Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
by Laini Taylor
Summary: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
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?
Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.
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This series is absolutely phenomenal. I cannot praise it enough. I want to see it shelved with regular fantasy and not just in the YA section. It’s dark, deep, horrifying, full of gore, and mature. It’s fantastic.
Days of Blood and Starlight was bleak, grotesque, hopeful and hopeless at the same time, and addicting. The writing, as with the first book, was superb. The author has a brilliant way of describing the world and the actions of the characters. She kept me on the edge of my seat with her chapter breaks. The writing, the descriptions, the pacing, and the layout of the story were very well executed.
I don’t want to spoil any parts of the plot in case readers haven’t read the first book, so I’ll be as vague as I can. From the very beginning of the book, things fell apart. I felt like anything that could go wrong went wrong. The moments I was filled with hope and anticipation were followed by moments that made my heart sink. But it was splendid because I didn’t know what would happen next and I’m so invested in the story and the characters.
Of all the wonderful series I’ve been devouring this year, this one may be the best I’ve read. I am a big fan and I hope more people, especially those who shy away from anything in the YA section, will pick this series up. I cannot praise the writing and storytelling enough. It’s brilliant, captivating, and so so good.
There is intimacy in pain. Anyone who has comforted a sufferer knows it—the helpless tenderness, the embrace and murmur and slow rocking together as two become one against the enemy, pain.
It happened overnight, and it drew from the emperor such howling wrath, such bloodcurdling unholy fury as to turn storms back to sea and blast the buds of the sycorax trees so they shed their mothwing blossoms unopened in the gardens of Astrae. In the great wild heart of the land that day by day fell prey to the halting onslaught of slave caravans and carnage, someone started killing angels. And whoever it was, they were very, very good at it.
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.
Life and peace. Victory and vengeance. And never the twain shall meet.
Mercy, she had discovered, made mad alchemy: a drop of it could dilute a lake of hate.
It doesn’t matter what happens to me, she told herself. I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.