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I Belong


Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood & Starlight

Author: Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Book 2)

Publication Date: November 6, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 528 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316133973 (Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-03161339785 (Hachette)

Reviewed by: Michelle

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?

Quick & Dirty: An incredible story filled with imaginative detail and a fantastic world, Taylor surpasses expectations with this follow up book.

Opening Sentence: Prague, early May.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Days of Blood and Starlight is a masterpiece. Laini Taylor has really outdone herself when she wrote this follow up book to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Days isn’t just a second book, it’s an individual story, complimenting the first. And not only do I revisit the characters that I have learned to love in the first book, but I have found out more about who they are, where they’ve been, and about their past.

Days of Blood and Starlight answers a lot of questions that the reader has wondered about when finishing Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou has returned to her world, slowly losing a piece of herself each time. She has taken over some responsibilities, while taking on new ones. Karou is no longer welcomed within her people, and her loyalty is murmured throughout their whispers. War is amongst them and with that old hatred and turmoil returns. The truth has no place in war, but only prejudices and judgement. Akiva believes one thing, while Karou lives another. Their love no longer exists, for they now live in reality.

Karou is a new character reborn. Where I previously saw a young and innocent young woman, Karou now is wise and mature. Her memory is back, and along with that all of the weight upon her shoulders. Death has taken everyone that Karou loved, and the world of her dreams destroyed. She is living a different reality now, working with those she yearned to escape, and ignoring the life that she learned to love.

It’s a little hard to talk about Akiva. Maybe it’s because Taylor allowed me to feel so much for him, or maybe it’s because of how his pain and loss translated onto the page. Akiva’s actions caused himself and others pain, but he only had himself to blame for it all. As a reader, I felt his time in solitude, whether he was truly alone or not. I felt his anger, and I very much felt his blame. But the hardest emotion to feel was the love he had for Karou and many others.

Days of Blood and Starlight is told through multi-points of view. And while I usually tend to steer clear of these, Taylor has done a fantastic job writing them all seamlessly. From the different characters that we have come to love, to the other characters that we finally begin to understand, the overall tone of this book is darker, and shall I say filled with more gloom than death itself. Taylor doesn’t shy away from the pain and destruction, but in this war of good and evil, she ensures with glimmers of hope and love.

Taylor’s world is amazing. Taylor paints a story with words. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the first novel I read from her and I was instantly drawn to her lyrical style. With Days of Blood and Starlight, I felt pain, death, hope, and love all in a swift motion. Each word, each page, each chapter was intense and amazing, causing my eyes to never leave the page.

Taylor’s writing is poetic, creating a detailed world to set a strong background for Days of Blood and Starlight. It’s not just another story, but it is one of THE stories to continue talking about for years to come. There are many symbols of love and pain, humility and struggle, one that will resonate in me for many years to come. There are underlying messages of acceptance, way beyond the surface, and I felt it was done beautifully.

Days of Blood and Starlight is thrilling, romantic, and magical. It is very clear in Taylor’s words that this story is so much more than just a love story, or even about rediscovering who one person is. Behind all of the blood shed and the love story, is a sequel so beautifully written, you will dream about it for years to come.

Notable Scene:

It won’t, thought Akiva. He looked into the eyes of this young soldier and knew that soon enough, whatever was in him that made him ask why would be dead, of necessity—another soul ripped out to make way for a monster. Armies need monsters, as the old hunchback had told him in Morocco, to do their terrible work. Who knew that better than Akiva? He looked at Hazael, Liraz. Was it too late for them? For himself?

Desperate and tired, helpless and besieged by the meat scent of burning comrades, he did something he had not done in a very long time, not since Madrigal was ripped naked from his arms at the temple of Ellai.

He imagined two futures for Eretz: One as Joram would have it, the other as it might be.

A different sort of life.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Series:

1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone

2. Days of Blood & Starlight

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown and Company/Hachette provided me with a copy of Days of Blood and Starlight.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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