- Page Count: 517
- Release Date: November 6, 2012
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
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 think this set up the third book to be pretty awesome, but it wasn’t my favorite book in itself.
This story mostly focuses around Karou working as a resurrectionist in the desert where she builds new bodies for the souls of dead chimaera. The war is brutal, widespread, and pretty much the main focus of the book. Basically everyone’s in a bad situation and it’s looking pretty bleak. Akiva is with his half sibling seraphim and then there are a few other perspectives from new characters thrown in to emphasize the scale and threat of the war.
My absolute FAVORITE part of this book was Mik & Zuzana (Karou’s best friend from the first book). They are so stinking adorable and brought some much-needed lightness to the story. They find their way to Karou, where Zuzana uses her puppet skills to be the Igor to Karou’s Frankenstein. I heard there’s a novella about Mik & Zuzana and I’m super excited to read that too! (Update: it was adorable. And now I heard it’s being published next year so yay).
So there were some parts of the story I liked, but as a whole it was pretty depressing. (Oh, and rape trigger warning btw). I like the threat of the apocalypse for earth and everything, buuuuut the story did get to be a bit of a downer for me. I mean, I absolutely adored the magical, almost whimsical quality of the first book! I like magical settings that have an element of hope, mystery, or possibility to them… and that is exactly what this book was missing. That makes sense and works for the story, so it’s not a bad thing. It’s just why I’m not quite as enthusiastic.
I also wasn’t terribly into most of the story since Karou & Akiva spent so much time apart and the plot was slower (and just death, death, death), but there were several scenes that made me sit up like “woah, THAT is a cool idea.” The writing was still just as wonderful!!
And the stuff between Karou and Akiva was actually pretty emotional in this book — I was a lot more invested in their relationship here! Karou explains their Romeo & Juliet situation as:
“imagine if [Juliet] woke up and [Romeo] was still alive, but he had killed her whole family. And burned her city. And killed and enslaved her people.”
So they’re going through a rough patch…