Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: November 6, 2012
Hardcover, 517 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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?

The ending of Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a game changer. If you haven't read it, don't read any further because there will be spoilers, there's no stopping it.

Karou finally knows who she really is. A whole other life and all the memories that go with it have been revealed to her by Akiva, that and his betrayal against her family. Karou goes to live with her kind, taking over Brimstone's job and catching Thiago's attention once again. Trying to keep Akiva from her mind, she fills her days with teeth and magic, just as Brimstone did, and tries to find a way to be okay living like that. But Zuzanna and Mik have other plans, trying desperately to find her, and Akiva is trying to find a way to end this war once and for all. 

Their journey is long. I wait and wait for Akiva and Karou to find each other again, to follow their hearts and be together, but I must continue waiting. Karou shows her true strength in this book. Now that she knows she was a warrior, she has no trouble fighting back. She knows Thiago needs her and she will play it to end and find a way to escape his hold on her. There are many new viewpoints, a deeper look into the Chimaera race and more into the danger of the angels. This book is long, but it reads quickly and it's hard to put down because there are so many unanswered questions. Zuzanna is once again the comic relief, her and Mik are wonderful together and their story, as small as it may be, flies off the pages and demands attention. Karou and Akiva's story is bigger, more epic, but it is quiet throughout the novel, their love laying dormant until the moment they can express those feelings again. 

This is still the Romeo and Juliet love story I was looking for. They are just reacting much better than those lovers did. Akiva knows he has to fix what he did to Karou's family before even going back to her. But he can't stay away and the fleeting moments between them are heated and heart-wrenching. This story swoops to every end of the earth. There is love, fear, evil, war, and in the mist of it all - hope. Taylor has done it again with a wonderful tale spun so beautifully together that it's hard to imagine that Eretz does not exist in real life (or does it?)

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.

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