Days of Blood & Starlight

Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book 2
Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,335 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An art student and monster's apprentice must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people in this riveting sequel to the mesmerizing, acclaimed book Daughter of Smoke & Bone by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor - now with a gorgeous new package!

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? 

©2012 Laini Taylor (P)2012 Hachette Audio

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What listeners say about Days of Blood & Starlight

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It just dragged on...

I don't know why the author chose to be complete Debbie-Downer for the entire 15hours of this book. Daughter of Smoke of Bone was awesome Karou was blue haired spit fire that stood up to everyone including powerful angels. In this book she is completely desolate, weak, she has enslaved herself to her race and just completely relinquishes her power to others and forsaken her one true love. Sure people can become depressed when they feel betrayed, but Karou is completely self-destructive and doesn't snap out of it to fight back throughout the entire book. I know I'm not keen on listening to "Woe, is me..." for 15 hours, no thank you! I hope the author does an about-face for the next book, because I want the fighting confident spit fire back, enough with the Sorry-Sally story a person can only take so much negativity.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

No Sophomore Slump here...Just wow!

It's hard to write a review of this book without giving away too may spoilers, so I will keep this as general as possible.
This book is amazing! If you loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone (a must read on my list) then you will LOVE this book too. It's darker then the first and not as much romance (to my disappointment) but it is exquisitely written and the story will suck you in from the beginning. Once this story gets going you will find it very hard to stop listening. I was obsessed!
I was happy to see Zusana is back (she is one of my favorite characters) and there are many new ones introduced in this one.
I wouldn't suggest picking this book up before reading Smoke and Bone as it might be too confusing given all the new character developments.
As before, Khristine Hvam is brilliant at the narration. Thank you to Hachette Audio for sticking to a narrator that works!

I highly recommend this book/series and I can not wait for the next installment.

5 Stars all around

23 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I don't even know...

I don't even know where to begin. This book took me on a roller-coaster of emotions. At one point it had me so depressed I stopped listening to the book for an entire week. I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone EVERY SINGLE THING about it... except the end. I went into this book knowing we were going to be getting a different story, a story far more serious and a whole lot less fun.

Sh*t just got real.

This book is magnificent. It's not always pretty and it is often gut wrenching. Laini keeps you guessing and absolutely NOTHING is expected. I don't believe a reader could ask for more beautifully orchestrated writing.

The first half of this book is a little like walking through mud (only a little) and the second half is like riding a dragon bareback out of a secret dungeon bank. By the time you finish this book you will wonder why on earth you just subjected yourself AGAIN to the torture of an entire year waiting for the finale. You will know the answer of course, and you would do it all over again given the choice.

This book is that good. So get to it!

8 people found this helpful

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  • KK
  • 02-11-13

A Bit Bored

I am clearly in the minority here based on the average review for this book on Goodreads, but I was bored.

I wasn't expecting to be blown away based on my impressions from the first book. The first book had this slow, angsty build, but about halfway through, it turned a corner and suddenly I was with Madrigal and Akiva and nothing else that came before mattered. So I wasn't surprised that in this installment, we had another slow start. But I was expecting it to pick up at some point, and for me, it never really did. Sure there was some action, but it was in brief, unsatisfying spurts and immediately after it was over, the tone would temper again and it was like nothing ever happened. By the end, I just wanted them to get on with it.

That being said, I still plan to pick up the final book in the series (or at least, I hope it'll be the final book in the series) when it comes out. The way this book ended, I think that the final book has real potential for a lot of action. I just hope Taylor doesn't drag it out like she did in this book. Hopefully this book was the long build-up to a whole lot of something in book 3

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Homerun by Laini Taylor & Khristine Hvam!

Well, my friends. Laini Taylor has hit it out of the park yet again with her sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and partnering yet again with incomparable audio narrator Khristine Hvam, I am simultaneously thrilled and pained that the wait has now begun for the final book.

Picking right up where Daughter of Smoke and Bone left off, this fast-paced and emotional book will not disappoint, as second books in trilogies sometimes can. Instead, Taylor sparkles with wit and depth, continuing the intelligent, wistful, and adventurous tale of Kerou, the heartbroken chimera. Left alone and considered a traitor, Kerou is still dealing with her conflicted feelings for Akiva, the seraphim angel. And although she is completely dedicated to her chimera people, and her wonderfully loyal and hilarious friends Zuzana and Mick (loved them!), Kerou doubts the leader of her chimera people, Thiago, and his motives. Final chapters leave the listener reeling, shocked by events, and breathless for the final book.

I refuse to divulge anything more for fear that it might give anything away for either book in the series, however suffice it to say that:

-- Book 2 is just as spectacular, creative, and innovative as Book 1
-- It is excellent on audio
-- It is the perfect book to listen to while running (it will make you run longer just to hear what happens next)
-- I wish that this was a longer series simply because I believe that Taylor has created a universe just as full and magnificent, and could equal a long duration, as the successful Harry Potter series
-- Bottom Line: You should read this

That is all I can say about this stunning Young Adult fantasy tale of angels and monsters, good versus evil, love and heartache, loyalty and betrayal. Laini Taylor keeps the fierce momentum going in Days of Blood and Starlight, powering through to the final emotional scenes, that ultimately leave you determined for more. Well done yet again, Ms. Taylor!

Audio Notes: Khristine Hvam returns to book two, thank goodness, and is a theatrical genius. I enjoyed her brilliant narration for all characters. Each is distinct and memorable.

Parental Notes: While the books are for an older young adult crowd, bear in mind that while it should be expected that there are battle-worthy moments of sword fighting and more, this one has moved a little more into scenes with consensual s3x, but also attempted s3xual assault. These are tougher to read/hear than the previous story. Make sure you have a conversation with your young reader to see if they have any questions.

