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Days of Blood & Starlight Hardcover – November 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 672 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: Never fear, fans of Daughter of Smoke & Bone--Days of Blood & Starlight is just as good, if not better. Picking up a few months after the end of Daughter, Laini Taylor’s epic sequel finds Karou in the middle of the desert, tormented by memories of Akiva and creating an army to avenge her people. The drama runs high as the war between the angels and the chimera begins to take on a life of its own, and Karou begins to understand that her actions may have dire consequences. Taylor’s writing is full of energy and imagination, creating a world so vivid, you’ll swear you’ve been there, and characters you feel you know as well as your friends. The last third of the book demands your full attention, leaving no time to breathe between sentences and ending on a cliffhanger so big, you’ll wonder how on earth you can wait for the third installment. --Caley Anderson

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Rebellion foments in secret places in this complex sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Little, Brown, 2011). The battle between chimaera and seraphim moves from one world to another as estranged, star-crossed lovers Karou and Akiva struggle to stem the rising tide of annihilation embraced by their respective leaders. While Karou attempts to resurrect the chimaera army in a remote Moroccan kasbah, in a parallel world Akiva desperately seeks to atone for his past by warning civilians fleeing the advancing seraphs. Occasionally overwrought language is leavened by humor supplied by Karou's human friends, Zusana and Mik, who arrive at the kasbah and make unlikely places for themselves among the resurrected chimaera. The dream of peace cherished lives ago by Karou and Akiva achieves a shaky foothold when chimaera soldiers and seraph rebels reluctantly unite to battle the greater evil: Jael, the psychopathic new emperor of the angels, who is poised to invade the human world in his search for powerful weapons. Assassinations, betrayals, and revelations drive the plot through decoratively ornate prose that sometimes slows the pace, but deepening characterizations anchor the action, and the emotional and political stakes are higher. Multiple worlds teeter on the edge of apocalypse, unaware that a curious magic is reaching out from past exile to affect the present. The rising tension of the coming battle overtakes the unexceptional unrequited love story to make this a suspenseful, satisfying sequel.-Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316133975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316133975
  • ASIN: 0316133973
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (672 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Laini Taylor is a world builder. That is true of all writers, particularly of those who write genre fiction, but not all Fantasy/SciFi writers can boast worlds that luxuriate in the incomprehensibly beautiful. Greater still is the challenge to bend these transcendent worlds so the reader feels as comfortable there as they are in the privacy of their own homes.

National Book Award finalist, Taylor, crafted a world within our own and brought to life a family made more of hope than blood in her novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone. We meet Karou, a blue-haired art student whose family is a small congregation of "monsters," or chimaera folk, (creatures that have the attributes of different animals and humans), who rescued her from a fate of senseless punishment.

There is also Zusana, her sarcastic, charming best friend and, of course, Akiva, the boy who means more to her than she realizes, and whose love has breached the infinite depths of time and space. After the first read (because, trust me, it is impossible to refrain from multiple readings of this novel), you will be so fully immersed in Karou's story, her epic and heartbreaking bond with Akiva, and the damage done to them by war, that your fingers itch to turn the pages of the next installment.

Next week, those itchy fingers will be satisfied.

Days of Blood and Starlight continues Karou's journey, but it is a trek that is not solely hers to take. Returning again ,and with greater focus, is Zusana and her mission to sort out what happened to her best friend, and Akiva, who searches for Karou and, more hopefully, the forgiveness he believes she will never give him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The saga of Karou continues and fans of DOSAB should enjoy this middle volume. The book mostly centers around hostilities between the chimaera and the seraphim, jumping from seraphim point of view and akiva to the chimaera point of view (Karou). The characters are developed well and given much more depth and dimension. But this book does have an dark edge to it that was not as prominent in DOSAB. There is a strong theme of pain, violence and loss that make this a rather bleak read in places. Fans of the Akiva-Karou romance will not find much of that here, but you can see Taylor carefully setting the stage for its eventual return in book 3, at least that's how I interpret things. Some may quibble with Karou's character, who has gone from the quirky, basically happy girl in DOSAB to a bitter, often angry, angst ridden woman in this book, but I liked it. I especially like how Akiva's character evolves in this book. My only negative is that this is maybe a 350 page story blown up into a 500 page book--Taylor does tend to let the purple prose go on too long sometimes.
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Format: Hardcover
Hauntingly beautiful, filled with the heartbreak of impossible choices and the separation from those you love, Days of Blood & Starlight is the much darker sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Stunningly vivid prose that spoke of pain and desperation, a tension-filled atmosphere that teetered on the hopes of two souls deeply in love but eternally at war, and secrets powerful enough to permanently change the face of a thousand year war left me clinging to Days of Blood & Starlight's pages as I was pulled along at break-neck speeds on its suspenseful path of destruction.

Nothing like Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight had no room for blood-pumping romance or self-discovery. The absence of happiness was felt in every moment, leaving a bleakness that permeated each page. With delicate and simple prose, Taylor wove a tale of endless heartache with perfect pacing that was so achingly beautiful it hurt. Unlike many of her peers that shy away from the gritty details of how much is required of the protagonist in order to succeed, Taylor embraced the challenge. With the fate of the world at stake, Taylor truly allowed us to experience just how devastating the war had been for both sides, the disturbing choices that both sides had to make in order to weaken their enemies and the sacrifices demanded by everyone involved. At each turn, Taylor helped us to feel both the weight of Karou's duty to the Chimera and her guilt for her role in their demise.

Karou is unrecognizable, her vitality and zest for life replaced by an all-consuming shame for her involvement with Akiva. Having lost everything and everyone close to her in her life, she's a mere shell of the person she once was, resigned to work with the Chimera in an effort to undue the harms she feels she has caused.
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Format: Hardcover
For all her life Karou wanted to know who and what she is, but those answers came with a steep price as they revealed shocking truths about her past. She was in love with the enemy and because of that her people payed the consequences. Now on opposite sides from her lover and unsure who to trust, Karou is trying to find her way in her strange new world. Paying penance for her past deeds, she's helping her people return one resurrection at a time as they prepare for the ultimate battle. Be it for revenge or salvation, only time will tell.

If it weren't for the uniquely lyrical prose I almost would have thought Days of Blood and Starlight was written by a different author. It just felt incredibly lackluster when compared to the first installment. In fact up until I reached the 40% mark I pretty much had to force myself to continue reading. Considering the fact that first book was all consuming for me, that was a startling change. This book was just so incredibly slow as the lyrical prose tipped over from magical to overwhelming. Also, the rotating perspectives only dragged things even further. I realize that the author was probably trying to expand the story past just Karou's perspective, but in all honesty I could have done without most of the rotations, especially as they all became rather overwhelming. A lot of my problem with that was that by the time I was able to get "sunk" into the current character, it would up and switch to another one, throwing me out of the book.

I can't help wondering where the awesome and amazing Karou that we met in Daughter of Smoke and Bone went. She is nothing like her old self in this book, and it really disappointed me. I do realize that she had her world turned upside down and felt the utter sting of betrayal from Akiva.
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