I read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone last year, and was quite sure I would read the rest of the trilogy as it came out. Days of Blood and Starlight is book #2.
Title: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Originally published: 2012
Genre: Fantasy, YA
The dice landed on: 5+
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 a 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.
Sometimes the middle book of a trilogy feels like a detour, not really pushing the main story forward much. Not so here…
Last year I read “The Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and liked it a lot. So I was really looking forward to reading this book. As always when you’re about to read the sequel to a loved book you worry that you might not like it as much as the first one, but I’m happy to report that Laini Taylor made sure I needn’t have worried.
The dream Akiva and Karou had, has not come to pass. There’s a full on genocide going on in the world of Eratz as the seraphim kill every chimaera they can get their hands on. But some of the chimaeras are fighting back, and not every seraph is following orders.
So this is a much darker book than the first one, and I think that’s good. Laini Taylor shows us how ugly wars are, not benefiting anyone except the few beings who truly wants them and has the power of command, and in the end not even them. There’s a lot of blood in this book and several starry nights, but as a reading of the lyrics to “Starry, starry night” will show you, a starry night is no guarantee of happiness and peace.
There’s still hope in this story, and more of it as the story goes on and more and more beings are starting to doubt the war.
I found the first book a little too romantic. This one has a lot less romance, and I think that’s a point in its favor. It’s not that people have stopped loving, but that everything feels more realistic than the starry eyed romance in the first book. There’s a little of it, but Zuzana and Mik are such a lovable couple that I can’t resent it. And, there’s more to them than bubbly love too.
Laini Taylor has given us an excellent middle to what is looking like an outstanding fantasy trilogy. I’m looking forward to the conclusion, which seems to involve the seraphim, the chimaera, Earth and another tribe of seraphim that so far has refused to become involved in the war.
I gave it a 5+ because it took a bit of time to get going. The last half deserved a 6+.