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?Hardcover, 517 pagesPublished November 6th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Karou finds herself thrust back into the world of the Chimaera. She works tirelessly to aid the rebels led by the White Wolf. After the treacherous betrayal by Akiva, she has turned her back on love and the chance to build a new world. Now she takes up Brimstone's trade and crafts new soldiers. The war is relentless, bloody and never ending. The battles have taken a cruel twist as the innocents on both sides are slaughtered. This heartless bloodshed is causing warriors, chimaera and seraphim alike to rethink their actions, but the heartless leaders press on and insist on more slaughter. Can there ever be peace?
- Once again, I loved immersing back into Laini Taylor's world of chimaera and seraphim. The world building continues to be masterful and astonishing in this series. I am so impressed by the intricate and detailed world Ms. Taylor has crafted and that it continues to stir the imagination.
- I am happy to say that this book does not suffer from a second book syndrome. The story in some ways is more engaging and more complex and it is has a number of stunning twists. It is much darker, though and instead of a love story this one plunges you right into the trenches of war. It is dark and sorrowful and a horrific picture of the evils of war. But there is always that shimmer of hope.....that possibly after all the horror, sorrow, bloodshed, heartache and death there can and will be a new world....
- Karou's growth in this novel is tremendous. She has recovered her memories from her former life and she is in the middle of the never ending war. She struggles with the past, knowing she gave her heart to the one who helped destroy her people. She is bitter, sad and determined. She is far removed from the fun, care free, somewhat rebellious teenager we met in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Now she is a fierce woman bent on helping her people, yet her heart bears an enormous burden of sorrow and shame.
- I loved that this book gives us a plentiful dose of Mik and Zusanna. The two love birds bring some lighthearted comedic relief to the book, and definitely help to lighten up the mood with their fun and witty banter. I liked how determined Zusanna is to find her friend, even if it means believing the unbelievable. It was also nice to see their romance in full bloom. The pair are a shining beacon of light and love amidst the chaos.
- This is one of those books that you need to set aside plenty of time for as it is full of cliffhanger chapter endings. If you pick this up thinking you can read just a couple of chapters, you are wrong. Time and time again, there is a dramatic chapter ending that will have you saying, I can't leave it on that note, just one more chapter....The story line is riveting and there are some big surprises! The plot is also intricate and complex and I was left eager for the next installment.
- I still cannot figure out why this series is marketed in the Young Adult genre. I had the pleasure of recently meeting Laini Taylor and she admitted that her books are sold as adult books everywhere else in the world. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing in these books that is offensive and there isn't sex, drugs or anything that you would not want a young reader reading. But these books are complex and amazing and their story lines are definitely intricate and I feel that these books are better suited for mature readers. A younger reader may not appreciate the complexity of the story. Furthermore, the writing is mature and again it is best for more seasoned readers. If you have an avid younger reader who likes a good fantasy novel, have no fear you can put this in their hands, the only caution I have is that this installment does have a great deal of violence as its story line is centered on war. I think that placing these books under a YA label may keep them from many adult readers who would certainly appreciate these tremendous books.
- I was completely enthralled with the writing in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Many times, passages just took my breath away, so I jumped into this one expecting the same, but the writing wasn't quite as mesmerizing this time around. I think because the book's focus is on the atrocities of war, and let's face it, there isn't much you can say about war that is beautiful. Since this book has a much darker tone, the writing is a bit more subdued. I still loved it, but it just wasn't quite as magical. Plus this time around the story takes place in the desert far away from the beauty of Prague. I really missed Prague!
- As I mentioned earlier, this book is full of cliffhanger chapter endings that were a bit frustrating, especially since most of the time the next chapter didn't pick up where its predecessor left off, instead it usually shifted view points leaving the reader in agony. When the story line did finally pick back up, there were many occasions where the story jumped ahead skipping over the dramatic details that left me on edge. Then finally, the events would be recounted to fill you in on what happened. I didn't like that often times it was done by flashbacks, I would have preferred to stay in the moment and live vicariously through it. I felt it just lost a bit of momentum when the story shifted ahead and then looked back.
- Finally, this one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger...again, but it isn't as horrendous as the ending of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I was at least eased by the fact that the book concludes on a more hopeful note after such a lengthy dark journey through the trenches of war. I am most perplexed to see, though, that the next book is not slated for release until 2014! How will I last that long? Furthermore, Laini herself said she has no idea how the storyline is going to go.....I guess it will be a long wait!
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.Favorite Quotations:
"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 to ash in a mere flutter of lashes."
"Or...perhaps Fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked."
"These weren't her folk, but....they were, and maybe that meant that anyone could be anyone's, which was a sort of nice thing to think, with the world falling apart."
"The fox solider had been Madrigal's friend once, and her soul was the touch of sunset and laughter, with a bite like the sting of nettles; Haxaya was someone you wanted on your side..."
"It is bodies that make us real. What is a soul without eyes to look through, or hands to hold?"
"She smelled of the river and trembled like a breeze on a butterfly's wing, and Ziri cradled her as if she were their world's last hope. And maybe she was."
"You've always felt the truth in him, then and now. Your heart is not wrong. Your heart is your strength."