Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Hardcover; 517 pages
Published by Little Brown Books on November 6, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Summary (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.
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?
Wow! What an amazing book. I will admit that I wasn't as refreshed with the world as I would have liked to be, as it has been two years since I read the first book, but I was able to remember a decent amount of information and a lot of things were refreshed in my memory while I read the novel.
I loved the different perspectives we got to see throughout the whole novel. It was interesting getting to look at the way everyone read different situations and how they were doing when they weren't in the same area as another character happened to be. I really felt connected to each and every character, and as new ones were introduced, I felt for them just as much as I felt for those who had been there from the start.
Karou is honestly such a strong and amazing character. My favorite parts of the book were when they were from her perspective. She was faced with a horrible tragedy, and yet she was pushing on and works through hardships no one should have to face, all while knowing she was not safe. She was really aptly named though, as she became the hope for the chimaera, even if they didn't believe in her or particularly like her. Without her though, where would they be? She became their resurrectionist, and without her, they would be gone. She did everything for her people even though they didn't care or respect her in return. I felt like I saw a lot of growth in her character and she was rather cunning when she needed to be. She learned more of the situation she was facing and did what was in her power to change it for the better.
Akiva also was a main character throughout this novel. He's devastated, thinking Karou is dead, and it doesn't help the matter when he finds a thurible with her name on it. I was honestly not as interested in his part of the story line for a while, but as the book went on, I began to have an increased interest in what happened to him. I liked the way that he changed and showed mercy to the chimaera, and I loved seeing interactions with him and Liraz and Hazael. Though this ultimately led me to be more sad in the end, it was nice to see their relationship as his brother and sister. They really rely on and care deeply for one another, and they truly make a family. Things with his story, in my opinion, really pick up as the story goes on, and while I don't want to mention things to spoil it, I began to look forward to his sections of the story more and more.
Zuzana and Mik were amazing to read about. I love the first chapter that starts with them, it brought a grin to my face. Zuze is so spunky and her personality is the best. She's an amazing friend to Karou and does whatever she can to talk to and find her to help her out however is necessary, even if the work is way out of her league. Mik is pretty much the same way. He has come to care for Karou as well, since she is such a big part of Zuze's life. They are honestly so cute together and I love the way they interact with one another. Their point of view always made me happy and they're definitely the icing on the cake of this novel. The story is there without them, like cake is without icing, but they make it so much better than it is on its own!
There are other characters' perspectives we see things through, and I loved each and every one of them. They showed the war and the things going on through new eyes, and it really gave the reader a view of the world as a whole, rather than just through the original main characters' eyes.
There's honestly so much I can say about this novel, as it's jam-packed with information. It took me a while to read it, but I'm actually glad it did because I was able to soak it all in and really get a good idea of the story. I would fall asleep at night thinking of the world Laini Taylor created and going over the new things I had read in the past day, reliving the moments through the images created from her writing in my head. This series really is amazing, and I'm so glad that I went out to get the last book to read soon!