Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Review: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Once 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.
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