Friday, 9 November 2012

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

  Days of Blood and Starlight
  Author: Laini Taylor
  Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  Publication date: 8th November 2012
  My rating: 4 stars

  
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

Laini Taylor never fails to amaze me with her writing, I remember being stunned by her brilliant story building and magical world she created in Daughter of Smoke and Bone and now she has managed to do it again with Days of Blood and Starlight.

Days of Blood and Starlight is a lot darker than Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Gone is the upbeat energetic and happy Karou we once knew, she’s desolate; she’s lost everything, what’s her purpose now? She sure didn’t expect to find herself in her current situation. I didn’t expect to find her in that situation, after the way things ended in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I was biting my nails anxiously but Laini again ended up surprising me. Of all the outcomes and of all the people, I felt so enraged I just wanted to thump someone. You’re thinking what the heck am I blathering about, but if I go into too much detail then I’ll probably give the entire plot away. But by the first few chapters you’ll know what I’m referring to.

It’s a hard time for Karou, everything she knew she learned from Brimstone, and now it’s just about getting on with things, what would he have wanted Karou to do? What did he expect? It was tough never knowing if she was on the right track, not having the guidance, feeling as if she’d let everyone down and then on the top of that being forced into an awkward situation.

I’m not sure how I felt about this Karou, she was broken but most of all felt betrayed, I adored her relationship with Akiva as much as it was forbidden, it sent chills up my spine. So from the beginning of this book I wanted to know what was going to happen with these two, would they be able to put everything behind them? Or was it all too late? Days of Blood and Starlight has a big shift in change from Daughter and Smoke and Bone, gone was the forbidden romance, the bigger focus was on bitterness, revenge and violence. I’m not sure how I felt about this shift, it did give off a much darker vibe to the story and moved the story in a completely different direction and yet in a way opened the door for several different possibilities that I never would have considered. Also it allowed more focus on Akiva and Karou as individuals and not as the couple we first fell in love with. It enabled us to understand a little bit more about them and in a way I liked this. It also bought so many new characters into the picture making us take a step back and realise everything that was happening wouldn’t just affect Akiva and Karou but so many others as well.

If I’m to be honest I didn’t enjoy Days of Blood and Starlight as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I think it took me a while to get into and the flips in pov’s could be at times mind boggling. But that’s only my small criticism. Other than I adored this book, I was over the moon to be back in this magical world, back with familiar faces and to meet so many new ones. Again Laini has managed to leave me on tenterhooks in great anticipation of the next book.

Make sure you stop by on the blog next Saturday the 17th, where Rachel will have a extra special post for you guys! 


12 comments:

  1. AMAZING review, Jasprit! I'm thrilled to hear that this novel focuses more on Akiva and Karou as individuals as I definitely felt as if DoSaB focused on their chemistry and romance so much that it was hard to distinguish what made them so spectacular individually - at least for Akiva. Like you, I'm not sure how I feel about this new Karou, but I love that we're seeing logical character growth. I'll be biting my nails while I read this one too, I'm sure, but I can't wait to start it. I'm planning to pick it up tomorrow, so hopefully I find some time! ;) Although you didn't enjoy this as much as DoSaB, I'm still glad it's a great follow-up. I have a feeling this will be one of those trilogies that simply doesn't disappoint! :)

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  2. I had a bit of a rough time w/the first half of DoB&S. it was so grim, and I agree, Karou had (ubserstandably) list her sparkle. The second half more than made up for be. And wow, Taylor's writing is phenomenal. Brilliant review, Jasprit!

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  3. Many readers who've read this have said that Days of Blood and Starlight focused less on the romance between Karou and Akiva and more on turmoil and war, which personally I prefer. While Daughter of Smoke and Bone was very enjoyable, I was never a fan of the insta- love and two perfect beings falling in love idea. Gorgeous review, Jasprit! I can hardly wait to begin this book soon and am SO EXCITED for the special post you two are teasing us about. :)

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  4. This sounds like a fantastic follow up, despite not impressing you as much. I don't know why I have waited so long to read book 1, I need to get a wriggle on and catch up!

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  5. I think I'm going to like this darker version of Karou and her story. It's so strange, I wasn't all too thrilled with DoSaB, and the romance was my LEAST favorite part (I know, I know, can we still be friends?) so I'm very curious to find out who she'll be without Akiva and how she'll face the challenges ahead.
    I enjoy Laini's writing so much, but I felt that a darker story would work much better with her style, and now I finally have it.
    Amazing review, Jasprit!

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  6. I need to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone as soon as I think.

    These books are something I'm missing out on and I heard about the shift, but I think it definitely sounds good. It's hard to comment on it when I haven't read the first one, but now I'm more excited for both, particularly when you mention this book is much darker than the first because I ADORE dark books.

    Thanks for the lovely review, Jasprit! :)

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  7. Ahhhhhh! I'm so excited to read this one Jasprit! And nervous. Very, very nervous given you said it's much darker. I need to reread Daughter of Smoke and Bone because I forget the ending, but I remember the betrayal and my heart is already aching for Karou. Beautiful review, and I can't wait for your extra special post!

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  8. I'm reading it now and it is so dark, like you said. I never expected this book to go in this direction and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet. Of course, Laini is a brilliant writer, but it's a depressing book. At least I have the lovely cover to stare at.

    I'll be back on the 17th. I love surprises!

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  9. I am sorry to hear that you didn't like it quite as much but glad to hear it is still a good solid read. I will definitely be by for Rachel's post!

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  10. I'm really excited to see what this darker tone is like. I was a big fan of the romance in the first book but I'm happy for it to have less stage time now, as long as I still get a little. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jasprit! Wonderful review as per usual. :)

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  11. Lovely review! I think for all the reasons that you mentioned, I'm going to end up enjoying Days of Blood and Starlight even better than Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I loved Taylor's introduction to her fantastical world and the wonderful star-crossed romance of Karou and Akiva. I am excited, however, to now read about the gritter, darker aspects of their worlds and personalities. And for individual character growth! Between Veronica Roth's Divergent and Insurgent, I actually preferred the darker, more warlike aspect of Insurgent. And the same for Mockingjay being my favorite of The Hunger Games. I think there's something about the urgency and self-reflection that comes along with these darker themes that I find fascinating. But hopefully Taylor will end her trilogy on a happier note?

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  12. Once again I pretty much agree with everything you've said in your review about this book. I'm trying to put my thoughts together for my own review and you've summed it up perfectly! I agree that it felt very dark and bleak at times and there where so many characters that it was hard to keep up and remember everyone! Overall I loved this book though not as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. This world and Laini's writing just blows me away!

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