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Presented by State Library Victoria

Days of Blood and Starlight - Laini Taylor (Review Part 2)

Note: Well… I’m back again a week later with another long-ish review of which half the content is just adjectives and waffling. T-T It seems a case of ‘the-school-year-has-started-and-I’m-not-prepared’ has struck again so, I hope you can bear with me. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the review! – chocnmint

 

 

Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle,

making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.

­­­If you could liken Daughter Of Smoke and Bone to a rich, dreamy, warm cup of spiced tea, filled with wit, and bittersweet love, Days of Blood and Starlight is the consequence of that cup of tea, crushed by the weight of genocide, smashed against a wall of heartbreak and smothered in a heavy fog of darkness, all in the most beautifully mesmerising way possible.

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?

The end of Daughter of Smoke and Bone was heart wrenching in every way possible, and as Laini Taylor weaves her novel writing magic, the product was an emotionally intense story that explored the tragedies of war and genocide.

As a sequel, this instalment did its predecessor justice and more, the plot development was absolutely incredible. Although I must admit, the absence of Karou and Akiva’s firey romance did make me a twinge disappointed, the severity and harshness that Taylor infuses into this novel, is necessary to convey the devastation and emotional scarring that comes as a consequence of a never-ending war.

The themes that are explored throughout this novel, are ones that are dark and harsh but real, the intensity that this book has stemming from the power struggles, political wars, bloodshed and loss that Laini Taylor depicts so unflinchingly well. It is not often, that these types of conflicts are explored after a prequel so soft, mysterious and romantically oriented, but the depth, sophistication and intensity that this novel has is absolutely commendable.

The worlds Taylor hints and teases at in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, are thoroughly explored in Days of Blood and Starlight. As the reader follows characters through this otherworldly dimension, the landscape that is painted is one of devastation and ruin, the expanse of her worldbuilding skills evident in this novel.

Akiva’s character journeys from being one of the numerous muscular, mysterious love interests with a sad backstory, to one who longs for redemption, and fights for those he loves. The character development he undergoes is immense, with his vulnerabilities as well as his values exposed and expanded upon throughout the course of the novel. However Akiva is not the only character of which is explored further, as Karou grapples with her losses and the responsibility of her new role, her strength and persistence, in spite of her trying circumstances, is demonstrated time and time again.

The addition of Zuzana and Mik’s interactions were well thought out… and possibly the only part of Days of Blood and Starlight that prevented it from becoming a book that was overall just plain depressing. The banter, and light-hearted humour that they bring to the storyline serves as a reminder that all is not lost. (And their romance is an added bonus too. 😉 )

There were a few smaller details that I didn’t quite understand, however in the overall scheme of the novel, I must say this book was phenomenal.

Cannot wait to review the last book in the trilogy!

2 comments

guppy

"...consequence of that cup of tea, crushed by the weight of genocide, smashed against a wall of heartbreak and smothered in a heavy fog of darkness..." - the positive vibes are strong. Fantabulous review though 😁

10th Feb, 20
chocnmint

I really try to make my reviews as positive and free of grossly dark metaphors as possible! Thanks (A genuine one!) though! :)

10th Feb, 20