12 people found this helpful

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An Interesting but Somewhat Lackluster Sequel

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

"Days of Blood & Starlight" is generally well-written with good plotting, and Khristine Hvam again does an excellent job at narration.

However, I found this sequel to be somewhat lackluster, especially in comparison to the "Daughter of Smoke & Bone". This audio book did not hold my interest the way the first novel did, and the early chapters of this listen unfolded very slowly in a somewhat repetitive way. To some degree, almost all sequels suffer in comparison to the original, but I was really hoping for more "passion" in this book.

Overall, this novel felt more like a bridge between the first and next book, than a critical part of the overall story. (It wouldn't stand alone without its predecessor.) That said, Ms. Hvam's performance really elevated this sequel to the degree that I am looking forward to the final installment of the series.



4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WOW! So beautiful....I cried!

What did you love best about Days of Blood & Starlight?

I loved it ALL! It was beautifully written, beautifully narrated...most of it was quite tragic, but described in such poetic words....just WOW!

Who was your favorite character and why?

there are many, But I do love Karou....she strives for a better world, and with such young hope and brutal strength....you can not help but love her...I wanted to reach into the book and take her in my arms and just tell her that it would be ok,,,,but will it?

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked many, or loved to be specific, but I think when she teaches her friends to become invisible was one of my faves....

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

SOOOOOOOO MANY! But the ending, the last hour or so, made me weep,,,

Any additional comments?

Laini Taylor is so talented, she writes with such an open heart,,,I can not wait for the next book!! OMG! WOW! Tears......such a beautifully tragic tale...I will read it again....

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Not a disappointment! Absolutely Awesome!

This book was worth the wait. I can't believe I am actually saying this, but it is such an excellent book. What a great second book in the trilogy. Usually the second book disappoints, and adds additional love interest, but to great satisfaction, this doesn't follow the usual. I thoroughly enjoyed and this book is as awesome as the first. If you enjoyed The Daughter of Smoke and Bone as much as I did, I absolutely feel in love with, you should most definitely enjoy this one too. Most of the characters are back, some sadly aren't, but as with the first book Khristine Hvam is wonderful and does a great job. And Laini Taylor is my new favorite everything :)

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Totally different from book 1

Any additional comments?

I rated the first book 5 stars all around but I took away one star all around for book 2 for the following reasons:

Book 1 was so intriguing, fascinating, exciting, and mysterious. It made me want to be Karou... what a fascinating and mysterious life she had! But then at the end you find out she's not actually Karou, but Madrigal, and that is when the fun mystery that has been so built up all comes crashing down- never to be picked back up again.

In book 2, I was mourning the loss of the exciting, young life of Karou as the whole tone of the story shifted and became dark, anguished, heavy and dry. The whole feel of book 1 that captivated me was gone and I missed it and it was never coming back. In addition to that, the mysterious characters- such as Brimstone, who I so longed to discover more of- were all dead!

The beautiful imagery that painted book 1 so lovely and made you want to be there was missing from this book. Left mostly to my own imagination, Eretz was vast and empty, without much detail by the way of landscape.

The story was really heavy and angsty, which got on my nerves. In my review of book 1, I had said I was relieved it wasn't full of angst, but book 2 more than made up for that with plenty of angst. However, once I accepted that this was now a new and different story with a totally different feel, I was able to enjoy the book for what it was, especially for the way it ended.

Finally, the reason I removed a star for the narrator is because she read this book in a strangely continuous manner. What I mean by that is the story frequently changes locations or perspectives from Madrigal to Karou to other characters, but the narrator transitions from one scene to another completely seamlessly, without even a pause, so if you aren't paying close attention, you may lose track of where you are.

Like I said, I was still able to enjoy and appreciate this book, but be prepared for a dramatic change to everything you loved about book 1.


2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Found a new favorite narrator

I wasn't sure if it was possible, but damn, this book was just as good or BETTER than the first book, Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The saga continues between the fight of Angels and Demons. Both sides are fighting really dirty, as a war of over 1000 years would be. At the end of the first book I was left completely broken hearted and didn't know where Laini Taylor would take this story. Oh a story she did indeed.
I must say again, the narrator is phenomenal. She had different unique voice for every character which made it much easier to listen to the story. It made the story more interesting, if possible.

I have to say, which I didn't before, I'm super impressed by the author, Laini Taylor. In her method of writing, she again is able to change points of view between characters, change tenses and it just FLOWS. She makes it seem so easy, but I know a lot of other authors would have had me totally confused. Like Quentin Tarantino directing Pulp Fiction, she writes a scene and the reader isn't sure what happened to have gotten there. Then she slowly fills in the blanks and never without twists, turns and surprises.

I'll try and stop my ranting now! Zuzana, Karou's best friend is still in this one. She plays a larger role in this one and we are able to hear her POV more often. She is still funny and witty as ever. I totally love her!
Karou has been through a lot. She's still processing everything that happened in book 1. And just like the first book, there is SO much that happens in this book. I believe it was longer than the first which is saying something, since I thought that one was long. It feels like an epic fantasy novel, so indepth, so many different things happening at once. I LOVED IT!!

Surprises, betrayal, heart break, are some of the feelings I went through in this book. Along with feelings of hurt, disgust, love and amazement. I was definitely talking out loud in certain scenes of this book, since it was the audiobook it was a lot of 'HELL YEAH' and 'That's RIGHT'.

The end of this book is still left open for the next book, but it gives me more HOPE then the ending of the last. Karou and Akiva are in a slight better position and I hope they continue to work on their relationship and continue fighting to end the war.

2 people found this helpful