Publishing Info: November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 8, 2013
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
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?
** There WILL be spoilers for the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so please beware! **
Hope. Above all else, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT is about hope. The girl Karou who bears its name. The idealistic relationship between Karou and Akiva. The hope for peace between chimaera and seraphim. The hope for any survival of the chimaera at all. This book is dark. This journey is tumultuous. This writing is beautiful.
It’s hard to know where to begin writing this review. I feel like I’ve gone on a serious journey with these characters. I knew when I picked it up that I was going to be extremely emotionally invested in it and that was absolutely true. The very beginning of the book was a bit slow for me action-wise. The finale of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was a big one, throwing lots of information at the reader and ending the book with a big bang. DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT has its own grand finale, but the walls came crashing down at the end of book one and they need to slowly be built up again — and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Truths were revealed, wounds were exposed, and I personally felt like I needed a bit of time to ease myself back into this world so it actually worked out well for me. My only (MINOR) complaint was that it did seem like it took a while for the “big” things to happen, but once they started, it was like a freight train that couldn’t be stopped!
Karou does not have it easy in this book. She’s partially heart-broken — feeling a deep betrayal by Akiva — and partially war-hardened, convincing herself to just push him aside and focus on helping the chimaera in the never-ending and brutal war. She’s still coming to terms with all of her fresh memories as Madrigal. She’s still torn between the natural warrior in herself and her desire for peace and a life with Akiva. Karou has so many things going on that you really just feel for her! It was definitely emotional seeing her side of this story.
I love that Laini Taylor isn’t afraid to take the book where it needs to go, meaning that whatever POV we’re supposed to see a specific scene from, we do. The third person allows the reader to transition easier from one POV to the next and we get so many scenes not only from Karou’s eyes but so many more characters, including some of my personal favorites like Zuzana! (So happy to see more of Zuze & Mik in this book!)
The ending. OH MY GOSH, THE ENDING. So many mind-blowing things happen and it seems like just when things are about to quiet down and resume normal pace, something else happens. I was laughing, I was crying. I was shocked and horrified. I was elated. The end of this book totally ran my emotions through a meat grinder and I ended up with a book hangover, not knowing what to think or where to go. This, of course, left me DYING to pick up book three which I guess I won’t have to wait TOO long!
Ziri // Character Obsessions: Battles, staying lucky, getting to know Karou again.
Ziri. Oh, Ziri! He was one of my favorites. I absolutely loved his backstory with Madrigal and seeing how much he’s changed over the years and yet how much he’s stayed the same. I loved his relationship with pretty much everyone and he was such a fantastic addition to this story!
Zuzana // Character Obsessions: Loyalty to Karou, helping when she can, being a badass and yet adorable.
I want Zuze to be my best friend (and in a way, she totally reminded me of two of my best friends so maybe that’s why I loved her so much)! She and Mik are two of my FAVORITES and I just love her friendship with Karou. I’m so glad we got to see so much more of her in this book!
Kept Me Hooked On: A world I never thought I would fall in love with. Chimaera and seraphim are so not my thing. That being said, Laini Taylor MADE them my thing. These books are just so incredible and they really find a way to make you connect with them.
Left Me Wanting More: Answers because HELLOOOO, the ending!!! I am just dying for book three. What can I say.
The beginning does start out a bit slow, but seriously. This book is so worth all of the pages, all of the tears, and all of the feels! The twists, the surprises, the emotional connections… Laini Taylor’s writing is really something to admire.
(Click the cover to see my review!)