Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

Published: November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: Purchased
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?

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

Delicate Beauty

Days of Blood and Starlight was written just as beautifully as the first. However, Karou is not in the same place, mind or body, that she was before. She's living with the remaining Chimeara far away from her best friends Zuzana and Mik and so very alone. She is working beside someone she hates, but doesn't have a choice. I was constantly feeling so bad for Karou and teared up repeatedly while reading. This one is much darker than Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet still full of hope. She's doing this beautiful and important work for the Chimeara, and is treated like the cardboard tube of the toilet paper roll, so necessary but easily discarded. It seemed like as soon as she was given a bright light in the form of a friend and ally, that person would be ripped away for one reason or another.

There are two groups in this story, the Seraphim and the Chimeara. As with every group, it's so easy to see that there are both good and evil within on both sides. Akiva is with the Seraphim working from the inside trying to get others of his kind to show mercy and begin living another way. Karou is working tirelessly to bring more kind souls out in the Chimeara and is blocked at every pass. Together they are in parallel during the middle to the end of the story with similar circumstances happening on both sides. It was such a great and poignant read. I absolutely loved the inclusion of Zuzana and Mik and the bouyancy that they brought with them.

Black Hands and Splintered Souls

Really the only hard part about reading this one for me was how sad it got. I've never enjoyed being sad, and this one definitely pulled on my heart-strings.

It was also hard to watch Karou through the beginning of this one because she was so bent on revenge, but at the same time disgusting herself. She is so intensely mad at Akiva for his need for revenge, but reacts in the same way at first.

Like Magnets

Akiva becomes someone to really get behind, but Karou is heart broken and decides that her instant attraction to him was an incredible mistake. In this one, she questions what she really knows about him and whether she can move past the things he's done. Akiva, however, never wavers in his love for Karou.

Zuzana and Mik are the IT couple in this one. They are incredibly adorable together.

There is an attempted rape scene as well.

Never Seen Stars so Bright

Days of Blood and Starlight was full to the brim of conflict, hope for redemption, characters to loathe and characters to adore, incredible story-telling, and an interesting plot with a ton of development from the first one. Very recommended.


What exactly was her crime? Loving the enemy, that was a grave thing; setting him free, graver still, but they didn't know she had done that, and anyway...she had not told Akiva the chimeara's deepest secret. Thiago had. The White Wolf was blaming her for his own breach, keeping her isolated from the rest of the company, feeding steady lies in both directions. All to control her, and her magic, and it had been working neatly for him..."

Ziri will never forget Akiva's screams - absolute despair, rage, helplessness. It remained the worst thing he had ever heard. He had seen Thiago that day, too, a chill white presence on the palace balcony, motionless and unmoved. Ziri had begun to hate someone on that day, and it wasn't Akiva. "I don't know why, Karou," he said. "But I think the angel saved my life."

She let herself imagine, just for a moment: If Brimstone were here, what would be different? One thing, at least. I would be loved.

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