Nancy McKibben's Reviews > Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
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really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed, ya
Recommended for: readers who love The Hunger Games and well-written fantasy

Days of Blood and Starlight
By Laini Taylor

Fans always await the second book in a series with mixed anticipation and trepidation (what if it isn’t as good as the first one?), and now we can relax - Days of Blood and Starlight is a worthy successor to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Actually, “relax” is not the verb for this book, since Taylor ratchets up the tempo and the suspense to agonizing levels as she continues the story of Karou and Akiva, the chimaera and the seraphim who have betrayed their enemy races by falling in love.

This is a much darker book than the first, replete with gore and recrimination, but it offers its glimmers of hope. Taylor again shows us her soaring imagination, her gift for lush prose and the deftly turned phrase, and her genius for plot twists.

The novel opens with Akiva and Karou torn apart by Akiva’s act of revenge (although loyal readers suspect that their rift is temporary.) Karou finds herself driven to work with the hated White Wolf, Thiago, who still believes that he can lure her into his thrall. Although she detests Thiago, who after all murdered her in Book One, she finds herself laboring night and day to embody his vision to resurrect the fallen chimaera in ever huger and more frightening forms, the better to avenge themselves on the seraphim.

For safety, Karou is doing her work in a kasbah (castle) in the Moroccan desert rather than in Eretz, which allows her to be eventually found by friends Mik and Zuzana (this feat strained credulity, but it’s a high-concept novel so I let it pass). In the meantime, Akiva discovers that Karou is still alive, and begins hatching plots that I won’t spoil for you.

The thundering success of Days of Blood and Starlight will only make its readers hungrier for Book Three, and certain that the end of the series will equal and even surpass its predecessors.

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