Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Published November 6th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult, fantasy, paranormal, angels, romance
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?
warning: very long spoiler section because i have many things to say about this AWESOME WONDERFUL FABULOUS BOOK.
Confession, I took a month and two days to finish reading this book. I’m sorry, it doesn’t deserve my taking me so long to read. Gosh, I’m so ASHAMED. Anyway, I really love it A LOT.
Laini Taylor’s writing is as flawless as ever. The way she strings words together made the magical world even more enchanting than it already is. I loved reading her works, I’m always fully immersed into the plot and the characters. EVERYTHING.
With Karou and Akiva apart from each other for the entirety of the book, the romance got the back-seat which I welcomed. In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the both of them had an insta-love situation going on because Karou was Madrigal in her other life and Akiva, of course, is still himself. There wasn’t any chance for me to experience their love to grow so now, i’m really glad that I get to experience how they will learn to love each other again.
Now the side characters were amazing in this one. Ziri was an expected character that I came to like. He was described as the Kirin shadow that always followed Madrigal and it was told that he likes Madrigal (and kinda Karou). I didn’t know much about him other than that and so his role wasn’t that significant. BUT. Here comes book two and Ziri became a major role and I absolutely loved it. His character was given so much development. You will read about his bravery, his selflessness and his thoughfulness.
Other than Ziri, Zuzana and Mik became my favourite side characters almost immediately. They bring so much light and happiness to Karou’s life while she’s struggling with her guilt and internal conflict.
We enter both the angels and the chimaera’s worlds through Akiva and Karou’s perspective respectively. It’s incredible to see that there are good chimeras because they’re always perceived as monsters and there are bad angels because they’re always perceived as kind.
Karou is consistently feeling like she has betrayed her kind, her people, because of the love she felt so strongly with Akiva. She’s trying to do everything she can to let people see that she’s over that love and she’s doing whatever she can to grow the chimaera army. On the other hand, Akiva is sick of the war and the killings, he wants to put an end to everything. He wants hope. But, he can’t do that without people seeing him as a traitor to the angels.
You really have to pick up this trilogy if you haven’t because it’s really good. It’s so magical and wonderful. I need to pick up Dreams of Gods and Monsters before school starts again for me.
NON-SPOILER SECTION OVER. MAKE SURE YOU’VE READ DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE BEFORE YOU PROCEED OR ELSE YOU WILL BE MAJORLY SPOILED.
Oh my god. the ending was MIND BLOWING. i totally didn’t see it coming.
ever since the reintroduction of thiago was made in the book, the wolf made my blood boil. he’s definitely plotting something behind karou’s back. after all the things that he has done, there’s no way he would’ve turned a new leaf that quickly. NO WAY. so i wasn’t surprised when he tried to gain empathy or a little bit redemption in karou’s eyes but was reminding everyone else about her traitorous love affair with akiva YEARS AGO. she’s freaking resurrecting you guys and giving you FREAKING WINGS SO THAT THERE’S AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD BETWEEN YOU AND THE ANGELS YET YOU GUYS ARE A BUNCH OF UNGRATEFUL BITCHES WHO HAS NO MINDSET (other than the few who actually went to support karou during her speech but sadly died). i was looking forward to see what the shadows could do but…
karou killed thiago after he tried to rape her. thankfully she had her dagger and managed to stab him. i was so afraid that someone was going to come into the scene and store thiago’s soul in a thurible while karou escapes. we were then told that karou heard wings, and she was afraid that it was one of thiago’s men, and i was afraid for her. but, THE SCENE GOT CUT OFF. only a few pages later, we found out that thiago is actually alive. I WAS LIVID!!!!!
i was scared for karou because thiago was alive and actually saw angels in her room. BUT, we find out that it WASN’T THIAGO!!! it was ziri, and i was so freaking happy for EVERYONE. also, karou got rid of annoying TEN. HA. finally. I. WAS. SO. HAPPY!!!
brimstone was frequently brought up in days of blood and starlight even though he’s not alive anymore. i felt the longing and agony issa and karou were experiencing as if they were my own. can you imagine when karou finds out about the cathedral that can house thousands of souls if it was totally sealed off and maybe brimstone’s soul is INSIDE IT?! ahmagawd. also, if that was true, does that mean karou has to resurrect that many people?! nooooo…
“Daughter of my heart,” was the message Brimstone had sent just for Karou. She wanted to cry again right here in the court, thinking of it. “Twice-daughter, my joy. Your dream is my dream, and your dream is true. You are all of our hope.”
