Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Synopsis: 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?

I read this book in like 12 hours and LOVED it. It is the first book in recent memory where I actively went “screw my sleep schedule I need to finish this” and WOW was that a great feeling. I forgot how exciting it can be to just dive into an alternate dimension. And at this point in my reading, I had read a lot of non-fiction, so Days of Blood and Starlight was a nice little reprieve from my learning. Again, beware of spoilers, because I don’t think I can hold myself back.

This book starts a little bit after where Daughter of Smoke and Bone finished. Akiva is heading back to Eretz, Zuzanna and Mik are in Prague and Karou is… missing? Not really, but we’re held in suspense for a few chapters. What we eventually learn is that she is the new resurrectionist for the chimeras, working side by side with Thiago, and is really trying to move on from Akiva. As Madrigal, Brimstone taught her the magic behind resurrection, and now it’s up to her to save the chimeras.

Days of Blood and Starlight was way more interesting to me right off the bat than DoS&B. There is so much more tension in it because it focuses more on the conflict between the chimeras and the seraphim, rather that the romance aspect of the characters, which I find much more enjoyable. In this book you see both Akiva and Karou dealing with the ethics of what they are doing, how they can right some of their previous wrongs, and try to imagine a future that is different than the one they are currently heading towards (essentially war between the two races again). It’s a deeper dive into the two cultures, and really grounds you in the conflict. The story in this book was also just darker and grittier than DoS&B. It deals with an attempted extermination of the chimera, which raises really interesting questions about the characters actions. Are the chimera’s actions allowed, since they are the ones being hunted? Can they be criticized for fighting to survive, even though they are killing innocent seraphim? Are there any innocents when it comes to war?

The introduction of additional secondary characters and storylines in this book I think also helped to flesh out Akiva and Karou into more distinct characters, and obviously to build the world. The separation of their story lines allowed us to better understand who they are as people without it being in relation to each other. And I’ll just say it – I adored Ziri, Hazael and Liraz. Not only did they allow Akiva and Karou to grow as characters, but they enriched the plot so much, by bringing their own struggles to the story. Especially Liraz as a female seraphim and struggling against misogyny and violence in the army, and Ziri as the last of the Kirin.

The ending of the book, again, didn’t fail to surprise me and really kick me in the gut. Taylor knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote the ending, and it is so exciting to try to guess where she’s going to take it with the next book. I’m going to go on record now and say that I don’t want Karou and Akiva to be endgame – I personally think that too much has happened between them for their relationship to be what it once was. I don’t know where Taylor wants to go with the story, but I trust her. I actually just got the ebook from my library, so I might just spend the day reading… who knows!

Anyways, thats all for now ducks, I’ll be back soon with the third installment of Mon reads Laini Taylor lol.
Have a great day!

5 thoughts on “Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor”

  1. I really love this series! So much! One of my favs. And I love the way the relationship wraps up – it definitely fits (because, as you said, there is so much that happens between them…). Anyways, the third is a great “finish” and I hope you enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

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