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Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Submitted by on November 29, 2012 – 4:00 amOne Comment

Author: Laini Taylor
Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Release: November 6, 2012
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Reviewer: Eowyn
| Book Depository

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, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the world in two.” Thus begins DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor. I have anxiously awaited the sequel to DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE and though it took me a little while to get into the second book I was not disappointed by the deep emotions and thoughts that Taylor’s writing illicit.

DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT starts off answering the question we were left with at the end of the last book; where is Karou and what is she doing? It is not a pretty sight as we are all aware war is messy and not glamorous at all. The war was just beginning as Karou ran off heartbroken hoping against all odds to find her family; instead, Karou finds herself with her worst enemy picking up the burden that Brimstone had previously carried to resurrect the souls lost in war. We learn more of the sacrifice this is and the burden that Brimstone had carried on his shoulders. This is a huge burden for Karou surrounded by her enemies. She says to herself “Perhaps Fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked.” I think this is the only reason I had a hard time getting into the book in the beginning. It has nothing to do with Taylor’s writing and will not phase many of you; it’s more to the point that I’m just not wanting pain and anguish in my reading at the moment and Taylor’s superb writing brings you into Karou’s anguish and pain. I could feel her anger, her guilt and shame, and her broken heart.

Akiva’s journey is just as prominent as Karou’s in this book. We learn so much more about Akiva’s background and his feelings. We are taken into his inner world surrounded by never ending needless violence. He is living with the pain that he has caused Karou, more pain than anyone else in the world, and hoping against all odds that he will see her again. His anguish and choices are intimate and heart breaking as well. How do you move beyond an upbringing of violence? How do you see beyond today into the future and how with all the devastation around you do you hold on to that glimmer of hope? Brimstone’s words taunt him day and night; “Dead souls dream only of death, small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is….” We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.” It reminds me that we are all one drop in the ocean and our little drop can be the ripple that changes the world in which we live. Can there be redemption for Akiva? Can love change the world?

We also have moments that lighten the mood. Zusana is marvelous and brings us moments of glee and love. She is what takes away the darkness from this book and helps to add hope. We also see a few characters from the previous book and meet some new ones who help add cheerful moments to the plot. It is this love and light that help Karou get through the dark moments at hand and help her carry the burden that she alone can carry now. Friendship, love and hope are such valuable strands to light your path in the darkest moments. We are reminded of the hope from long ago when Karou (then Madrigal) and Akiva thought their love could change the world.

I will not kid you; the book is a little dark. Hope seems lost; the world seems to be crashing in upon everyone on both sides. Violence breeds violence and as the war escalates you find yourself wondering how can it ever end? Taylor has given us a tale to ponder these deep truths. Though moments seem dark there is always hope, there is always love and as we learn from the thoughts of a new side character in this tale “Mercy, she had discovered, made mad alchemy: a drop of it could dilute a lake of hate.” So, as we turn the last page the world seems to be getting darker but….there is a drop of hope and hope and mercy can change the world. I will anxiously wait to see what hope and love will bring in the final installment of this brilliant trilogy.

Steph (Eowyn) is a voracious reader who does not remember a time when she wasn’t engrossed in a book in fact she is often reading two or three. She enjoys a broad range of books including Fiction, Paranormal, Thrillers, Urban Fantasy, Women’s Issues, Historical and Spiritual Novels. Steph believes that reading changes lives and credits her love of books for success in her own life. Since she doesn’t know a stranger she enjoys discussing the latest novel she is reading with anyone who will listen. Steph dreams of writing her own novel in the future and speaking around the world on women’s issues. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and cat (Mirabelle).
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One Comment »

  • Believer9200 says:

    I’m so excited but nervous about this sequel. I think you captured all my concerns fairly well. This first book had so much magic.

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