Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
14 January, 2013
At the beginning of 2012 I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and was struck by the ingenuity of Laini Taylor’s creation. Her world was like no other I had encountered filled with beautifully defined detail and a more bitter than sweet romance. So I was rather thrilled to hear the sequel was out. Days of Blood and Starlight follows straight on from the previous book.
Karou, the blue haired human re-incarnation of Madrigal, a chimaera, executed for treason and loving an angel. Akiva, one of the Misbegotten, an angel sired by the Emperor in order to bulk up his army. Their fleeting love affair and tragic ending. And then an impossible chance encounter. And when Karou finds out that Akiva had destroyed her world and her people in his grief and despair, she finds she cannot forgive him. For the angels are back and trying to erase the last of the chimaera including all the family she has left. And so starts the next chapter in the trilogy.
There are only a handful of the chimaera left and Karou has made the decision to help them by using her skills as a resurrectionist. For the chimaera can die, but as long as their souls are collected in a thurible, Karou can construct a body and resurrect them by manipulating pain and using collected teeth. But wrapped in her grief, she is unable to see the treacherous manipulations of the White Wolf, the violent and dangerous leader of the chimaera, who will stop at nothing to decimate the angels and create a world in which ulitmate power will be his. And he hasn’t forgiven Karou for choosing Akiva over him either. As both Karou and Akiva strive to come to terms with their actions and choices, will they find each other again? And will they be able to change their world into a better place?
I don’t want to give too much away. I don’t know what it is about the current crop of sequels but I actually enjoyed this more than the first book. There was a lot more anguish and a seething violence that sent my heart thudding all over the place. I was glued to the book, wanting to know what will happen next but also not wanting to know if anything bad happens.
I love Taylor’s world building. The way she shows the singled-minded angels as killing machines in a cold, heartless world. The chimaera with their sleek and animalistic natures. And Karou, so worn out and yet hoping against hope. So much happens in this volume, so many twists and turns that I couldn’t put it down until the very end. And now I can’t wait for the next one.
A bit thank you to Hodder & Stoughton who kindly sent me a copy to review.