Genre: Magical Realism, Young Adult, Supernatural, Fantasy
Published November 6th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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?
|I thoroughly enjoy Laini Taylor’s world building, she creates such vivid worlds that you could swear you could smell, taste or feel it as you read/listen to the book. Whether it is the human realm or the nether realm, she adds such fantastical descriptions you cannot help but feel as if you are standing there experiencing it for yourself. For that alone I’d belt out 5 savvy crowns! but this isn’t just about the world, it’s about the other elements, too.
This book picks up after the last book in quite a lovely way, Karou or as we now know her to be, Madrigal, discovers a horrifying truth as her memories are restored to her. Newly reunited with Akiva, her past lover, she discovers a truth – that he partook in slaying her kind, that he lost himself to grief when he thought her dead.
Seem familiar? a fantasy Romeo & Juliet anyone?
Taylor depicts the emotion splendidly in the characters too, grief, mourning, anger and she combines Karou with Madrigal effortlessly. What didn’t work for me was that outside of the main characters, there began to be too many new ones introduced. I wasn’t keen on being overloaded with characters that had very little to do with the story or just offered a very small supporting role.
What did work was the emotion conveyed, what did work were ALL of the elements of the laws of the world built for us. Good vs Evil, but in this case, we are able to see the evil on both sides and the good on both sides. It was very interesting to see both of the sides woven into the world, that even though the chimera race was seen as ‘evil’ there were so many innocent, good ones and then we have the angels who were trained to kill and bring war upon them. In that instance, you can see the evil in them, but on both sides, you have those that just long for peace.
The mood of the world is vastly different from the first book, as are all the characters, this is grim in comparison. It reflects how Karou/Madrigal feels, the devastation of all the characters.
While this was a book full of despair and mournful notes it was written so eloquently and painted such beautiful and sometimes horrid pictures, for me, it left me feeling so weighed down. I felt impacted by the book. So I give it 4/5.
Have you read this novel? Did you have a differeing opinion or feeling? Comment below with your thoughts.