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.
Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.
This was not that world.
Spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone!
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor is more than you could ever wish for in a sequel. Taking the reader through forbidden love, betrayal, questioned loyalties and strong friendships, Days of Blood and Starlight will have you on the edge of your seat gripping the book for dear life.
One of the major reasons that I love this book and series is the writing. Laini Taylor has a beautiful, lyrical style of writing – descriptions are extremely vivid with particular attention to detail and intense emotion from characters and situations. Karou is with Thiago and the other surviving Chimaera in the human world while Akiva is back with his brethren in the other world. War is in full swing and both warlords are kind of crazy. We get to experience multiple aspects of the war through multiple point of views – not just Karou and Akiva, but Zuzana and Mik, and refugee Chimaera fleeing the Angels. With each point of view change comes a completely different way of looking at the situation and an almost new feel to the story. New emotions, outlooks and descriptors. Character voice is perfect, especially so with Karou. She is so changed from the beginnings of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and yet still the same girl deep down. It’s an interesting look at how new knowledge and revived memories can alter a personality but have the new experiences and recent memories leave their mark as well.
The plot in Days of Blood and Starlight hits the ground running. There are plans within plans within plans and it seems that no one can be trusted. Every move is questionable, no one is safe and what you think you know can be completely wrong. Akiva and Karou are both being manipulated and there is more going on behind the scenes of the war between the Angels and Chimaera than they are privy to. Laini Taylor hits hard with ideas surrounding love, friendship and loyalty – Karou and Akiva had forbidden love, Zuzana and Mik are so in love. Zuzana would do anything, and indeed she kind of has, for Karou while Akiva manages to earn a grudging friendship with two of his siblings. Karou showcases a sense of loyalty to her people born of guilt and fear, while Akiva’s loyalty to the cause is sorely tested and even broken. The question for both of them is whether to do what is right or what is easy and always been done – and then even if they do the right thing, it tends to blow up in their faces. Sometimes literally.
The ending of Days of Blood and Starlight is ridiculous in such a good way. Shit has well and truly hit the fan. Oh look, apocalypse. How fun! I was so tense during the ending of the book and more than just a little excited (it scares me sometimes how much I enjoy a good apocalypse story). I seriously don’t know how I can wait for the next book after that ending. There are so many twists, cliffhangers and “holy crap” moments that the story is always surprising and gripping. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor is one of those books where you need to know what happens next and each moment leads to the other and flows so seamlessly together you won’t be able to find a good spot to stop and just keep turning pages until before you know it, it’s 2am and you’ve just finished the book. This series is absolutely captivating.
e-ARC provided by Hachette Book Group Canada through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!