Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: November 6th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository
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?
Days of Blood and Starlight is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, so you might not want to keep reading this review if you’ve not read the first book.
The first half of Days of Blood and Starlight was hard for me to get through, because the book is relatively slow without the world building to progress the sequence of events. Sometimes I think I’m a broken record saying this during the middle book of a trilogy, but Blood and Starlight managed to overcome this with a welcome addition of deeper introductions and character perspectives of the secondary characters. I think their perspectives helped to understand what was going on in different places and the different worlds, which also helped to tone down the romance aspect in favor of plot, a balance that I was grateful for.
This book is also a lot grittier than the first, with more blood it seems than starlight as Karou seems solely focused on repaying her people for her past transgressions by serving the one who once had her beheaded. They have formed a rebellion to take out the Seraphim little by little at first, then resorting to the same bloody tactics of bloodshed as was used to wipe out most of the Chimeras. I think a lot of what is great about her journey this book is being able to reconcile who she was as Madrigal with Karou and becoming stronger by the end. As Karou struggles with the past, Akiva too is still proving himself to his two half-siblings he’s closest too. Through his interactions with them and the journey the three of them go through really surprised me with how much I came enjoy their chapters and how much they complemented the chapters taking place with Karou and the Chimeras.
If you liked Days of Blood and Starlight for the romance and urban fantasy, this book may not be as interesting for you, but if the prospect of excellent plot development and epic fights sound good then I’d recommend adding this book to your list.