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

days of blood and starlightFrom 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?

Review:

“Karou saw them with her human eyes, this army she had rendered more monstrous than ever nature had, and she knew what the world would see in them if they flew to fight the Dominion: demons, nightmares, evil. The sight of the seraphim would be heralded as a miracle. But chimaera? The apocalypse.”

This book did things to me and while it was fantastic in a different kind of way than the first book…it did frustrate me to no end.  But before I delve into my major frustration, let me just say, the writing is simply brilliant, it’s a compelling story and my imagination was stretch and pulled until it was completely pliable and it was only then that I was transported to another world where the impossible could and did happen.  It’s a world where the un-explainable exists and it’s a world I want to live in, just like Zuzana did.

“Mercy, she had discovered, made mad alchemy: a drop of it could dilute a lake of hate.”

Now for my biggest gripe about this entire story and I want to clearly state that I am a fan of Karou but dear-sweet-baby-jeeeeeeeeeeezus she was relentless in expressing her disappointment and anger towards Akiva!  Sheesh!  I mean, I get it but enough already!! Hasn’t he suffered enough?  I’m all about push-and pull but the pull was practically non-existent and frankly, I felt as though Akiva redeemed himself time and time again.  Thiago is her “kind” and yet betrayal oozes out of him but Akiva puts himself in the line of fire and NADA. ZIP. ZILCH. Yup, you guessed it, NOTHING.  End of rant.

 “Nothing made you feel so useless as another person’s grief.”

What you’ll find in this story is the ugliness of war and while it’s in the world of urban fantasy, there is an underlying theme of “hate is taught” (sadly, similar to what’s taking place in real life) but it can also be un-learned and I’m not even sure that’s even a word but just go with it.  Both sides, chimaera and the angels fear and hate the “enemy” but there’s a growing group of those who want to find peace because they are tired of the senseless deaths.  And I felt the loss every time one died, be it chimaera or angel and I too, was a mess over it.

“Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.” ​

What Laini Taylor brilliantly does in this book is weave the story of opposing sides at war with one another and gives us insight to their heartbreaking vulnerability.  The intricate world building continues with powerful imagery and beautiful words no matter how sad and dark the story becomes because there are shreds of hope and lightness. As I continued reading, I realized there are no wrong teams to cheer because they are both good, only evil people on both sides.  There’s no other way to say it except….I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!

“She thought of Akiva, the night he had come to her at the river, the crushing pain and shame in his face, and love, still love – sorrow and love and hope – and she remembered the night of the Warlord’s ball, how Akiva had always been the right to Thiago’s wrong, the heat to the Wolf’s chill, the safety to this monster’s menace.”

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series is a MUST read because it’s unique and frankly, the word unique is totally inadequate in describing how rich and different this story is. ;)

“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.”

*Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) will be released on 04/08/14 and is available for pre-order on amazon.

5stars

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Comments

  1. says

    I totally get your frustration towards Karou. I was like, “C’mon! Just kiss him already!” – but yeah, I guess, Taylor needed it to up the tension in the book and to have something to go on with the story. I really hated Thiago to bits! But I did enjoy this book. I can’t wait for the next one!

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