Monday, March 6, 2017

Book Sketch: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

By: Laini Taylor
Published By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Pages: 517
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: 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?

First Thought After Finishing: Oh, Karou. Don’t give up hope. Don’t give up on your dream…

I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone years ago, but the story never completely left my mind. Karou and Akiva’s characters always haunted me, and I finally decided that I couldn’t want any longer to see how everything played out for them. Even though I still have the third book to read, I am so glad that I finally took the plunge and read this sequel.

“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…this was not that world.”

Days of Blood and Starlight begins soon after the events of the first book, but the tone is quiet different. The world of Eretz is a darker place, filled with bloodshed among both the seraphim and the chimera. Karou and Akiva both must come into their own during this book. Each time the point of view shifted, I longed for the one left behind.

“I am priestess of a sandcastle in a land of dust and starlight.”

Once again, Laini Taylor gives us a glimpse into a sweeping, expansive world, showing where humans intersect with magical creatures. The images she creates made me believe that I was in the desert and able to glance up at a sky of endless stars. I loved the fact that we got to dive deeper into the world of the seraphim and learn more about the different tribes of chimaera. In addition, Zuzanna and Mik are back with Karou, and we see a lot more of Akiva with Liraz and Hazael. The banter between these characters kept the book from being too somber, and even though there was an undercurrent of tension due to the war, there were definitely moments of laughing out loud.

As for the main characters, they are definitely changed in this installment of the story. So often I just wanted to hug them both and tell them that it would be all right. However, “all right” can’t really be a thing when the world is about to be at war and two soulmates are separated in class Romeo and Juliet style. I don’t want to say too much for people who haven’t read this yet (and what are you waiting for?), but the new aspects of magic, the challenges faced, and the truths revealed make for one compelling story.

Most Memorable Aspect: I loved the quotes interspersed between sections. But really, I love the story and the characters. They haven’t left me in years.


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