I was blown away by Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, so I was excited to read the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight. (Stop reading if you haven’t read the first book! I don’t want to spoil anything!) However, all the reviews were…strange. Everyone talked about how sad and depressing this book was. It quite honestly made me not want to read it. I barely have time to read these days and I don’t like to spend it on a “bad” or sad book, but I knew I had to see for myself. I’m glad I did.
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 continues where Daughter of Smoke and Bone left off. Karou knows the truth about Akiva and the depths of their past relationship. The story continues with the beginning of a battle between both sides. Here’s where the “It’s sad” comes in. This book has sad elements but Taylor just reveals the cold, hard truth of war, the death, the despair, the pain. Can you really expect unicorns and rainbows? Taylor captures the desperation of both “races” (if you will) and captures it beautifully. Each side fights for what they believe is right and Taylor takes us in so we can sympathize with both sides.
The writing in this book is unbelievable. It’s just so beautiful I thought I was reading poetry. Taylor’s writing really reflects the beauty of the world she created. I love reading her stuff. Here’s my favorite quote:
“Or…perhaps fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked.” -Karou
Which leads me to my next point, for a book that’s so “sad,” there was so much humor in it. Karou really brought out her personality by trying to make the best of the situation making jokes and trying to lighten this very serious, real situation. I mean how else do you deal with living in the middle of nowhere in a castle full of monsters? I can totally relate to that because I deal with serious things in the same manner by trying to make it funny. Karou, as a character, is so well done. I love her.
Akiva really shines in this book. He takes so many risks to make a change. He’s so in love with Karou. There were times I wanted to shake her and say let go of your anger and hate and just love him!?! The ante is upped in this installment. There is a lot of loss but more importantly an overwhelming hope that keeps the reader wanting more.
The only issue I had with this book was it was a bit too complicated at times. It was such a complex storyline, switching back and forth between characters making the story feel like it was winding in and out of the plot. However, I understood everything that was going on and Taylor didn’t cop out when things got tough. She wrote the story that needed to be told, no matter how serious the subject matter. I think it’s important that readers understand this story is a bit sad but the hope and the real purpose of this story is the main take-away from this book.
The ending gave me so much hope, I thought I was going to explode. I CANNOT wait to see what happens in the next book! The next installment is Untitled and won’t be here until April 2014. 😦 I guess I’ll just have to wait.
STARS: 4.5 out of 5