Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

27 November, 2012 Reviews 7 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on November 6th 2012
Pages: 513
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook 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 was always going to be a hard sell after the stark and hauntingly beautiful Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I want to address the all-important question of whether Taylor has an obsession with the letters DBS or not.

Okay, fine.  Not relevant.  Really….party poopers.

Most of us had to prepare ourselves for the fact that DoBaS, like most middle child books, was probably not going to be quite as good as it’s older siblings.  Personally, I always hold out hope for middle child books, wanting to be pleasantly surprised!

Well, the pessimistic, miserly old grinches win out this time because DoBaS isn’t quite as good as its predecessor, but it’s certainly nothing to turn your nose up at.  But, you know, if you were to turn your nose up at any Laini Taylor book then, my god, have you no soul?!

Taylor’s books have intense and varied themes.  DoSaB’s themes revolved around perception, love and loss, the pain of emptiness and coming of age issues.  DoBaS deals a lot with losing/regaining hope, faith in oneself, forgiveness of oneself and others.

In a lot of ways DoBaS is a different creature to DoSaB.  DoSaB had limited PoV changes that largely existed between Akiva and Karou (I think – my memory is really dodgy) and DoSaB was really more Romantic up until the very end. And by Romantic I don’t necessarily mean the relationship between Akiva and Karou because I ultimately think DoBaS was more romantic than its predecessor though it may not seem intuitively so.  It was more Romantic in the sense that the characters and the story are so much bigger and more mature.  There’s these two amazing, independent forces of fate building up behind Karou and Akiva.  The more they come into themselves and become wiser, the more they’re drawn together.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a naive, sweet innocent first love.  Appealing to many, but I liked the relationship dynamics even more in Days of Blood and Starlight.  They’ve both lost that naivette, grown as people.  They have more baggage to deal with and the relationship they’re building feels stronger – erected on foundations off a deeper understanding of themselves and the world – and they still can’t help but love each other.  After all they’ve seen, all they’ve done, all that’s been done to them – they’re still drawn to each other like moth’s to flame.

Laini’s writing is beautiful.  If anything she has improved and the inherent poetry to the writing has become sharper and more poignant.  Where a lot of people, including myself will get tripped up at is that pacing and structure of the novel.  It is very meandering with an excessive number of POV changes.  There’s a lot to follow, a lot happening all at once and the cast of characters has expanded exponentially.

But, over all, I loved it.  I’m so enthusiastic for the next book.  I absolutely have to know where this series is going, what’s going to happen to them and whether I’m just as naive and foolish as Akiva and Karou for hoping and thinking that they will eventually have some form of happy relationship at the end of this series.


Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

7 Responses to “Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor”

  1. cynicalsapphire

    Oh good. A 3.5 but the “this wasn’t perfect but omg I loved it anyway” kind. This bodes well.
    Also, did the poetry come from her ancestors or was it inherent? lol.
    I gave the first book a 3.5 as well, and this one’s going to be my treat for finishing my book challenge. Only 42 books to go!

  2. RadiantShadowss

    Ok, let’s do this. Me and you, outside, on the front lawn. DoB&S kicked DoS&B’s ass! I was in shock for a week, walking around in a daze, having lost my sense of purpose in life. Laini took every emotion I’ve ever had, and kept them, draining me completely. I’m just now beginning to recover, and I feel it will be a long and hard road.
    If I didn’t like anything while reading, it’s been wiped from my memory, like any semblance of happiness I thought I had achieved.
    *Sits in corner, cries*

  3. Lisa FicTalk

    Great review, Kat.
    I really need to start on these books!
    I also like your “sign off”. Hopefully Laini will respond with a “yes, kat, I will marry you!” ;P

  4. Ari

    Oh, only 3 stars? Too bad it didn’t work for you a great as it did for me. I am in love with this series, and if I weren’t married already I would want to marry this book here, LOL!
    But at least you did enjoy all its beauty 😀 You’ll love the next one more.. at least I hope 😉

  5. Renae M

    I actually liked this one better than I liked Smoke & Bone, but I loved them both A LOT. Like you said, Kat, not sure if Laini Taylor can do wrong. She’s fab.

  6. The Hipster Owl's Bookshelf

    I saw Smoke & Bone a few months ago at my dear store, but thought it looked cheesy so I never picked it up.  So basically your review of this sequel makes me confirm my previous suspicion. lol  😉

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