Published: UK Hardback, Hodder and Staughton, November 2012
Length: 513 pages
How Did I Get It? Christmas present!
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?
Once upon a time, an angel and a demon held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the word in two.
When I unwrapped this on Christmas Day I squealed with glee. The cover is beautiful which was a good step in the right direction as I bought the first book of the trilogy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, purely because of its stunning cover. (I know, I know – shouldn’t judge a book blah blah blah. It was pretty, I bought it, it was amazing. The cover did not lie. For once.)
I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and was positively outraged at the end of it because I had to wait for this book to come out to find out what happened next. That sort of cliff-hanger ending leaves you with very high expectations for the next instalment of the story so it would have been very easy for Days of Blood and Starlight to let me down by succumbing to ‘second book syndrome‘ or just not being as strong as the first book.
Luckily, it didn’t.
Continuing right from where Daughter of Smoke and Bone left off, Days of Blood and Starlight doesn’t ease you in but throws you head first back into Karou’s world of chimera and angels.
With ever intriguing levels of deception and destruction both among the chimera and the seraphim there is little time to rest and no time for peace amongst the characters, but despite that, Taylor manages to create relationships and friendships that warm your heart and make you laugh in the face of the fighting and fear.
I love the multiple narratives in the book; Taylor does it in such a controlled manner and all of her characters are so clearly defined that it is never confusing and doesn’t stunt the flow of the story. The different perspectives give you a much wider and rounded insight into the world of Eretz and the creatures that inhabit it and also highlights the confusion and heart-ache of war. People fighting for causes they don’t understand or out of fear, people doing things they don’t want to out of a sense of duty, kindness in unexpected places, fear, love, anger and hope. Always hope.
Even in the darkest of places, there is hope.
The last couple of chapters were a little slower paced than the rest but they very much felt like the calm before the storm… and then the book finishes. I have seen that the release date for Book #3 isn’t until 2014, the storm will be well and truly brewed by then. It’s definitely coming and it is never going to be pretty. My heart was broken in Days of Blood and Starlight, I just hope the pieces get put back together in the next book as beautifully as they were torn out in this one. Then I will be satisfied.
My Rating: 5/5*