Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

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?

Title: Days of Blood & Starlight

Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Published: November 6th 2012 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0316133973 (ISBN13: 9780316133975)

I wanted to finish the book as quickly as possible, yet I needed to savor every word. Again, Laini Taylor has built a world that goes beyond simple understanding. She has not kept anything back, so we feel the suffering and pain that the characters try to overcome in a world marked by suffering and death, and the only thing that kept them going was hope. Similar to the last book, Laini Taylor's writing is at an artistic level with beautiful descriptions and plots. 

The last book it ends with Karou realizing that the man she loves has done far worse than she expected, and finds out that sometimes yes, ignorance can be bliss. She tries her hardest to hate Akiva for his actions, but finds that she can't. Karou is living in the middle of the desert acting as the new resurrectionist, creating a new army which gives the chimera a fighting chance. As much as Thiago would like, he cannot outright kill Karou because of the knowledge she possesses. Instead, he turns the rebel forces against her, making sure that she doesn't win their trust by spreading lies. He does this because he continues to hold a grudge from years ago that she did not choose him in her past life as Madrigal. However, not everybody believes the deceit. Ziri who was once in love with Madrigal as a young boy sacrifices much for Karou in order to help her and gain the trust of the other rebels. These circumstances have turned her into a stronger and determined woman, but many times you see how she wishes for her old and now seemingly mundane life. 

While this goes on, Akiva attempts to prove he is better man by helping the chimera whenever he can, and surprisingly sometimes with the aid of his brother and sister, Hazael and Liraz. At first, he was lead to believe his only love was dead, but discovers that she is alive and is helping the rebels. And though he believes Karou hates him, he watches over her and makes sure she is safe. 
"Soon, everything else would come rushing at him. Like the ground to a falling man, it would come rushing up and hit hi all at once - the place, the company, her worlds; one implication would lead to another and shatter him - but around that intake of breathe the world hung silent and bright, so bright, and Akiva only knew this one thing, and help on to it and wanted to live in side of it and stay there forever.
Karou was alive." 
Laini Taylor has written a beautiful sequel fueled by the concepts of prejudice, hate, and war. However the beacon of light for both races was hope. Hope that there would be no more loss, hope that everything would be over, and hope to finally be with the love of your life. There is without a shadow of doubt in my mind that I will be reading the final book in this wonderful trilogy next year!

“I know exactly what I would do with immortality: I would read every book in the library.” -Mark Jason Dominus
Book Nerd and Proud,

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