Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Days of Blood and Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.”

Seraphim reign triumphant over their defeated chimera enemies, and former lovers Karou and Akiva, separated by war and betrayal, see no hope for restoring peace to their fractured world.

With her memory restored, Karou begins helping Thiago, bulk up the tiny remnants of his chimera army using the resurrection magic she learned at Brimstone's elbow. She doesn't see a better way to help her people, but she feels continually threatened by Thiago's brutal nature and their past history (like how he executed her - it's hard to get over that).

Akiva returns to his brother and sister, Hazael and Liraz. His new job is to track down the free chimera and enslave them, and he does everything he can to spare the chimera, regretting his deadly mistake. Meanwhile in Prague, the world is angel-crazy and Zuzana and Mik search for their missing friend Karou.

How to describe the lost love between Akiva and Karou in this desperately romantic series? Here's an excerpt that sums it up perfectly:

“Yeah? Okay," she said, staring up into the stars. "Let's see. You know how, at the end of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet wakes up in the crypt and Romeo's already dead? He thought she was dead so he killed himself right next to her?"
"Yeah. That was awesome." A pause, followed by "Ow," suggested elbow punctuation on the part of Mik.
Karou ignored it. "Well, imagine if she woke up and he was still alive, but..." She swallowed, waiting out a tremor in her voice. "But he had killed her whole family. And burned her city. And killed and enslaved her people.”

Yep. Lots of angst. But Karou seems more human in this book than the last, and there's a credible third to form a potential love triangle, especially since the lovers are estranged (but yearning. So much yearning). Thiago was never in the running, after all, but now - no spoilers.

If you haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you'll find yourself lost in Karou's world, so definitely start at the beginning. The final book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, is scheduled for April 2014 and I know I'm not the only one who finds that a crazy long time to know what happens to Karou and Akiva. So in the meantime, check out the unique Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, starting with Shadow and Bone. The titles may be similar, but there's no chance of mixing these series up once you've read them.

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