Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight

by Laini Taylor

SYNOPSIS:

“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?

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8344
5
Book #2 in Series

 

Bloody hell!

 

This book is unbelievably wonderful, wonderfully amazing, amazingly beautiful, beautifully shocking, shockingly unpredictable.. And I could go on and on, praising it because this book is a masterpiece, a new wonder of the world next to the pyramids and the Great Wall of China and other natural or hand-made beauties.

I couldn’t stop reading it.. Really.
In fact, after finishing it, I needed to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone again (which I did and I loved it even more than before, and at this moment I am re-reading Days of Blood and Starlight one more time and savoring every word, every beautiful paragraph, every turnaround, every mind-blowing detail I’ve somehow missed the first time around).
There is nothing I could read after this book that could possibly fill me with the same amount of emotion *hint, where’s the next one?! hint*

“Addictive” is not a strong enough word.
Off course I had to travel, to try on wedding dresses, to have fun with my friends and then there were some other keeping-away-from-the-book activities that managed to ‘disturb’ my reading, but I simply lost count of how many times I said: “just one more chapter, one more”.
There are very few books that I loved so much that I felt like I’ve got them tattooed on my heart, but this book is everything I’ve wanted, perfect in every detail and I love it from cover to cover.

“Mindblowing” is such a mild term.
How many chapters does this book have? Well there are almost as many turnarounds in the story. Every chapter left me hanging, begging for more, breathing in and out every word. I want to marry this book, I love Karou and Akiva and Ziri and Zuze and Mik and Liraz & Hazael and so many others. Can I have them all? I was so surprised by so many of their actions, I cared for them, cried for them, wanted to keep them safe, to bring them some joy, I want them to have a happy ending (when possible), as they deserve it so much.

“Heart-warming” is such a weak feeling.
This story broke my heart only to resurrect it. I wanted to cry and/or laugh (sometimes both in the same time), but my face was frozen in place, the shock of so many scenes not giving me a chance for any of those feelings to show.

Love and hate, smiles and tears, breaking hearts and healing souls, wars that might get to an end and wars that will still go on… So close but still so far away, trusting with your heart even when your mind questions everything, filled with fear and hope.. So much hope.. Well, I guess that this is what this story is about. And then some more..

“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.”

THE CHARACTERS:

Karou
Oh, I love this blue-haired girl so much and in this book Karou is stronger than ever (even with her doubts, with the chalenges, with her loss, her guilt, her broken heart). She gave everything for “hope” and then lost it all. She lived in a dream for 17 years only to wake up into a nightmare. Her love has cost her the chimaera world, her family and now she doesn’t know if it was worth it after all. Her dreams of peace never included so much death, her love for Akiva was never meant to bring so much pain, helping her people doesn’t feel right when it causes even more death and pain and she can’t even think of a time when she might be able to forget or forgive. Love seems lost for Karou forever.. but is it?

What would you have done if the seraphim had taken you, tortured you, and made you watch as they cut off his head?

Akiva
Watching the love of his life die by the hand of her people (the ones she loved) made him die inside and it turned him into a weapon. All he wanted was to avenge Madrigal at the tip of his sword, paying death with death, pain with pain, ending the war one way or the other.
But finding the truth hurt even more. Knowing what he’s done, having Madrigal in his arms only to lose her again made him want to change the course of things once more.
In the last 17 years he became the monster he was meant to be, killing beast after beast, but now it was time for him to bring a bit of hope to the world. He can’t possibly undo the terrible things he has done, but he tries his best to save the unsaveable, to end the war without so much killing, even though Karou might never know. Off course, there are other interests and people that get in the middle, and things are never simple, because you see.. you can’t decide which is the good side or the bad one, they are all monster’s in the eyes of the others and all they’ve know is war – peace is a concept foreign to them, they simply don’t know what that might be. Also, there are 4 worlds (you got it right.. four!) that will soon collide and when that will happen it will be simply mind-blowing (can’t wait for that in the 3rd book).
Peace seems lost forever.. but is it?

How, with swords clenched in both hands, could one hope to keep blood from spilling?

I will quickly mention some characters (trying not to spoil anything), because they are great – good or bad:

Zuze and Mik
This is the cutest couple ever! Their joy made the horrors in this story a bit more bearable, they brought light into a world filled with death and pain, they were there for Karou when she needed them the most and they were so sweet and caring! Even the chimaera warriors liked them.

Liraz and Hazael
Akiva’s sister and brother, the ones that felt like real siblings, the ones that acted that part, the ones that were there for him no matter what, the ones that would do anything, lose everything for him.

Ziri and Issa
Oh, sweet Ziri – still a kid with a crush, but I never knew that love and loyalty were capable of such sacrifices. And I’m zipping my.. fingers, and say no more, not about Ziri and not about Isa.

