So yesterday afternoon I finished the incredibly amazing Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. And it blew my mind! The world was developed further and I loved learning more about it and the supporting characters got to play a lot larger roles. If you want to look at the booktalk for the first book in the trilogy Daughter of Smoke and Bone, you can find that here: The first one. As per usual this booktalk will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.
Non-Spoiler: I can’t say much because this is a sequel but I will say this: pick up this trilogy! I have so much love for it and I feel so connected to the characters, more so than I have in a long time. It is an astounding world that I could get lost in for days and each character has so much depth and is so fun and interesting to read about. You really all should read this series, I highly recommend it to you all.
Spoiler: So this opened with a chapter of Zuzana’s. Originally I was frustrated with her chapters because I just wanted to hear about Karou and Akiva but she soon became one of my favourite characters to read about and one of my favourite perspectives present. We see her with Mik a lot and I really liked him as well. Kaz was in her opening chapter and I figured this was were he became more central but no, he disappeared again. Zuze was frustrated that Karou hadn’t contacted her after a while and to be honest I was getting worried because we weren’t having any chapters from her for a while.
The second perspective was Akiva and oh boy do I love Akiva. He has become one of the fictional characters that I feel the most connected to. I loved reading more from his perspective and learning more about him as the story progressed.He said that Karou was dead because he saw a Thurible in a place that had meant a lot to her when she was Madrigal. I didn’t understand how he came to the conclusion that Karou was dead when it was just a Thurible but later we discovered that a note with her name written on it accompanied the Thurible.
It was quite a while before we heard from Karou again and that was when she sent an email to Zuzana, reassuring her that she was alive. It dawned on me then that Karou and Akiva would not be meeting for some time *sigh*. I never even considered the possibility that what Karou had written in the email was a riddle for Zuzana to solve considering her placement in the world. I figured she was still in Eretz; it never even entered my mind that she would bring the Chimaera into the World, it seemed too dangerous. Karou has taken over duties of the resurrectionist, working closely with Thiago. He was creepy and awful and I wanted him as far away from Karou as he possibly could be. I also didn’t like Ten, Thiago’s shadow.
I enjoyed the perspective we were given of Sveva and Sarazel, the Dama who were travelling with Rath (a Dashnag) after escaping from being slaves in the first attack of the Chimaera. It was interesting and gave new perspective to their lives but I was frustrated with the fact that Sveva continued to distrust Rath, even after he began to help her sister.
I loved reading about Akiva and Hazael sparing their group, pretending they saw nothing. I love Akiva and I grew to love Hazael too and this moment just strengthened those feelings.
Zuzana and Mik then decode the meaning behind Karou’s email, hoping to find her. They realize where she is hiding after seeing a picture from a traveler and go to find her. They manage to and they stay for a while, helping with the Resurrections. We get to learn a lot more about Mik at this time and I really grew to like Mik. He seemed to really love Zuzana and was protective and kind towards his friends and others. I loved the scene were they were playing violin and managed to calm the Chimaera, it really showed the powers of music.
We also meet Ziri at around this time, and to be honest I didn’t like him. Mainly I didn’t because I figured he was going to serve as the barrier between Akiva and Karou and, loving the two of them, I hated this. He’s sent on the mission to Eretz to kill some more angels but he, along with a select group, change paths and go to protect the Chimaera. Everyone else happened to die but he was the “protector” because he is the only one left in his natural form, the form that Madrigal once had.
Ziri is captured and tortured by Jael, Joram’s brother (Joram is the leader by the way). But alas Akiva produces loads of tiny birds and Ziri manages to fly free. He goes to Karou and once she heals him (through what magic I have no idea) he explains everything, even the part with Akiva. I knew we would end up getting a meeting soon after that, it just seemed as if the story was leaning that way.
Akiva, Hazael and Liraz are planning to kill Joram and take control of the Kingdom, hopefully making it a more peaceful and safe place to live. I really began to love both Hazael and Liraz in this book, they were more present and they seemed like kinder and more relatable characters. Before they kill Joram Akiva goes to see Karou, the first meeting yet, and this scene just broke my heart. She was so close to killing him but I loved him so much it really hurt me. Karou was so frustrating at this part of the book. She wanted to kill all the angels because they had killed her family but she couldn’t understand that Akiva began to kill all Chimaera because they killed his family: her.
He gave her the Thurible he had found (figuring it wasn’t actually her inside) and Karou realized that it was Issa. This made me so happy because, like I said in my last booktalk, I absolutely loved Issa. I just felt so connected to her, I don’t even know why. She’s resurrected to pretty much her exact previous body and when Thiago finds out Karou insists that Issa now help her instead of Ten. This is when we realize that Ten was helping Karou so that she could eventually take over and Karou could be killed.
We go back to Akiva and he kills Joram but Jael is still alive. He gathers his armies and kills others before attempting to take Liraz for his own purposes. When the rape of so many women was mentioned in the book it made my skin crawl. It was just so unfair and really disgusted me. Hazael tried to defend her but he was struck and killed. That was so devastating because I’d just come to really love him. Akiva did a weird magic thing that made the roof come down and I really hope I get an explanation for that in Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
Meanwhile Karou has been with Thiago and he attempts to rape her, a scene that really actually made me cry. It was so horrible and scary and I hated reading about it. He managed to die here (yay) but then Karou but Ziri’s soul into Thiago’s body (confusing I know) so that they could have full control. I didn’t mind this because then Ziri would definitely not be on the table for a romantic relationship with Karou.
Zuzana and Mik come back at this point (they left a while back) because a mass group of angels has descended over Earth! Karou and Akiva band together with her group of Chimaera and his group of Misbegotten to attempt to come up to a solution. And that was the conclusion of the book.
I really really enjoyed it, I found it really fast paced and enjoyable and I loved the larger roles the supporting characters had, particularly Zuzana, Mik and Liraz. I cannot wait to read the final book in this incredible trilogy.
Signing off, Charlie