Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight

Please, if you haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone yet go read it now!

Goodreads 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?
Remember back in high school when you were trying to pen that incredibly epic fantasy novel with all of that poetic prose and instead all that came out was incredibly wordy nonsense that looked like you were trying to hard? Well, Laini Taylor proves that it can in fact be done. Her prose is BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS even and comes across so incredibly effortless. Its hard to explain. You feel the beauty of it as you're reading but it doesn't come across as pretentious or as if she is trying to write this incredibly poetic fantasy novel, its just what flows from her fingertips. Her style is...beautifully enchanting.

Despite the incredible beauty of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the incredibly detailed and realistic fantasy realm, I found myself worried that Days of Blood and Starlight would suffer from being the dreaded middle novel of a trilogy. So many of them seem to fall flat, to come across as only a set up for the third and final novel in the trilogy. Days of Blood and Starlight was no such middle novel. It was a beautifully told story in its own right. I cannot...there simply are not words to explain how impressed I am with this book.

I tried so hard to savor this novel; to allow myself only a chapter here or there once I had earned the right to read it...You see, I had been using it as bribery to write the required fifty thousand words for NaNoWriMo. And this worked, for about a day. The savoring that is, not the writing as I managed to complete that in ten days flat...In case you couldn't tell, I REALLY wanted to read this novel. But by the second day I had broke and managed to read over three hundred pages without really noticing that I had. I had simply gotten completely lost within the story. I was in the story. I could literally see everything that was going on around me. I felt as if I were glamored, hidden in the world that Laini Taylor had created, and actually watching all of the vents played out. This novel is truly cinematic, in that everything does play out at the way. The whole time I was reading I felt as if I could see everything. I wasn't reading words, I was viewing memories.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone had such a rich cast to work with; and it felt as if I had only gotten mere glimpses of those whom I desperately wanted to know more about. Without giving too much away I think I can safely say that I got far more than mere glimpses of that rich cast; I was blown away by the sheer scope of this novel. Even those members of the cast that we only get a few moments with, or a few scenes, they feel so three dimensional, so fully fleshed out. They have hopes, dreams, and fears. These aren't just placeholder characters there to make them story progress and as a reader you begin to wonder about them outside of the text of the novel, what are they doing, because they cannot simply be there waiting for the 'camera' to turn back to them. You, as a reader, are given glimpses into the world, but it feels as if things go on even when you're not bearing witness to them. Such is the scope and magic of Days of Blood and Starlight.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my favorite read of 2011, it was a beautiful and captivating novel. Days of Blood and Starlight was heart-breakingly enchanting. I cannot even begin to imagine what awaits for me in the third, yet untitled, novel of this incredible trilogy.


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Ash, YOUR REVIEW <3 <3 <3

    DoSaB was my favourite of 2011 as well (!!!) and just THE THOUGHT of the sequel is making my body all shaky and tense. I'll probably be waiting until mid-December (perhaps I shall save it as a reward for finishing uni apps!) but until then, I'll read this review again ;)

    SO glad that you loved it, Ash! <3

    (And CONGRATS on finishing NaNo so quickly! You are a SUPERSTAR!)

    1. Aw! <3 <3 <3

      Yay! I was really worried about it too. Oh uni apps...those pesky things definitely deserve an amazing reward like DofBaS. I'm so glad that you loved my review. Love hearing/reading that! :D

      [Thank you so very much! <3]

  2., I just reviews this myself a few days ago and it's scary how your review touched on almost all the same themes I brought out or at the very least the parts I savored the most while reading this unbelievably amazing sequel: Laini Taylor's breathtaking & poetic prose that seems to drip off of her pen. How we both feel the 2nd book in a trilogy is a letdown but DoB&S didn't have such a slump. The cinematic feel throughout & the host of memorable and so very real characters! Sigh, I wish book 3 was already out, I think if I had all three, I read and star a re-read right after LOL

    Anyways brilliant review ♥

    1. Great minds think alike I guess! Laini Taylor must be some sort of writing goddess I swear. I mean, she totally overcame the curse of the second book in a trilogy thing AND managed to blow her own first book pretty much out of the water. I wish book three was already out too. I'm definitely going to be doing a series reread as soon as it comes out. Its an awesome experience diving into one right after the other.

      Thank you so much! Always love hearing that. <3