to the chimera as well. Who can you trust when all you see is blood and war?

               If you thought the previous book was all about layering and organizing the moving bits to form an image prepare yourself for Blood and Starlight. Hope though once was a beacon for the future and beamed so bright for our characters is now just a piece of thin paper beaten to it limits. We watch them fight all urge to do what they feel is right for what they feel is their responsibility. It’s not all sad ladies and gets there are those characters that allow you to hope for a better tomorrow with every appearance. We meet Ziri the last of the Kirin, and Mik the one and only to Zuzana.

               I was saved by the love duo of Zuzana and Mik. Though they are just humans in their small appearances they bring the little glimpse of happiness that Karou and Akiva want for themselves one day. That’s the theme of the journey. One day. Even if the path to one day is laced with the guts and tears of all those other people… le sigh….


  1. You've got to really the third book and fast! Don't get troubled by the length you will LOVE it!

    1. Haha thanks Alexandria. This series is so good!!! Do you have any others that you love and would recommend?

  2. I love this series!! And yes, good grief there's so much piled into these.

    Zuzana and Mik are LIFE. I love them :)

    Jessica @ Ramblings on Readings

    1. Thanks Jessica! Don't you just love when a series is perfect?!?! I'm always looking for new recommendations if you have any :)


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