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Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke…

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Laini Taylor

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Title:Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Authors:Laini Taylor
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 528 pages
Collections:Have Already Read

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Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (2012)



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Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
Found this installment up and down in terms of my enjoyment of the story. At times I was enthralled and wanted to keep listening and then other times felt irritated by the description of all of the different aspects of the Chimera. I still adore Zuzana and Mik and wanted more scenes with them. Some excellent world building and unique characters. I found the attempted rape scene a tad disturbing and wish it had been less descriptive (Not a negative thing, just my personal opinion and the scene was written extremely well) I find the 2nd book of a trilogy often is used just as filler. (And this one is better than most second books) I never blame the author, just the demand for more trilogies at the expense of a tighter better story (hope this makes sense trying to get as many reviews done before I have to go to work) Looking forward to the third book though and counting down the days until I can get the audiobook from the library. ( )
  mountie9 | Aug 14, 2015 |
Oh my goodness. This book left me emotionally weak. Lol. Review to come. Five stars. ( )
  KillerCorp | Jul 27, 2015 |
All of her life Karou wanted to know why Brimstone made her collect teeth and as with many things in life, the answer is so much more than she is prepared for. Facing the genocide of her people, the Chimera, Karou is racked with guilt for having not only dared to love an angel but to dream of a new world. She must now reconcile what her people think of as her betrayal, her guilt and the love she cannot stop feeling for Akiva.

Akiva knows what he has done cannot be undone and yet he dares to hope that Karou/ Madrigal's existence will mean that somehow their naive dream will bear beautiful fruit. To the seraphim, Akiva is not simply the weapon of his father and uncle's blood lust for war and power. The lines on his hands indicate each kill in battle and the toll ways heavily on him. Somehow, he must make a difference, somehow he must atone.

Karou and Akiva aren't united in their struggle thanks to all that has passed between them but they cannot help but love each other from afar and dream that one day their people will find peace, even if it doesn't end in happiness for them.

Days of Blood & Starlight has a very different tone than the first book in the series, Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Where Daughter of Smoke and Bone has moments of lightness, very little of that feeling finds its way into the pages of Days of Blood & Starlight. It seeks to ask harder questions like what survival looks like. Is there a true objective to war, or is it simply the amassing of power? Is there a point where vengeance becomes futile? Are the children of our enemies deserving of death simply for the potential that they might one day grow and wield a sword? Interspersed with these larger questions, the tragic romance between Akiva and Karou/Madrigal plays in the background.

Both Akiva and Karou/Madrigal feel the weight of the war between them. No matter the torture Akiva suffered at the hands of the Chimera, participating in genocide is never acceptable. At this point, I don't really see how these two can have a happy ending. Yes, Karou/Madrigal still loves Akiva but how can she possibly have a HEA with the person who is directly responsible for the slaughter and near extermination of her people? I am not even sure I can accept that Karou/Madrigal is still drawn to Akivia and the determination on Taylor's part to seemingly paint him as good particularly when juxtaposed to Thiago.

Zuzana and her boyfriend Mik make an appearance after hunting down Karou/ Madrigal. using clues in an email she sends Zuzana. I love that Zuzana is such a devoted friend and will stop at nothing to make sure that her best friend is safe, though Karou/Madrigal's life and culture are completely alien to her. Mik and Zuzana bring brief moments of lightness to the story but their addition felt like an interruption and absolutely unnecessary to the larger plot itself. It smacked of an almost desperation to bring a lightness to a story that is necessarily very dark. Even though Zuzana is well aware of what the Chimera look like from Karou/Madrigal's drawings, her acceptance of the alien world she wonders into seems far too easy for me.

Unfortunately, Zuzana isn't the only needless distraction in this story. Sveva and Sarazal's story of capture and escape, adds absolutely nothing to the story. The fact that the Chimera are not helping the innocent survivors to safety could easily have been revealed without this long and drawn out segue which ultimately lead absolutely nowhere. I still don't understand why I am supposed to care about Sveva? She seems to show up, tell us her POV, and then simply disappear never to be heard from again.

