First of all, I am not entirely sure what constitutes spoilers since it’s been awhile since I’ve read Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor, SO if you are concerned about spoilers, please hop off this review and go read my review of Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, seriously that way you cannot be angry at me over accidental spoilers. I’d really love to start my review of Days of Blood And Starlight off by saying girl has still got it. By this, I mean, Laini Taylor still excels as a first class wordsmith. Second, I was so freakin’ confused going into Days Of Blood And Starlight because it’s been such a long time since I’d read the first book and there’s not exactly an opening recap chapter or anything. SO if you have the time on your hands I absolutely recommend you do some re-reading before starting this book. Yet, I soldiered on despite my initial confusion and ultimately caught on to what was happening and why with a few memory joggings. Y’all, while Days Of Blood And Starlight isn’t QUITE as yummy as Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, it’s absolutely worthy of your time regardless.
Y’all, if I could boil down the plot of Days Of Blood And Starlight into one word it would be: angst. For reals, there is a sort of melancholy that’s infused into almost every page of Laini Taylor’s writing and I LOVED IT. I know, normally I am irritable about sad stories, but it really works for this book and it kind of gives me, the reader, something to hope the characters overcome. Okay, so the book starts out with Akiva thinking that Karou is dead and he’s all wahh wahh I’m so sad. And he does some douchey things like blow up Karou’s chimaera friends. ONLY OMG YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! Karou is alive! That’s right she’s in the Moroccan desert in a sand castle with the chimaera army, working as a resurrectionist to replace Brimstone. OH AND then there’s Karou’s best friend Zuzana who is very concerned about Karou and who actually places like a freakin’ huge part thank goodness. Anyways, at the start of the book Karou is fricken steamed at Akiva and pretty much hates him, and thus where the angst stems from. OH YEAH and the angels and the chimaera still hate each other and are still at war and it’s pretty freakin’ bloody.
Karou, Karou, Karou. U mad? Seriously though, her anger and her depression and her live through this feelings just waft off of every Karou-centered chapter. I felt so sad for Karou and the situation she was in. Basically, yes she can fly and yes she can resurrect the dead chimaera so they can battle again BUT she’s kind of trapped at chimaera base. She has no friends, even Ziri from the Kirin tribe she came from as Madrigal won’t look at her. No one trusts her after that whole Akiva thing. Plus, Thiago — the wolf– is a super huge creep. He’s like always around Karou and he’s incredibly domineering. Anyways, I liked the development we got from Karou. Her kickass side totally came out and while she is kind of mopey, she’s not like that the entire time as you will see when you read Days Of Blood And Starlight.
If I am to be 100% honest with you, which is pretty much all the time, I have to admit that I liked the Akiva-centered chapters the best. He just wasn’t quite as mopey. Instead he was doing one of my favorite things — searching for redemption. Maybe this makes me sound like a weirdo, but I love characters who mess up big time and then have to find a way to redeem themselves, especially when the redemption follows one of my ideals — mercy. That’s right, Akiva far from acting as his nickname Beast’s Bane, instead covertly provides mercy to the chimaera who are being systematically murdered by the seraphim. It’s wonderful to see just how far Akiva has come and to see that he still retains hope even when all that has mattered to him seems lost. I suppose his chapters made me feel optimistic. Further, Akiva’s chapters give us the chance to really meet his brother and sister – Hazael and Liraz, the other two Misbegotten.
It’s interesting to me how in some books authors don’t utilize the minor characters to their fullest extent. I think it’s an art form to be able to have every single character within a book, right down to the minor characters feel fully drawn. Y’all, I think Laini Taylor is an artist. I loved the backstory behind the Misbegotten. I loved the relationship between Liraz and Hazael and how they turned out to surprise me on a consistent basis. I love how awful and evil Thiago is. I love how twisted Jael is. I love how brave and caring Ziri is. I loved the romance between Mik and Zuzana and how they exemplify true love. No worries if these names don’t ring bells, you’ll know what I’m talking about WHEN YOU READ Days Of Blood And Starlight, because I am pretty sure you are going to read it because I’m kind of convincing I’d like to think. 😉
I think that Laini Taylor is a true master of her craft. Now, I don’t expect every YA book I read to be the same or have a similar feel to Days Of Blood And Starlight because that would be boring. Yet, there’s no denying that Taylor’s words have a certain lingering flavor to them, and not the gross get out of my mouth flavor either. When I read her books, I feel as though every word is there deliberately. It’s not just her trying to fill up a word count or anything, but each sentence, each bit of punctuation serves a purpose. Now, for me, I savored Days Of Blood And Starlight, I didn’t see the point in racing through it because I was scared I’d miss something pivotal as I am wont to do.
Of course, I wait until pretty much the end to give you what you came for, a run down of the swoons within Days Of Blood And Starlight. Are you one of those people who enjoys yelling this phrase while you read ‘WHY DO THEY FIGHT IT? COME ONNNN AND GET OVER YOUR EGO?!’? Yes? Okay, then you will like the romance in Days Of Blood And Starlight. Obviously Karou hates Akiva and he’s aching for her and there’s this huge attraction between them and the whole time as a reader I am all come the frick on you guys get your act together and make out as I expect. But NO, instead this is a relationship that requires some hard freakin’ work. On the other hand, if work isn’t really your thing, there’s the relationship between Mik and Zuzana which also brings a ton of swoons because it is so sweet and healthy and normal and pure and lovely. So either way, YOU ARE COVERED MY FRIEND!
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley
Other reviews of Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor:
The Book Smugglers – “an emotionally impacting book with a solid story”
Dear Author – “It did not disappoint.”
Cuddlebuggery – “Laini’s writing is beautiful”
Making The Grade – “an epic new landscape that breaches our own”