Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: "Days of Blood & Starlight" by Laini Taylor

So, Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone was Steph's Stacks Fave of 2011 and with that in mind, you know I had the sequel, Days of Blood & Starlight on pre-order for-ev-er and simply devoured it the moment I got it in my hot little hands! (After re-reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, natch.)

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?

“I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.”

“Brimstone once told me that to stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”


“You have only to begin, Lir. Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.”

When we last left Karou, her family was missing and possibly dead, she had learned many secrets about herself and those around her and was potentially mortal enemies with the angel she loved. It is in this desolate state that we find Karou again in Days of Blood and Starlight.

I hesitate to go into too much detail about the plot points in fear of ruining the unfolding of Karou's new circumstances. Suffice it to say that although Karou believes she is doing exactly what she must do to right the wrongs of her world, she finds herself allied with her previous enemies and with no one to guide her except her own guilty conscience. Caught in the middle of the ages long war between the seraphim and the chimaera, Karou finds she plays a vital role which could change the outcome and end the war forever.

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone to pieces and it was my Favorite Book of 2011. Sometimes the sophomore effort of a series can leave a reader wanting, this is not the case with Days of Blood and Starlight. After the initial setup, I found this to be quite the page-turner.

As always, Laini Taylor is a master storyteller and brilliant world-builder. The detail with which she has plotted out every detail of Karou's fantastical world is stunning. If you are reading Days of Blood and Starlight for the romance, you might be a tad let down. Akiva and Karou are kept apart for the majority of the story, however, much is revealed through a series of flashbacks that might keep your need for amour sated.

I highly recommend Taylor's latest novel with zero hesitation, but you must read Daughter of Smoke and Bone first! This series is a soon to be classic and a perfect way to escape for a few days.

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