Days of Blood & Starlight seems filled with violence against women. Jael is a rapist whose face Festival (Akiva's mother) scared in an attempt to avoid being raped and murdered. Jael has a deep hatred of women and makes it clear that they are only to be used for his pleasure. Even the mighty Liraz's bravado falters in his presence. Joram, Jael's brother regularly rapes women and houses them away with no possibility of escape. Joram, who is also Akiva's father and emperor, is blood thirsty and evil. Joram regularly rapes women, with absolutely no compunction. The children that these rapes produce are seen as little more than cannon fodder because of their illegitimacy.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Jun 21, 2015 |
‘Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.’

Having finally discovered who she truly is, Karou finds herself on the side of the chimaera, in a pivotal role, in the impending battle against the seraphim. Including Akiva. Bitter and resentful for the memories that bombarded her, she’s still unable to stop her heart from missing him despite the damage he has done. But harden her heart she must, because war is coming and with so few chimaera remaining there is much work to be done. In the back of her mind is a tiny whisper, that contemplates how this all could be avoided without further bloodshed. And while she ponders this thought, Akiva does the same.

Days of Blood and Starlight took a completely different approach from its predecessor that I was not anticipating. Daughter left us with a tragic ending, Karou having remembered her past love of Akiva, subsequently emboldening her current love for him, except his admission of wrongdoing throws her heart into complete and utter turmoil. Feeling that she must do what she can to help her people she joins forces with the unlikeliest one, Thiago, in order to help him save what is left of their people. Thiago has a different goal in mind though and is hellbent on slaughter and vengeance, even at the risk of his own people. The pain that Karou suffers both internal and external is a hard pill to swallow, but is nonetheless a necessary evil. Akiva’s story was equally impressive and his unexpected decision was shocking and one I didn’t see coming.

Days of Blood and Starlight was a dark and grisly story that lacked the passionate romance I loved in Daughter, but only served to strengthen this story as a whole. I didn’t realize the lightness of the previous installment was almost overdone and that the darkness was a necessary building block that made this an exceptionally strong installment. And it must be mentioned, but the writing? It continues to make me swoon. All this carnage leaves only a sole book remaining and I am quite nervous to see how it all pans out. I can’t wait.

‘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.’ ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Jun 5, 2015 |
The end of Daughter of Smoke and Bone let us -- and its characters -- in on some secrets. Days of Blood and Starlight is what happens once those secrets are revealed.

I have to be honest and say that I almost wasn't going to review this title. Something about it just did not click with me. I did love Daughter of Smoke & Bone -- yet my least favorite part was the Karou and Akiva relationship (for whatever reason, one I could not pinpoint) and that is so much a basis for this book. Don't hate me yet for still choosing to review this!

The reason I am reviewing it despite the disconnect I felt from it is because of the movie news. (Still don't hate!)

There's something about both Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight, as well that fall back to more of a storytelling time. Days was better for me as an audiobook, hearing someone tell me the story, brought me into it a bit more.

I think what I missed -- and part of why I'm so hopeful the movie will happen soon -- in Days was the gorgeous, exquisite world Laini Taylor created in Daughter. It reminded me a lot of if Sara Crewe from the Little Princess movie had grown up in the magical world she imagined -- and dyed her hair blue.

I did love that some of my favorite characters, like Zuzana were back in this second book. I love that human marionette ballerina -- and her friendship with Karou. As always Laini Taylor's writing is fantastic and she always has lines I'm ready to quote. It just didn't all add up to a story that's so far (see #4 below) worked for me.

So, what I'm taking forever to say is this, no, I never did really connect with Days of Blood & Starlight (I hate that!), but four things: 1) Don't let that discourage you from trying either book 2) Try the audiobook(s) for this series 3) This book/series should be crazy brilliant as a movie, if adapted well - read the book(s) so you know what's up 4) I loved Daughter of Smoke & Bone so much I'm giving this one a try again later to see if I just read it at the wrong time.

(This may be my least sense-ical and/or logical review in a long, long time if not ever . . . . hoping my four points help a bit!)

(egalley received via NetGalley from LBYR; review originally posted on my blog)
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laini Taylorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daniela LombardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Bartolo, JimMap artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hvam, KhristineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Impey, AlisonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Impey, AlisonDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luconi, MarcusCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.

And its snap split the world in two.
For Jim, extremely
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Prague, early May.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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?
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"The otherworldly Karou struggles to come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people"--

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Average: (4.24)
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