Days of Blood & Starlight

Taylor, Laini. Days of Blood & Starlight (2012). Little, Brown books for Young Readers. 516 pages. $8.99

Daughter of Smoke & Bone | Book Two

Days of Blood & Starlight is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone. This review could very well contain spoilers for Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Please proceed with caution.

12812550Truly, even the synopsis has spoilers… 

From Amazon

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 anoher 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?

First Lines

Prague, early may. The sky weighed gray over fairy-tale rooftops, and all the world was watching. Satellites had even been tasked to surveil the Charles Bridge, in case the… visitors… returned. Strange things had happened in this city before, but not this strange. At least, not since video existed to prove it. Or to milk it.

Thoughts

 Laini Taylor has a gift for words. If you are reading this then you are likely already a fan, and have read the first book. And if you have not, I urge you to go back now. Read the first book. Savor it. Then pick up the second, enjoy it, too, and then and only then read this review. Because I do not so much review as have a one-sided conversation about books. I can be critical, yes, but much of the time I love what I’ve read, and I just want to share that love with others.

This novel is dark. It’s about war, and it does not pull its punches. It is still beautiful, but it is a different sort of beautiful than its predecessor. It evokes emotion, and those emotions are not always the pleasant ones. It’s a tougher read than Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Much tougher. Kaoru is hurting, and the way she copes is not healthy, and it is hard to read, but you do keep reading because it is written so beautifully and you hope and hope that with each turn of the page things will get closer to being happy for her.

“You know how, at the end of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet wakes up in the crypt and Romeo’s already dead? He thought she was dead so he killed himself right next to her?”

“Yeah. That was awesome.” A pause, followed by “Ow,” suggested elbow punctuation on the part of Mik.

Kaoru  ignored it. “Well, imagine if she woke up and he was still alive, but…” She swallowed, waiting out a tremor in her voice. “But he had killed her whole family. And burned her city. And killed and enslaved her people.”

After a long pause, Zuzana said in a small voice, “Oh.”

“Yeah,” said Kaoru, and closed her eyes against the stars.

Days of Blood & Starlight, Chapter 47

It’s darker, and it’s difficult, and the characters that I loved in the first book are still there, but they’re struggling. Everything that matters to them is at stake, and the war they are fighting consumes everything.

The worldbuilding. There’s so much going on and the world is so different from our own but it almost feels like you’re there. Sure, there are some scenes set on present-day Earth, but so much of it is not, and yet it still feels like a fully realized world, and I appreciate that.

It takes its time at first. It builds and it builds and then things start happening, and it’s rushing headlong toward the end of the book, and then you’re there. Thankfully, all three books in the series have been released, but when I initially read it, I had a wait on my hands, and it killed me. Some books are too good to wait for.

I tore through Days of Blood & Starlight, and loved every moment. There are so many wonderful terrible things going on, and I was hanging on every word, rushing to get to the end, but holding myself back to savor it as I read it. I would definitely give this one a 5/5 for being absolutely amazing, and working really well as a bridge between the first and second books.

2 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

2 responses to “Days of Blood & Starlight

  1. I think this one was my favorite of the series. I just love how ballsy Laini Taylor is about exploding everything that’s happened and all the mythology up to that point, and giving you a whole new version of events that her characters now have to deal with. It’s awesome.

    Like

  2. Laini Taylor was another author I saw at the Comic Con panel. I also really liked her and wanted to check out her books. I skimmed this review because of spoilers but I definitely have to check it out.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s