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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor


12812550-1Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world. ~ Goodreads


Spoiler alert: This is book #2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. I believe I’ve avoided spoilers for both books #1 & #2 but proceed with caution if you haven’t read the first book yet.

Review:

Days of Blood and Starlight was not an easy book to read. For so so so many reasons.

Laini Taylor's style of writing really makes you work for it. Told in small snippets that sound more like short fables, and sprawling, lush chapters, you think you have uncovered one mystery only to be devastated by yet another unspeakable truth. You are not spoon fed the story. It slowly….very slowly unravels.

Happiness and joy are elusive in this sequel. Days of Blood & Starlight is a very dark book. It shines an unflinching spotlight on the horrors of war and asks what you would be willing do in the name of those you love. It is not pretty. There is no black or white.

The story is told in many alternating POV's. I lost track of how many but it didn't bother me at all. Still told mainly from Karou and Akiva's perspectives, the other POV's show us sides of the conflict that you just wouldn't see from Karou and Akiva alone. Every chapter has a way of deepening and strengthening the story as we get a new view of the same situation. It all ties together rather than jolting you away from the main plot.

Having just said how dark this book is, there was also a surprising amount of levity provided by Karou's best friend, Zuzana, her BF Mik and Akiva's siblings Hazael and Liraz. Giving Karou and Akiva someone to let their guard down with was much needed after all the pain they've endured. Zuzana sometimes took things too lightly given her situation but otherwise - well done. I'm invested in every single one of them as well as several new characters.

I really can't say much more because holy plot twists Batman! This book stressed me out!! I'm a pretty hardy reader. It takes a lot to shock me and I like intensity but there were a couple of times that I almost put this book down - the feelings were too much. I decided to go with the band-aid approach - just rip it off and kept going.

While I was reading at one point, I just thought…how did Laini write this?? Like HOW? Where did it come from? How did she keep track of it all? How did she make such horror sound so hauntingly beautiful? How did she survive the pain of writing it? lol

Rating 4 out of 4: I don't say this often but I enjoyed this even more than Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I think the plotting was tighter. Now that the groundwork has been laid, Days of Blood & Starlight gets down to business.  And what unsettling business it is.

Author: Website | Twitter
Source: Provided from Little Brown via Netgalley for my honest review
Buy the book! Days of Blood and Starlight

23 comments:

  1. I thought that too when I read Daughter of S&B: How did she think this up? How did she create words so beautifully? Excellent review. It's hard to believe the sophomore book was better/tighter than the first. It's hard to improve on perfection. I'm reading this right now.

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    1. I think there was less of the past vs present that was featured heavily in DoSaB to confuse me so I liked it more than book #1

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  2. I agree completely. A lot of groundwork was laid in book one and in this book I began to see connections and how things link together. I love it when a trilogy is really well thought out, so that everything slowly starts to make sense. Beautiful writing, great plotting -- you can't go wrong with this one. And I don't even read a lot of fantasy!

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    1. It's just mindblowing how many different things Taylor has going on, yet they all tie together beautifully.

      I'm not a fan of the fantasy genre but I adore this series.

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  3. I think I'm going to B&N to buy this today. I'm dying to read it. I sure hope Brimstone isn't really dead.

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  4. I love that this story is told in multiple points of view. It is so interesting to see what each person thinks about a situation. Daughter of Smoke and Bone started off a bit slow for me and I was often confused, so I switched to the audio version instead and then I really enjoyed it. I felt I didn't have to work as hard then.

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    1. I loved DoSaB but I have to be honest and say I got confused quite a bit shifting back and forth in time but I didn't have any problems with this book. It's more different views of the same event or to expand a scene.

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  5. Honestly I totally need to read book 1

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  6. I've only read a few reviews of this, but all of them mention that it was sloooow. I don't know if I could enjoy that, especially with all of the POVs - the world and characters sound really good though and twists, I like! Books make me so conflicted. At least I have the first one even if I haven't read it yet.

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    1. The multiple POV's enhanced the story in this particular case. The beginning is a little rough if you don't remember what happened before. If you read them together without a long wait in between you should be ok.

      I loved the first book but I can't lie - it's slow going as things get established.

      This is a really intricate plot so it takes some time to unravel. I really did like this book better though. I felt it moved faster.

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  7. i totally agree with this! it was really stressful and anxious to read about, so depressing but also beautiful because of laini taylor's words. fantastic review!

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  8. I agree with you! Oh and I do think I enjoyed this one more than the first as well. I do have to say that I just loved Zuzana so much in this book. She was such a true friend!

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    1. Zuzana is great. It really helped having her around. The book is so bleak at times. I loved that Karou has someone to lighten up with and rely on.

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  9. I got this on release day but I have a ton of review books and other sequels to read so I'm not sure when I'll fit it in. The size and knowing it's a heavy book kind of makes me hold off. I've recently read some big books and I'm feeling the need to get through more books and hold off on the huge ones. But at the same time I'm anxious for more. I hope to attend Laini's signing at the end of the month and hope to get it read before then. I'm happy to hear how much you loved it though!

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    1. This isn't a series you can fly through so I definitely suggest reading it when you can take your time.

      It's not so much the size as the intricate plot.

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  10. Sigh....I agree w/everything you said. The first half was difficult, b/c of the bitterness. The second half, though, was pure brilliance. Can you even imagine book three?! It will kill us all!!!
    Great review!

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    1. Oh this book hurt lol

      At least book three will have some happiness. Please? I hope! lol

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  11. Awesome review. Must read this book this weekend. MUST! If there's a love triangle, I'm going to hurl.

    I highly recommend snagging a copy of LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES. It's her antho of short stories and is illustrated by her hubby. Seriously, the woman is a creative genius.

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    1. You are going to have a heart attack while you read this book. I expect lots of texts!

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  12. AH! You liked it more than Smoke and Bone??? I'm sooo excited but I keep forgetting to go pick it up! I need to get it today and just make it my next read! Oh and I'm of those people who LOVE multiple POVs so I'm excited!

    Thanks dear!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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  13. This book is incredible. I love the world building, and the depth of the characters, and the amazing plot. Everything about this book was fantastic. I would definitely recommend reading it.

    Maycee Greene (One Way Link)

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