*This title will be released on November 8, 2012*
Days of Blood & Starlight
by Laini Taylor
Genre: Urban Fantasy |
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher
Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
References to sex, an attempted rape.
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.
So much of my enjoyment of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE was tied up in the mystery of Karou’s life, the elegant unfolding of exotic magic and history, that I was worried DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT would not be able to compete. Oh, how beautifully Laini Taylor calmed my fears. DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT is just as magical, compelling, and heartbreaking as it’s predecessor, a satisfying book in it’s own right while ratcheting up my appetite for book three. This entire series is beautiful in a way that so few books achieve.
I think the source of my adoration for Taylor’s work comes from the way she balances the extremes of human experience. Whimsy and cruelty, humor and pain, love and grief, Taylor is writing a supernatural world that at its core contains all the struggles and joys of our own world. Akiva and Karou’s pain, poised on two sides of a war, is so easy to empathize with despite their the magical elements of the conflict. Each faction has committed such atrocities, has transgressed so completely, and yet Taylor never demonizes them beyond hope. Each soldier is an individual, so many with the blood of innocents on their hands, so many with the capacity for redemption.
DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT starts on the threshold of a mysterious world, filled with despair for both Akiva and Karou and their people. Taylor never lets the story bog down under the weight of dark emotion, and by book’s end she started to bring the narrative back to our own wold. The humans that have been featured in this series are artists, Karous’s friends who created magic with their minds and fingers long before real supernatural influences come into their lives. I love Zuzanna and Mik, and how their creativity and banter can be as surreal as the chimera’s animal forelegs or predators’ teeth. Taylor has genuine affection for her characters of all races, and it shows in the loving detail of their personalities. This humanity permeates all parts of the story, making love more poignant, forgiveness more difficult, and villains all the more horrible for their actions.
I read all of DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT with such hope and expectation, but I still did not anticipate where the story was headed. Once again this series has produced one of my favorite books of the year, and if my anticipation of book three is any indicator, Taylor will sweep 2013 as well. Fans of Melina Marchetta or Kristin Cashore will fall in love with Taylor’s sweeping fantasy and gorgeously drawn characters, as well as her capacity to make you laugh and cry. This is a series you cannot miss.
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