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?
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Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: fast-paced, intense, heart-pounding action; the exploration of what “traitor” means in a war between different societies—and what makes a traitor; angels, spirits, Frankenstein-esque monsters; the examination of love, destiny, strength, and right vs. wrong
Please excuse me just a minute. I seem to have left my heart shredded between the pages of this book; I need to put it back together before I can form coherent thoughts on what I just read. Have a quote while you wait:
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.
Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.
This was not that world.
There is something enchanting, alluring, and utterly breathtaking about both Laini Taylor’s prose and worlds. She weaves intrigue so effortlessly, readers are sucked in and held hostage the entire journey—hearts breaking at every turn, hope dwindling and then spearheading again… It’s a wild rollercoaster, reading Laini Taylor’s novels, and she always finds a way to leave the wound gaping wide even at the closing of the last page. This sequel is no exception.
A LOT of things happen in this book, but every situation has a point, every moment has a purpose; nothing seems irrelevant, nothing is forced. Every word carries weight; Laini Taylor knows how to think of every loophole and make them COUNT toward the end result. Nothing should be taken for granted in her writing: she has an answer for every potentiality, and enacts them to their fullest, most lethal advantage. So while a lot of things happen in this book…you won’t feel unsatisfied, disappointed, or in any way lost on any of the separate story lines. It’s all explained. It all comes full-circle. It all pans out.
“As long as you’re alive, there’s always a chance things will get better.”
“Or worse,” said Liraz.
“Yes,” he conceded. “Usually worse.”
Hazael cut in. “My sister, Sunshine, and my brother, Light. You two should rally the ranks. You’ll have us killing ourselves by morning.”
I’ve only ever read these first two books by Laini Taylor…but I’ve fallen hopelessly, desperately in love with her words. She is the type of writer I strive to be in the future: the kind who can steal readers from their thoughts, close them off to the rest of the world, and sweep them along a journey they never foresaw or knew they needed. Her world building is pure gold, the details so exact and brilliantly imagined readers can’t help but feel as if they’re watching the action from the sidelines. The connection with the characters is instantaneous and powerful; it doesn’t take long to sidle into the story and pick a side, pick someone to root for, pick a dream to carry.
The prose is absolutely stunning. The scenes are clear, a mirage of words veiled over a reader’s mind. The characters are at odds both realistic and completely fantastical, human and utterly magic at the same time. Their dialogue is expertly crafted, a fine balance of honesty and total snark (in all the right places, and sometimes exactly the wrong ones). Every detail is so finely balanced, every thread sewn with such precision, it’s as if Laini Taylor has done MORE than just put words to a page. She brings an inventive, creative world of danger, war, and hostility to brilliant life—the morals she explores through the process, the different realizations we as readers are meant to reach and consider, only add to the overall result. It is a journey—not just of the world she’s imagined—but of oneself.
It was one of those dreams that invade the space between seconds, proving sleep has its own physics- where time shrinks and swells, lifetimes unspool in a blink, and cities burn to ash in a mere flutter of lashes.
I absolutely LOVED this read—it’s just as beautiful, just as ensnaring, as the first. I highly recommend to lovers of magical realism, fantasy, and books featuring angels (even not-so-great ones…) I can’t WAIT to dive into the third installment, and see what this captivating world holds secret yet.