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Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Laini Taylor, Khristine Hvam (Reader)

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1,1821376,816 (4.25)97
Title:Days of Blood & Starlight
Authors:Laini Taylor
Other authors:Khristine Hvam (Reader)
Info:Little, Brown Young Readers (2012), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Permanent Collection
Tags:fantasy, contemporary fantasy, magic users, angels, family, american, 2x, 2013, 2014

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Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (2012)



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The Good: Days of Blood & Starlight is such a huge story. Some many different things going on, different parts of the story coming together, all culminating into something amazing. While a love story at it's very core, the series has become something so much more. The two separate worlds of Karou and Akiva have expand so far that they could each support a series of their own. The cultures, the history, the inner workings of each are utterly fascinating. The way they've clashed for ages, the eternal fight finally coming to a head, and what it means for the future of both - and the human world - is more than anyone could have possibly expected. Even better than the first book in the series, it's going to be hard to top in the next installment.

The Bad: A little slow, a little too easy to put down. Taylor is a beautiful writer and has a flair for detailed imagery. While this creates a vivid world and intense characters, it also eases up on the action considerably. The slower pace makes it hard to really get swept away in the book. I put the book down and I'm not desperate to pick it back up again. That's the one aspect that keeps this book from being perfect. ( )
  TequilaReader | Nov 16, 2015 |

[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


After Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou finds herself taking on Brimstone’s mantle and becoming the new resurrectionist for the dwindling chimaera resistance, led by Thiago. Though very few of them trust her, Karou feels she must help the remaining chimaera fight back against the seraphim, who are systematically enslaving or slaughtering the chimaera refugees in Eretz.

To help the rebels hide, Karou brings them through the portal to Earth and uses an abandoned kasbah in the desert to keep human eyes away from the chimaera. This works out well for some time, until Zuzana and Mik manage to track down Karou and join her at the kasbah. Karou allows them to stay for a short time, but as tension grows between her and Thiago, she knows that that they aren’t safe, so she eventually sneaks them out in the dead of night.

Karou discovers that Thiago is basically slaughtering innocent seraphim, the townsfolk and villagers that have never been involved in the war — including children. But Karou is stuck. She can’t defy the White Wolf, who’s been leading the chimaera army for centuries, but she can’t abide by the massacre of innocents either, especially when the seraphim Emperor, Joram, returns each attack tenfold by slaughtering even more chimaera.

Then Akiva shows up — with a thurible containing Issa’s soul. Turns out Brimstone saved Issa and Yasri by killing them and having squalls take their souls to places Karou might return to. Akiva found Issa in the Kirin caves, and, trying his hardest to atone for his past sins, brings her to Karou. Karou angrily rejects Akiva but is relieved to have someone she loves back at her side. She resurrects Issa in a new body, and Issa informs her that there is yet hope for the chimaera: the Warlord and Brimstone sealed thousands of chimaera in the caverns beneath the chimaera capital before the seraphim burned it down. Their souls are still there, waiting to be resurrected into new bodies.

Karou, in an attempt to get the rebels to turn from Thiago’s bloody retribution plans, informs them of this possible saving grace, but Thiago counteracts her efforts before it comes to a allegiance-switching showdown. Unfortunately for Karou, that’s not the end of it. Thiago subsequently murders the few chimaera who sided with Karou before he defused to the situation, and he lures Karou into a physical fight that almost ends in her rape. In the most shocking scene in the novel, an injured Karou manages to grab her hidden knife and stab the Wolf in the neck, killing him before he can rape her.

But now Karou has a problem. She killed the White Wolf, and if anyone finds out, they’ll force her to resurrect him. Thankfully, one of Karou’s allies, a Kirin named Ziri, shows up at the perfect moment, and he comes up with a plan that’ll save the day — if only it wasn’t so vile. Ziri kills himself and allows Karou to place his soul into Thiago’s body, from which he can pretend to be the Wolf. Having effectively and secretly usurped control of the rebels from the now dead Thiago, Karou and Ziri have to figure out what to do…because there’s a new war brewing on the horizon.

The seraphim are invading Earth.

