Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Days of Blood and Starlight

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

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?
-Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads 

This was the book I was most excited for this year. Daughter of Smoke and Bone knocked me off my feet in 2010, and I've been dying to know what would happen to Karou, Akiva, and their worlds. So was it worth the wait and the hype?



This was a slow start for me. I wouldn't say I was expecting too much and was disappointed, I think I was just expecting a quicker pace, more answers, and the same magic & awe of the first book. I should have remembered how the first book ended, and realized I was in for a bitter war story. Instead of starry-eyed romance, glittering cityscapes, magical beasts and thrilling heroics, it's more of a fight for survival, and the fallout of the last book's ending. Which is in no way a bad thing. 

I won't go into much detail for fear of spoilers (for both books, really, but if you're a regular reader I know this is not the first time you've heard me gush about this series, so what's the holdup?? :p), but I will say that I am still completely in love with Karou, Akiva, this setting, and Taylor's writing. As an added bonus, Karou's friends Zuzana and Mik are back, and even better than I remembered them. I saw almost none of the plot twists coming, and once the book starts to pick up speed it does not let go. The villain in this piece is far and away better developed and more menacing than is the norm for YA lit, and he'll have your skin crawling more than once. (Actually this is true for both Big Bads). Oh, and the aforementioned romance, cityscapes, magical beasts and thrilling heroics? Don't worry, they're all in there, too.

If any of the series I've reviewed lives up to the name of this blog, it's this one. FANTASTIC.


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