This review is both easy and difficult to write. Easy because I get to tell you how much I loved every word, every punctuation. Difficult because the right words–the proper words–don’t seem to come to me.
Where to even begin?! I guess let’s start with the fact that this was one dark book. There was very little to be happy about really, what with war taking place and all. So much death…days of blood and starlight, indeed. I think what helped me not get sucked into the darkness of the book were those moments of humor and love and sweetness. I think that had we not had those moments, brought to us not by the people we expect, this book would have been such a downer. So thank you, Laini, for giving us them when you couldn’t give us who we wanted. Geez…cryptic much, Jess? ;) I’ll tell you one thing…if you’re expecting this book to be a Karou and Akiva reconciliation book, it is not. What Laini Taylor has given us in regards to them is a much more realistic plot, where characters have to first find and forgive themselves before moving on to a real, lasting relationship, if that’s even possible for them. These characters have grave decisions on their hands that don’t revolve around their love story, and as much as I would have loved more romance, there wasn’t really a place for it for them just yet. I didn’t feel let down by this at any point because I saw the greater picture, so hopefully, you won’t feel gypped either.
Once again, the setting painted such a vivid picture. I could taste the sand and feel the heat from the desert where Karou spent her days. And I could imagine so perfectly the countryside and mountains that were scoured throughout the course of the story. The battles and the blood and the magic, all so incredibly vivid!
Karou is so changed in this book. She’s ruled by guilt, and characters around her completely take advantage of that. Most of the book I just wanted her to get up and kick some butt! But sometimes it takes the help of quite a few others to get even a sliver of confidence back when you’re that low on yourself. And Akiva. *sigh* My poor, broken-hearted Akiva. He somehow found the strength to choose to fight for so many things he thought were lost to him, including his own life. He held on to hope against all odds. Oh, Akiva. I love you so.
I also fell a little bit in love with quite a few secondary characters: Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Hazael, and yes, even Liraz. They add so much depth to this book. This story could not have turned out as amazing without them. Some really surprised me and my heart broke for others, but all in all, they all have my heart.
There is a twist at the end that completely had me jumping off the couch exclaiming, “HOLY SHIT!”, as many of you who follow me on Twitter or Goodreads may have seen. I completely did not expect that!! It was such a genius move! I really thought Karou had made a horrible move in this particular moment, but wow…GENIUS!
So now here I sit, going over this book over and over in my head. I can’t let it go! My heart is completely owned by this series. How am I to wait a whole year for the next book?! How I ask! I have a feeling fans may be split on their feelings toward Days of Blood & Starlight, but I have faith that they will see the purpose of this installment and why it was written the way it was. I’ll be on the side that finds it completely beautiful. *gets comfortable in her seat* But whatever you do, I implore you, do not put off reading this for very long.
Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Published by Little, Brown BfYR
Pub Date: November 6th 2012
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.
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 & Starlightfinds 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?