Rummanah Aasi
   Days of Blood and Starlight is a great sequel to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone, one of my favorites from 2011. After reading a few reviews about the book I was hesitant in picking it up because I knew it would a very emotional read. It is, but I found it worthwhile.

Description (from the Publisher): In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Review:  In the wholly imaginative world full of magic, mystery, angels, and demons we met star-crossed lovers Karou and Akiva. They are now torn apart by an unforgivable betrayal at the end of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and hopes of them reuniting is slim to none, breaking our hearts and crushing our hope as we plunge into the darkness, brutality of their current world. Both are now engaged in the renewed war between the chimaera and the angels.
   Days of Blood and Starlight is very different from its predecessor. It is raw, painful, and full of angst. It also feels like a middle book in which it takes time and patience for the plot to get rolling. The first half of the book is slow, full of rage and anger, and carnage and destruction. Karou goes through a cycle of blaming herself and taking responsibility of what happened to the chimaera. Driven by guilt and rage, she takes over Brimstone's role without really comprehending what consequences her actions will bring. Meanwhile Akiva is desperately trying to atone for his sins, which we all know is unforgivable  As a reader it was hard to sympathize with Akiva given what has happened though we do understand the circumstances surrounding his actions.
  Karou is not the same girl we first met, full of wonder, humor, and hope. She has lost her naivete and is now struggling with coming to terms with her past and present. Now that the mystery of her identity and her connection to Akiva is solved, she has to begin her life all over again. She is slowly emerging as a leader, re-establishing her beliefs and her loyalties. Similarly, we see both aspects of Akiva's personality. The mindless soldier he was bred to be and an independent thinker who is forced to open his eyes to the death and destruction that cloaks him. Both Karou and Akiva are repulsed by the escalating brutality and the callous disregard for the sanctity of life but feel powerless to effect change.
  The second half of the book is when the plot finally starts moving. It is dominated by surprises and revelations that ratchet up the suspense as well as the horrors that the main characters have caused in their rage. Battles are fought, some won and some lost. New and fresh secondary characters are brought to life and add depth to the story. An uneasy alliance is forged between the chimaera and the Misbegotten for the battle against the angels that looms on the horizon. Normally, I have an inkling on how a series will end, but given what has occurred in this book, I have absolutely no idea what the future of Karou, her ill-fated romance with Akiva, and the survival of both of their races will hold. If this book is any indication, it will be  a rocky ride.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Strong violence that take mostly off page, suggestions of rape, and some language. Recommended for strong Grade 8 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor, Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare, Tithe by Holly Black, The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
9 Responses
  1. I bought this on the day that it came out and I still haven't read it. I need to. The angstyness makes me nervous though.


  2. I think Laini is extremely talented and a darker world probably works better for her. I bought this one as soon as it came out, but I still haven't found the time to read it. I am curious about the changes in Karou and what kind of person she's become.
    Thank you for the lovely review.


  3. Annette Says:

    Something about this world she has created. This is pretty heavy stuff -- and I love it. Great review!


  4. This is a much darker installment for sure. I also felt like this was a middle book, but the writing was so gorgeous, I just didn't care. Very interested to see what happens in book three! Lovely review :-)


  5. Elizabeth Says:

    I freaking LOVE this book! Glad to see you enjoyed it :)


  6. I'm still waiting to read this one. I want to have time to savor it. Laini Taylor's writing is so rich and her worlds so creative, I want to read it slowly so I can take it all in. Sounds like I'm gonna have to have my battle gear on for this one and a different mind set completely than for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Excellent Review!

    Heather


  7. Every time I see review of either this one or Daughter and Smoke and Bone, it's so favourable. I really do love the sound of the worldbuilding. And yet I still haven't read either book, Rummanah. *hangs head in shame*


  8. Sam Says:

    I really can't predict what will happen next either! I absolutely loved this book, though I was worried at first that I wouldn't. I agree that it was quite different to the first, but it worked very well overall. :) Great review!


  9. I enjoy finding new stories that are interesting and different. This fits the bill if you enjoy sci-fi fantasy and young adult stories. I found the writing smooth, and the story well thought out. I thought the different world and characters well described. Give it a try!


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