Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor || Monsters and Mayhem

BLOOD-STARLIGHT_510Once 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? (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

Once upon a time, I read an amazing book by the name of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I gushed, I raved…and I realized that our library was taking forever to get my hold in. But the very next day I visited a tiny used bookstore and found a brand new copy for only $6. I canceled the rest of my plans for the day to read it. Except getting gelato. I still got gelato.

Let’s start with Karou, shall we?

She’s basically an outcast now. The idea that she fell in love with a seraph is disgusting to the other Chimaera. Most view her as a traitor, not only to the war, but to their race. She’s taken over the role of resurrectionist from her deceased adopted father Brimstone, and is constantly being watched over by Thiago, the very person who killed her when she was Madrigal.

Thiago is a creep. Plan and simple. He’s one of those characters that every time he’s mentioned you can’t help but shudder a little bit. And, somehow, him attempting to be “nice” to Karou makes him ten times more repulsive than when he’s being outwardly mean. He even manages to terrify the one Chimaera who might still truly like Madrigal, Ziri, into not speaking to her. He’s horrible, horrible, horrible.

Zuzana and Mik remain some of the best characters in the series. I love and adore them with all my heart. They need to shut up and get married already.

Meanwhile, we learn more about Eretz while in Akiva’s POV. How the seraph live…it’s sickening. Absolutely sickening. Most of the army is from one or two different seraph. The Emperor keeps a harem of female seraph whom he uses to enlarge his army. While Karou is an outcast, Akiva is simply mistrusted. While he longs for Karou, Karou hates him for killing her family.

While the first book was cheerful and a romance, this book is about war, plain and simple, and the harsh realities of it. Karou is a darker person after the loss of all she cared about, while Akiva has hope for the first time in years after seeing his beloved Madrigal again. This book is bittersweet and heartwrenching and somehow still manages to be hopeful, which is really quite impressive.

And the writing…oh, the writing. This is why I fell in love with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Because it has quotes like this: “A dream dirty and bruised is better than no dream at all.” And it also has the little poetic intros to each part of the novel, like this:

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them, and its snap split the world in two.”

and

“Once upon a time, the sky knew the weight of angel armies on the move, and the wind blew infernal with the fire of their wings.”

and

“Once upon a time, chimaera descended by the thousands into a cathedral beneath the earth. And never left.”

Basically, this book is harsher and less romance-y than the first, but it’s still just as good. Perhaps even better. I highly recommend it.

FourStarsI’ve been on a kick of five star reviews, haven’t I? I promise the next book I review will be a horrible one. Maybe. Or not, I don’t know, maybe I just like reviewing the books I love and adore. Or maybe I’ll post the review for Dreams of Gods and Monsters next. That’d work, too.

Happy Friday,

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