^ALMOST DIED OMG. BRING BRIMSTONE BACK. I miss him.
i need to find out who’s the young woman who shattered the tower, was it one of the moon goddess????? she appeared so suddenly that i was taken aback by her presence. i don’t think it was explicitly mentioned which moon goddess she is also. I NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH.
there’s this couple that i must, DEFINITELY, have to mention. zuzana and mik are so cute together. the scene when zuzana had that smirk and talked about how mik made her a woman. i burst out laughing so hard. i never expected that to happen but it’s so fitting to zuzana’s character. i love seeing them both together.
But Zuzana’s response, employing full eyebrow power in the service of lechery, was, “Why, yes, since you ask. The man did make me a woman. It hurt like holy hell at first, but it’s gotten better.” She grinned like an anime character. “So. Much. Better.”
^I BURST OUT LAUGHING AT THIS PART. zuzana crack me up.
i feel bad for ziri every time his infatuation with karou is mentioned. sorry ziri, i don’t see you guys together, especially now when you’re in thiago’s body. if she didn’t see you then, she probably have even more reasons not to now. he willingly sacrificed his original body for karou which is definitely not an easy decision to make. he’s actually competent warrior to keep the body he was born with for so long, and to give it up so quickly so that karou would not be caught by thiago’s men for his death. i should’ve made a connection that something like that would happen when ziri’s group commander (balieros) demanded him to hide when jael was attacking that group that was helping the weaker chimeras to escape. laini taylor’s foreshadowing is on point.
i never expected hazael’s death to be so bitter. but without his death, we would probably never have seen liraz let down her walls and break down… it’s so upsetting to see her so vulnerable when she’s known to be so strong and nothing can break her down. at the same time, it was so refreshing to see that she has another side of her that she don’t ever show to anyone. i thought it was quite understandable that they didn’t have a thurible and there’s no way of containing hazael’s soul. it would’ve floated away from his body once he was killed. maybe they didn’t know they needed a thurible, but akiva would’ve known… hmm…
hell is going to descend upon the humans in the next book because akiva and the rest didn’t think it through. i mean, great plan on wanting to kill your father because he’s so full of shit and is power hungry. but JAEL, there’s always JAEL IF YOU DON’T REMOVE HIM FROM THE EQUATION!! look at what he did. actually, jael’s a great antagonist. he’s cunning and sly and has all sorts of bad intentions up his sleeves. but he knows what he wants. even though his brother is also power hungry, jael actually waits patiently for his time to strike which makes him a good battle commander (well duh, he’s commanding the Dominion) and he’s an enemy that the rest should fear.
i love seeing the power play in the book. when karou stood up against thiago, a few people actually stood beside her. they had the same goal and i though, oh wow, karou is actually making a difference and the power to shift the chimera’s mindset were shifted to her from thiago. but thiago calmed down instead of lashing out, and merely by that move, the power is granted back to thiago which consequently caused the demise of the people who stood by karou.
another incredible power play is between akiva and jael. akiva thought he had it in the bags once he kills his father but he didn’t think further enough that jael might have been using him as a pawn in the whole grand scheme of things. it’s fascinating to see the power change and laini taylor does it so well.
SUCH A GREAT BOOK. I love it so much. Can’t wait for the next book! here’s a cookie for everyone who stayed by me and actually read the whole thing.
“Twice-daughter, my joy. Your dream is my dream, and your dream is true. You are all of our hope.”