Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
Laini Taylor
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published November 6, 2012

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About Days of Blood and Starlight

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 AND 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 AND 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?

The Princess Who Flew with Dragons on Goodreads

My Review

I’m rereading the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series for the second time, and I’m amazed at the things I picked up on in my second read of DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT that I missed the first time through.

While the first book really focuses on the human world and Karou’s life in it, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT focuses on some memories of her past and also shows a lot more about what Akiva’s life looks like as a soldier under his father’s command. Leroz, his half-sister, has always been one of my favorite characters for her prickly exterior and fierce loyalty. This time I noticed a lot more of the hints at softness and fear under her warrior armor.

Like lots of second books in a trilogy, this book feels a lot more like a bridge than a destination. I didn’t mind that, though. It’s like it takes everything hinted at in the first book and peels back the layers to reveal a rich, complex world where Karou is only just realizing she can belong.

And the theme of hope versus hate is so powerful. Even though there’s a lot of violence, there’s always this undercurrent of wanting things to be different, to remake the world, which is such a compelling idea. And it’s beautifully conveyed in Laini Taylor’s writing.

If you’re new to this series, check out my review of the first book, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. If you liked The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta or STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor, you’ll want to add this series to your reading list.

The Princess Who Flew with Dragons on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 16 up.

Most characters are chimaera or angels.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
References to sex.

Spiritual Content
The monsters Karou sketches are chimaera from another world which also includes angels– which look like humans with fiery wings. Each of those groups has myths about their creation and worships gods and goddesses.

Karou receives wishes in payment for running errands. They can only be used for small things, like wishing an itch on someone or something like that. Larger wishes are available.

Violent Content
Some descriptions of battle or fighting and situations of peril. References to war. References to some grisly murders and mutilation of bodies. Some references to torture.

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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