Thiago and Ten
What’s a good story without some terrible evil characters, huh?
I wanted to scream: “Don’t trust them, don’t trust them!! They only need you for what you know, what you do, but when they won’t anymore, IF they won’t..”
I am glad to know that Karou is not that naive. She might feel guilty and she might help them almost blindly, but when it comes to self preservation she knows how to defend herself. It’s hard to be in her shoes, helping Thiago when all she wants is to be far,far away from him.

Of all possible souls to survive the slaughter: her own murderrer.

Then, there were some characters that told us their story in a chapter here and there. For some people switching points of view was a bit confusing, but not for me. I loved to find out more about what happened in Eretz, I loved how stories got to overlap, in how many words do you need me to tell you how much I loved this story? I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved it!

Happy midnight reading!

Favorite quote

Fan-made book trailer:

Music of choice:

Excerpt:

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LEAVE A COMMENT

  • Meli

    I loved so much the first book in the series, can’t wait to read this one too. It sounds amazing!

    • Ari

      It really was. I hope you’ll love this one as much as you did with the first one 😉

  • Sophy

    They should make a graphic novel, it would look fabulous! Such a wonderful story!!!

    • Ari

      It’s one of my favorite series in the world. Simply amazing!
      Happy reading!

  • Oh my! Thas why I don’t want to come everyday and read your reviews. You makes me want to scream for not having those awesome books!! Well, I already read Daughter of smoke and bone, and I loved it, but I still haven’t got the chance to read DoBaS.
    Wonderful review! I love that quote about Romeo and Juliet is marvelous!
    Love, love, love it!!!

    • Ari

      I know, I love that quote too and it defines so perfectly this story.
      I really hope that you’ll get to read this book soon as it is absolutely beautiful.

  • I think I’m going to wait until the last one is out to read this. There are so many details I can’t remember when I read a book with a separation of one year. You’re illustrations are gorgeous, Ari. Beautiful review. 🙂

    • Ari

      Thanks, Rachel, and I know the feeling.. I would have wanted to read the 3 of them one after the other too. This waiting is killing me. The illustrations are form the author’s blog or facebook page, but Wordpress decided to lose the links again, aarrrh!

  • My best friend has read the first  book of this series and says it was amazing. And now this review of yours and I’m dying to read it!! 😀

    • Ari

      I loved the first book and this one was even better. Dark, full of action and mind blowing turnarounds. The world building is so vivid (the grotesque and the beautiful) and the characters so great and well defined. In the first one there was a bit of love at first sight (it will make more sense later in the story though), but I didn’t even mind it, that’s how much I loved this series.
      I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this series! Hope you’ll love it too!

  • kay

    Oh my! Your reviews makes it even more necessary for me to read it, as soon as possible! It sounds simply amazing. I hope I can love it as much as the first!

    • Ari

      I loved both books even more after reading this one. It is really amazing (the entire series is) so just read it as soon as you can and enjoy every single word 😀

  • Alyssa

    You really give some awesome reviews! And I so love the design of your blog, it’s so cute!

  • Ralph

    I hate this book …

    I will never be able to read a YA book with paranormal/fantasy/romance and enjoy it, without pining for the fire this book gave me. Damn it all, why did it have to be THIS GOOD?! To think I almost passed over Daughter of Smoke and Bone, my faith in these kinds of books almost destroyed in the recent onslaught of rubbish … How I kept rooting for Karou instead of begging her to see or do the
    obvious. Because, well, what obvious? At no point, in book 1 or 2, did I
    know better what to do than her, as is al too often the case in other recent misguided attempts to venture where Laini Taylor did. Oh God, live long, and write many, you Weaver of Tales.

    I’m amazed you could describe it in so many words, nice job. It’s always hard to review a good book without sounding too sappy, but you did 😉

    You wouldn’t happen to have any recommendations to fill the void in the aftermath of this book? The wait is unbearable, maybe the scorchmarks will fade after … I don’t know … A good book or two … three? *ugh* Who am I kidding, I’d be happy to go to sleep without Eretz invading my world … uh brain! I mean brain!

    Damn it!

    • Ari

      It is hard to find something as good and imaginative as this one.

      I have a few more series that I enjoy in their ‘craziness’. One is “Nevermore” by Kelly Creagh (the dream world was beautiful in a creepy kind of way, but there’s a bit of angst that can’t appeal to everyone), the other the “Lumatere Chronicles” by Melina Marchetta (which I found to be mind-blowing at times – absolutely amazing). Oh.. and I liked one more to pieces: “Newsflesh” – It’s a zombie-apocalyptic-world book, but not a zombie book by itself, as I don’t like those creatures. Real strong world building and a great pack of characters too.

      Not sure if you got to read them or if you share my thoughts on them, but I just loved them all so much.

  • Carolina

    Oh I love your reviews! I’m re-listening to both audiobooks 1 & 2 and I can’t wait to listen to the third in this series. Have you read it yet?

    • Ari

      Yep, I read it and loved it just as much as the previous 2. This series is so amazing! I am not into audio-books, I lose focus easily, but I did re-read them too, before starting the 3rd book 😀