Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
[Goodreads] Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.
Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.
Rating: 5 stars
“Dead souls dream only of death,” the resurrectionist told the emperor. “Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is. Look at you. You’re a lord of ashes, a lord of char. You’re filthy with your victory. Enjoy it, Joram, for you will never know another. You’re a lord of a country of ghosts and that is all you will ever be.”
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the light-hearted story of Karou and her daily life, about her family, her friends, her newfound ‘hope’ and later the revelation of her past life, Madrigal and how it all ended. However, in Days of Blood and Starlight, Karou’s life is much less dreamy as she joins the chimera’s fight against the seraphim. It’s just a much darker and serious book, with much heavier themes and I loved it. (The best way to describe this book is actually – shit gets real.)
Karou’s living in a harsh environment with very few allies around her. In her situation, with little to no support, she’s slowly descending into a self-destructive spiral that leads to her making some bad decisions. The character development in this book is great. Although I didn’t always like Karou’s actions, thye’re reasonable enough and everyone makes tough decisions in war that they later regret.
Maybe it was because I shipped Karou and Akiva (like SO MUCH) but I think she was a little unfair and unnecessarily harsh to him in the end of the first book, though I’m glad she started to see things differently closer to the end of this one. She didn’t know what kind of things he went through when she died. Okay, so he led the battle and killed a lot of her people but it’s not like he did that on his own. It’s not like he wasn’t just a soldier among thousands. If he hadn’t been there would there be that much of a difference? If he had tried to stop his fellow soldiers, he wouldn’t have succeeded – in fact, he would have likely be killed. Does that justify his actions? No, but I don’t care, I support this boy!
I quite liked to meet Ziri and I loved to see Zuzana and Mik again. Karou really needed them and they really made a difference despite their lack of magical abilities or any sort of superpowers and really they just make this book even more enjoyable (and funny).
The ending wasn’t really satisfactory, though I did like it. It did not end badly, but it really would’ve been painful for me if I didn’t have the next book already. Which is exactly what the author wanted, of course, and she did that really well.
Laini Taylor’s writing is wonderful and honestly, just the way I like it. It’s incredibly descriptive and evocative and you can really picture everything clearly. It’s beautiful and moving and I have absolutely no complaints.
” I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.”
Overall, Days of Blood and Starlight had me glued to the pages, super emotional and a mess after I finished it (in a good way). Adding this one to my favorites. If you haven’t checked out this trilogy yet, do it now. It’s incredible!