Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

I have to admit, I wasn't worried I wouldn't love this. I loved book one, after all! But this sequel is even better. In terms of character work and romantic arcs, I'm amazed at how far Laini Taylor has come. 


• The writing here is possibly even more beautiful. Laini Taylor's writing flows across the page to the point where instead of skipping across paragraphs as I usually do, I was hanging on her every word. It's so simple and yet so gorgeous. I'd read her grocery lists. 

• This book is a complete mindfuck. Most of the twists towards the end are sheer brilliance. Taylor draws so many tiny threads into one beautiful big picture. This book makes it so you can guess all the twists, but you probably won't because they're never-before seen. 

• This isn't your typical angels vs. demons story; angels aren't all good and demons aren't all bad. I loved the nuanceof their conflict. There's something to be said for taking an old story and making it something new, and I loved Laini Taylor's execution of this story. 


The worldbuilding here is just awesome. It's even more complex than it was in book one, with a detailed world map and more complexity. 

I am shocked at how many side characters I fell in love with here. Karou's bravery and loneliness still shine brightly as ever. Her inner conflict over the Chimaera war stands out here; it's handled with nuance and grace. Liraz surprised me with her character development and nuance. Her brutality and desire to be more than a machine mix to form an extremely compelling character. Ziri's character surprised me as well; his conflict between ingrained prejudice and caring for others is very well-executed. Side characters like Hazael and Issa return, more fleshed out than ever, but possibly my favorite part was seeing little flashes from chimaera and angels caught up in a war beyond their control. Sarazal, Sveva, and Rath managed to touch my heart in the space of a few pages. 

Most changed award has to go to Akiva. He's changed so much since book one, where I liked but didn't love him. Here, he's an incredibly compelling character; a character who's made huge mistakes and owns up to them.

Improbable as their relationship is, Karou and Akiva are such a compelling couple. Their scenes here were few and far between, which served only to make them more tear-worthy. The touch of instalove from book one has become a complex relationship full of moments that touch your heart. They're seriously on the track towards becoming one of my top six couples. 

And of course, Zuzana and Mik are still delightful. I'm really glad Karou has girl friends and the book isn't a mess of slutshaming. These two also add a touch of humor to an otherwise disturbing story. 
“What is it about you?” she had asked him recently. “I almost never like people, even in tiny doses. But I never get tired of being with you.”
“It's my superpower,” he had said. “Extreme be-with-able-ness.”

This book is far darker, thematically, than DoSaB. Days of Blood and Starlight is a war epic, not just the story of a demon and angel's forbidden love. Everything lovely about the first book is simply one part of a whole story. There's so much nuance to both the themes and the characters; this is a book you could analyze for hours. 

Honestly, I think my feelings are best summed up my initial review being “I'm dead inside??” This book absolutely killed me, and I can't wait for book three. I know everyone has read this series already, but if you haven't, PLEASE pick this series up.


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