Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor is the second in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, so this review will definitely contain spoilers for the first book. Instead of worrying about those, just pop over to my equally glowing review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone :D. I actually had a bit of trouble forming thoughts for this review since my thoughts were mostly “glub blug awesome more glub why must I wait for the next one gah!” But I thought more, gave it a couple of days, and came up with at least semi-coherent reasons why you should continue with Days of Blood and Starlight if you started this trilogy and aren’t sure.
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? – Goodreads
- Karou is freaking awesome and just keeps showing it. She started as a teenage girl that didn’t really know what was going on in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and wow has she grown. The depth that Taylor has painted Karou with continues to impress me.
- Zuzana and Mik are adorable and do a lot to bring in happy romance elements. I realize one of the chief complaints of Days of Blood and Starlight is that there is no romance, but I really thought Zuzana and Mik played that necessary “happy relief” and did a great job of it.
- On a similar not, while there isn’t much romance, there is still powerful emotional connections between characters and love of different sorts (friendship etc) that is deep and moving.
- The narrator is the same as Daughter of Smoke and Bone and continues to do a beautiful job. Especially because this female narrator does a great job with the male voices.
- I’m super excited to find out more about Akiva’s mother/past/future/all of it! The hints, the hints! Gah, torturous!
- This is less a weakness and more a warning. There is an attempted rape. I don’t think it is one of those unnecessary violence scenes that have been criticized a lot recently. It really couldn’t have happened another way given the character involved, and in fact I was surprised it hadn’t happened before. However it was scary and difficult to listen to in the audio.
- Akiva was stalking a little too much for my taste, I might be a bit oversensitive to the whole stalking = romantic thing. He really did mean well I guess and does back off when requested.
Days of Blood and Starlight made me make excuses to drive more just so that I could listen to the book >.> I seriously just sat in my car after running errands sometimes so that I could finish listening to a chapter because I just couldn’t stop! It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have a physical book because then I wouldn’t have gotten aaaaaaanything done! Days of Blood and Starlight is beautiful and harsh at the same time, with the realities of war and betrayal and true friendship and family all rolled together. Just writing this review makes me want to go re-read it right now! This one is especially great for people who aren’t super into heavy romance books, since I know the heavy romance of Daughter of Smoke and Bone set some people off ;-). Keep reading, trust me! And if you can get the audiobook, do it!