Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Format: Hardcover, 588 pages
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Published by: Little Brown for Young Readers
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
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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.
Ar 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?
Laini Taylor dives right into the story from the start of the first page, and I found that it took me off guard a little bit. In the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the world building is very intricate and elaborate--which was part of the reason I loved it so much--but in the sequel I found myself a little lost at the beginning. It took me a bit to figure out who was who, and which names corresponded with which character.
That being said I did gradually figure everything out, and when I did I was again sucked into the whirlwind world of Karou and Akiva. Their lives, although lived separately in this book, intertwine in ways that I never imagined and their heartbreak and fear were felt within every word. I especially loved the view from Zuzana, Karou's best friend, who was not only comic relief to all the drama happening around her, but she was also a great birds eye view for the reader. She allowed us to step outside the world of Chimera and Angels and see everything from a human's point of view. And I found that very refreshing.
I was a little disappointed in the love story--or lack of one. But I do see some very good potential in the next book for a glimmer of hope. But I will say that it was revitalizing to see an entire YA novel without a prominent love story, but I do wish there was a little more. I am just a sucker for a good romance :)
The characters in this novel were extremely vivid and interesting. Especially The White Wolf, who despite his ego and his temper, had every reason to become the man he did. Yet, I will admit that there was one particular scene where I hated him so much that I cringed while reading. It was uncomfortable and disturbing but I will say that I respect the way Laini Taylor wrote it, because it must have been a hard thing to write.
Overall I thought that Days of Blood and Starlight was a solid sequel and well written bridge book for the upcoming third book that is slated for release in 2013. If you love Fantasy and great world building you should really pick this book up, this series is definitely worth a read.