want to know spoilers of the series, don’t read this post!
“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.
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?
Daughter of Smoke & Bone is amazing. I’d say it was one of the best books I’ve read in 2011, and it was an awesome surprise, because I didn’t really know what the book was about until I actually started reading it. So, of course, I was really looking forward to reading Days of Blood & Starlight and once the sequel was released I got it for my Kindle and started reading right away.
I’d say that there are only 2 aspects of this book that I really enjoyed. First is the fact that we get to see more of Zuzana, Karou’s best friend, and Mik. The second one is a huge spoiler, so I’m going to keep that one to myself.
Other than that, I had a hard time with this one. I saw myself tempted to skip a lot of parts through the chapters, I felt like some of them were completely disposable. Most of the angel scenes were boring to me, and seeing Karou be so easily manipulated was painful. I thought she was smarter than that. I understand she is mourning the loss of her beloved chimaeras and still sinking in with the revelations at the end of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. However, I wanted to slap her so bad and so many times in order to make her wake up to what was going on right in front of her and it took her so long to realize!
The Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone seems to be long gone in Days of Blood & Starlight, and that was the most disappointing aspect of this book. Again, I understand that she wouldn’t be the same after everything she’s been through, but I did not expect to be so much, I couldn’t see anything of the Karou I loved in this one.
Author: Laini Taylor
Country: United States
Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: November 6, 2012
My favorite quotes on this book are bellow.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two. the world in two.
He was so much better-looking than he deserved to be. Kaz made Zuzana wish that beauty were something that could be revoked for bad behavior.
Her best friend had vanished, possibly to another world, and even repeat viewings of a gasping Kaz crowned in perfume-paste and shreds of pink balloon couldn’t make up for that. Pee totally would have, though.
She had to be alive. Akiva simply couldn’t face the thought of finding her any other way.
I might try that one thing, you know, that thing people do when their eyes get all wet and stupid—what’s it called? Crying? Or NOT. I might PUNCH you instead and trust that you won’t punch me back because of my endearing smallness. It would be like punching a child. (Or a badger.)
It was the best day of my life. Until the one when you come back.
“Feelings?” Hazael squinted at her. “You?”
“I have some feelings,” she said. “Just not stupid ones, like remorse.” She cut her eyes at Akiva. “Or love.”
“I love you. I think.” He paused in contemplation. “Oh. No. Never mind. That’s fear.”
He may once have felt shame for loving Madrigal. Now it was only the shame that shamed him. Loving her was the only pure thing he had done in his life.
How, exactly, do you apologize for betrayal?
Affixed to it with a twist of silver wire was a small square of paper on which was written a word. It was a chimaera word, and under the circumstances the cruelest taunt Akiva could fathom, because it meant hope, and it was the end of his, since it was also a name. It was Karou.
I am priestess of a sandcastle in a land of dust and starlight.
She was Karou. Human. Sort of.
Her life as Madrigal was twining itself into her self as Karou, and it was fraught with death, with loss, and at the core of her stunned grief was the knowledge that she had enabled it. She had loved the enemy and saved him. She had set him free. And he had done this.
Looking back now, Karou could scarcely believe her own naiveté, that she had believed the world could be some other way, and that she could be the one to make it so.
Perhaps she was just too tired. Or… perhaps Fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked.
“Good girl.” She bristled at the words and the caressing tone in which he spoke them. Am I? she wondered as she sank to her knees to raise the dead.
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.
“If ghosts could pick up killing where the living left off,” Akiva told Noam, “we’d have wiped each other out long ago.”
She held her head high, but she knew, every step of the way, that she wasn’t fooling anyone.
Because now, whatever there had been between them wore that pall of filth—angel-lover—and looked nothing like love. Lust, maybe. Youth, rebellion, self-destructiveness, perversity. She’d barely known him; how could she have thought it was love? But whatever it had been… could it ever be forgiven?
She tried to pray, but she had only ever prayed at night, and it seemed to her that the moons made poor protectors when angels chose to hunt by day.
“Blue hair?” asked Mik. It came out muffled. He had a pillow over his face and had been trying to sleep.
“Pink, actually. I guess the legions of Satan are exploring their color options.”
The world, it would seem, was overrun with blue-haired devils.
“I could help you.”
“Help me?” She had to be joking. “What, you mean kill me? Thank you sooo much!”
“I hope it wasn’t poisonous,” he said lightly.
Liraz just shrugged. “There are worse ways to die.”
“As long as you’re alive, there’s always a chance things will get better.”
“Or worse,” said Liraz.
“Yes,” he conceded. “Usually worse.”
“We’re not going to die out there, are we?”
“No.” Zuzana was firm. “That only happens in movies.”
“Right. In real life, fool city folk never die in the desert and turn into bleached skeletons—”
“To be crushed under the hooves of camels,” added Zuzana.
“I don’t think camels have hooves,” said Mik, sounding less than certain.
“Well, whatever they have, I would kiss a camel right about now. We probably should have gotten some camels.”
“That’s it?” she said. “I tell you I’m not human, and you’re all tra-la-la?”
“Sorry,” said Mik. “I think you neutralized our capacity for surprise. You should have started with that, and then told us you raise the dead.”
“Anyway,” added Zuzana. “It’s kind of obvious.”
“How is it obvious?” Karou demanded. She had believed she was human her whole life; she would not be persuaded that she had somehow been unconvincing at it.
“Just this aura of weird you have.” Zuzana shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Aura of weird,” Karou repeated, flat.
“Good-weird,” said Mik.
Once upon a time she had had parents, a home, kin. Once upon a time, she had belonged somewhere, perfectly and without trying. “I was Kirin,” she said softly. I am Kirin, she thought, though everything Kirin had been taken from her: her tribe and her home by angels, her true flesh by the White Wolf.
“Are they okay?”
“Maybe. I hope. They might just be late.”
Or they might be dead.
Karou, you’re miserable. What good is having friends if they can’t help you?
Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.
Foul heart! She wanted to rip it out.
How could she still not hate him?
She was broken, as he had been all these years. And… he had broken her.
“It was always going to be the first step,” he said. “It’s just coming eighteen years late.”
You, the pair of you, you had the capacity not to hate. The audacity to love. Do you know what a gift that is?
Brimstone knew better than anyone that death is not the end it sometimes seems.
A dream dirty and bruised is better than no dream at all.
Karou, Karou. Oh, your name does amuse me. That fool Brimstone. He named you hope because you rutted with an angel? He should have named you lust. He should have named you whore.
She smelled of the river and trembled like a breeze on a butterfly’s wing, and Ziri cradled her as if she were their world’s last hope.
And maybe she was.
Tomorrow they will start the apocalypse.
Tonight, they let themselves look at each other, for just a little while.