I recently finished the sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight and had to share my thoughts. Welcome to another book review!
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Paperback: 513 pages
Published: Little Brown publishing, November 6th 2012
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
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.
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.
This was an excellent continuation to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and in my opinion, an even better installment than the first book.
It starts out a little slower than the first book and we don’t even see our main protagonist from the first book until page 42 but one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the way the tension and magnitude of everything increased over time.
Taylor takes everything that is going on in book one and makes it bigger, ensuring an absorbing story very difficult to put down.
Karou became a more conflicted character (I love it when that happens) and more morally confused. I enjoyed seeing how she made decisions and her reasoning behind all of them. Her emotions were all over the place in the beginning, she was down and a bit submissive but over the course of the novel, grew to take charge of her situation and not lie down. I felt like she matured so much in this book and she’ll be even more amazing in the last book.
Akiva also grew. Despite his circumstances, he remained present and didn’t allow bad events to ruin him. He stuck to what he believed in and remained a moral and just character. I continued to like him.
The storyline became a lot darker in this book and this was mainly attributed to the widening of the world. We see more of the angels and of civilian life. We experience POV’s from way more characters than the first book which aided the way the story of war was weaved through the book. All people affected by war were accounted for.
Moral questions were asked of the characters too. When does revenge go too far? When is it okay to reject leadership and replace it with individuality? Taylor captures perfectly the decline of innocence in this novel.
However, there was also a good balance with humour and fun. Karou’s best friend Zuzana was the best character ever, so funny and quirky!
Similarly, Taylor keeps you on your toes. There were so many moments when I set the book down and just was like, ‘what?!’ to myself. Stakes are raised and I was constantly wanting to know what was going to happen next. I read the last three hundred pages in two days.
However my other problem, along with a slightly nothing-happening beginning, was the at times confusing writing. Don’t get me wrong, Taylor’s writing is really quite beautiful and visual but at times she would talk about what was happening and I felt a little bit of a disconnect. This was quite rare though and in the end I could understand what was going on so it didn’t deter from the story too much.
Overall, a fantastic second novel with no trace of bridge-book-syndrome that you sometimes see in second books in trilogies. If you haven’t picked this book up yet, I really hope you give it a go. It’s amazingly imaginative, fantastical and addicting with definite dark undertones.
I gave this book (with my new rating system 😉 )
If any of you have read this book, let me know what you thought! Do you agree with me or not? Or have I convinced any of you to give this series a go? Let me know!
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll talk to you in my next post!