When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
First of all, may I just say isn’t this the most gorgeous cover art? I’m not certain who created them, but all three covers (four if you include the novella) in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series are simply stunning.
Days of Blood and Starlight is the second in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy which is a contemporary fantasy based on the themes of Romeo and Juliet. We have the star-crossed lovers from different and opposing sides, faked death, boyfriend goes off the rails. This second instalment is based on the premise of “what if Juliet woke up from her fake death and found, not that Romeo had taken his own life, but that he’d killed all her family and friends?”
What I liked
The world. The world that Taylor has created is wonderfully rich and detailed. I loved reading about the chimaera and seraphim. We learn more about their world in this book.
The themes. The idea of star-crossed lovers is a timeless one. There is a reason that Romeo and Juliet is a classic, and Taylor has done a great job of interpreting that into modern fantasy. Add into this the theme of war and peace and you have a wonderful framework for a story.
The characters. It is very easy to become invested in Karou and Akiva and root for them. They are likeable, engaging and you feel for their plight. The supporting characters are also great. Zuzana and Mik add some much-needed levity to the story.
The writing style. Taylor’s writing style is poetic and lyrical and is beautiful to read. Go check it out.
The audio narration. Once again, Khristine Hvam did a wonderful job - I particularly enjoyed her interpretation of Zuze and Mik. I really should check out the Zuzana/Mik short story Night of Cake and Puppets also narrated by Hvam.
What I didn’t like
It has to be said, I didn’t enjoy Days of Blood and Starlight as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I found it a little too… depressing. After the events of Daughter of Smoke and Bone neither of our protagonists are in a good place emotionally and when you add to that the escalation of the war between the chimaera and the seraphim it doesn’t make fun reading. Thank goodness for Zuze and Mik!
Because of this, I gave Days of Blood and Starlight three and a half stars out of five.
I have listened to the complete series twice through without a days pause. the language is fantastic, and the narrator is so on point, perfectly emoting at some profoundly emotional content. This is an adventure unlike any I've been on before, and I do very much feel like I was there. DON'T read these books- LISTEN to them.
I found this novel unexpectedly intriguing. Great fantasy based in reality (sort of). Chimera and Angels living in their own universe, yet able to make their way into ours...a time when angels are not necessarily the good guys, and chimera (demons?) are kind and thoughtful and dangerous...
The narrator makes this novel a superlative listen. She performs the accents beautifully, and reads with aplomb and grace.
I had read some reviews that made me think the finale would be lukewarm. Not having read anything by this author before, I wasn't sure. The second installment was so excellent I thought it would be hard to top. But I have to say...I was very satisfied with this one! Narrator, once again, adding all kinds of joy to the listening experience. So many threads and details to be accounted for - and the author totally accomplished that. Adding in something new, but accounted for as some of the backstory had been alluded to previously. Epic ending...can't say too much because I don't want to spoil it...but heart-wrenching and beautiful in the poetic way Karou and Akiva always seem to deliver. This was fantastic. Definitely a new author to follow and an unforgettable story that completely took hold of my heart. EPIC!
I love urban fantasy, paranormal romance, YA, and dystopian. My favorite authors are Ilona Andrews and Kim Harrison.
This is an amazingly beautiful symphony of words, preformed by a narrator which brings it to life! It is literary music.
It is a wonderfully gripping and surprisingly moving adventure and romance! I can't wait to listen to the third book.