As Karou’s story is unfolding, Akiva is experiencing his own hardships. For much of the novel, he tries to secretly warn chimaera that the angels are coming to kill them, and though this saves some lives, he can’t save them all. Especially when Joram orders a full-on genocide of the remaining chimaera. To make matters worse, Joram’s brother, Jael, stumbles upon Razgut, who tells him a great many things he shouldn’t know.

Akiva realizes that the only way to stop the slaughter is to kill Joram — or so he thinks — but when he, Liraz, and Hazael finally confront the Emperor and assassinate him, things quickly go downhill. It turns out that Jael set the whole assassination up, and after he ruthlessly murders the crown prince, effectively making himself Emperor, he reveals his plans to invade the human world to gain access to its advanced technology…and weaponry. After which he plans to march against the Stelians, the group of seraphim on the other side of Eretz that no one has had contact with for centuries.

In the ensuing fray, Hazael is killed by Jael’s soldiers, and Akiva, in a moment of utter despair, unlocks a level of magic he has never had access to before. He destroys the central tower of the angel capital in a mighty magic explosion, killing an untold number of people. He and Liraz then flee with Hazael’s body, which they attempt to take to Karou for resurrection. But by the time they arrive at the kasbah, it’s too late to save him.

Devastated, Akiva tells Karou about Jael’s plans and that he intends to seal the portals to stop the angels from invading Earth. But he doesn’t make in time. Zuzana and Mik, still in Morocco, bear witness to the arrival of the angels on Earth, and rush to tell Karou what’s happening.

At the end, Karou is forced to once again team up with Akiva, who now has his own small army of Misbegotten. And with the chimaera rebels and Misbegotten army already at each other’s throats, neither Karou nor Akiva know how they’re going to get the two races to work together, much less defeat Jael before he deals irrevocable damage to Earth.

The End.

Cue Sequel.


My Take

Holy crap. This book was awesome!

I thought Daughter of Smoke and Bone was pretty good, but this is many, many times better than its predecessor. They’re not even on the same level! Everything I liked about book one was ramped up to eleven in this installment, and wow, did it make an excellent story!

First off, the scope blew me away. Daughter of Smoke and Bone was pretty well contained in a limited scope. A few characters, a few subplots, etc. This book was all over the place — in a good way. More characters, more places (both on Earth and Eretz), more action, more subplots, more foreshadowing. This was an immensely complex novel. So many different characters influence the events of the story that it turns from a pretty straightforward narrative into a literal and figurative war of battling influences. There were so many levels to the conflicts — physical, emotional, and mental — that they often felt surprisingly raw and realistic.

The additional characters in this book were fantastic. Everyone, from the chimaera rebels to the different seraphim were so well characterized that it didn’t bother me at all that most of them weren’t in the first book. I usually have issues with that — adding a large number of characters in the sequel — because they’re frequently poorly characterized compared to the recurring characters, but Taylor pulled off every single new character in the story flawlessly. There wasn’t a single one I didn’t like.

What an achievement!

Finally, I love how Taylor has set up the final installment (Dreams of Gods and Monsters). The ending of this book (while a little cliffhanger-like) is the perfect lead in for what I know is going to be an action-packed, heart-wrenching, and exciting finale. All the right threads were left dangling and all the right threads were closed and all the right threads were emphasized…

A lot of middle books suffer from “middle book syndrome,” a lull between the first and third books in a trilogy. This book does NOT suffer from middle book syndrome. At all. It does everything a sequel is supposed to do — ramp up the stakes, develop the characters, build up the overall plot — and it does everything well.

I literally can’t think of any real negative criticism for this book. I will say it was a pretty long book, which I did occasionally find trying, but given the aforementioned scope of the story, I think it was a fair length.

Anyway, this book was epic. Which is a commendation I rarely bestow on a book.

Seriously, it’s great!



Once again, Taylor’s writing is magical. It’s lyrical without being too lyrical, descriptive without being too descriptive, and emotional without diverting from the plot. Taylor’s writing remains impressive.


Is It Worth Reading?

Yes. Read it now. Well, no. Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone first. Then read this.


