Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
2012, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Book 2 of Daughter of Smoke & Bone
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?
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.