4.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele

Der erste Roman in Laini Taylors „Zwischen den Welten“-Serie, „Daughter of Smoke and Bones“, hat ja nicht nur mich restlos begeistert, sondern ist bei Lesern weltweit eingeschlagen wie eine Bombe. Dementsprechend groß war auch meine Vorfreude auf den zweiten Band, denn das ist endlich mal ein Hype, den ich voll und ganz verstehen kann.
Die Welt, die Taylor für ihre Serie geschaffen hat, bzw. ja eigentlich eher die Welten sind absolut faszinierend. Da ist zum einen „unsere“ Welt, die die Autorin auch im zweiten Band so real und gleichzeitig so verwunschen-schaurig-zauberhaft darstellt, dass man als Leser einen perfekten Ausgangspunkt geboten bekommt, um auch die anderen Welten geradezu greifbar werden zu lassen, so gekonnt verbindet Taylor „unsere“ Welt mit denen der Seraphim und Chimären – die Atmosphäre, die das gesamte Konstrukt dabei umgibt, ist faszinierend, düster und romantisch im Sinne der Schauermärchen des 18./19. Jahrhunderts – allerdings gehen gerade die Feinheiten dieser Atmosphäre im zweiten Band etwas verloren.

Denn Teil 2 von Laini Taylors Bestseller-Serie ist deutlich brutaler, blutrünstiger und damit oftmals auch irgendwie sehr viel grobschlächtiger als der erste Teil. Während Prag als Haupthandlungsort in unserer Welt im ersten Band der Autorin die perfekte Kulisse für besagte schaurig-schöne Atmosphäre geboten hat, hatte ich das Gefühl, dass mit dem Szeneriewechsel hin zur Wüste auch die gesamte Atmosphäre gewechselt hat – eben hin zum Rudimentäreren, Blutigeren und offener Grausamen. Sehr schade, denn das hat mich stellenweise doch etwas abgeschreckt.

Dabei ist die Entwicklung der Handlung absolut schlüssig und sinnvoll – und auch die Charaktere entwickeln sich völlig realistisch und angemessen weiter, bedenkt man die Entwicklungen und Entdeckungen des ersten Bandes. Hier gelingt es der Autorin sehr gut, nahtlos an den ersten Teil anzuknüpfen. Zum Glück, denn alles andere wäre bei dem schrecklichen Cliffhanger, mit dem Band 1 endete, auch ziemlicher Mist gewesen. Aber es klappt und zwar sehr gut. Die Geschichte ist flüssig und fesselnd, voller Überraschungen und unerwarteter Wendungen und doch immer nachvollziehbar und „realistisch“, weshalb eigentlich auch die geänderte Atmosphäre hervorragend passt und gar nicht anders sein dürfte. Trotzdem konnte ich mich einfach nicht so richtig mit ihr anfreunden.

Alles in allem ist das „Days of Blood and Starlight“ daher erneut wirklich gut, die vorher schon düstere Geschichte wird im zweiten Teil allerdings blutiger und damit bin ich nicht immer zu 100% klar gekommen. Für 5 Sterne reicht es aber trotzdem so gerade eben noch und eine dicke Empfehlung gibt es ebenfalls, also nichts wie ran ans Buch ;) ( )
  FiliaLibri | Nov 10, 2015 |
Bellissimo!! La Taylor ha fatto centro anche stavolta. ( )
  Angela.Me | Nov 9, 2015 |
This was a good sequel to the first book [Daughter of Smoke and Bone]. Suspense, thrill, betrayal, friendship... not so much love, not in this middle book. I'm aganizing over the rift between Karou and Akiva. I want to shake the girl and tell her to get over it and take Akiva back without all this needless pain on both their parts. But I know how emotion can get the best of you, and there's a lot of emotion in that rift. Still, it's painful to watch them interact now. I didn't like how meek Karou was to Theago, but being aggressive would have caused much more hurt and pain, so at the same time, I took it for what it was. And cheered at Theago's fate. The book does have a different cast to it from the first book. I get the feeling that the third book will be just as different. I do hope that Karou gets some of her spunk back though. ( )
  Kassilem | Nov 4, 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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"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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