Days of Blood and Starlight

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Days of Blood and Starlight was written in by Laini Taylor and first published in 2012. It is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and is preceded by Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011) and followed by Dreams of Gods and Monsters (2014) and the spin-off novella, Night of Cake and Puppets (2013). As the story picks up shortly after its prequel left off, you really need to read the books in sequence to have any idea of what is going on.

When Karou broke the wishbone with Akiva, everything changed. The memories of her life as Madrigal came flooding back to her, bringing with them the shame of her treason. Learning what Akiva did to Brimstone was the final straw, sending her fleeing to Eretz to see what became of the Loramendi for herself. In its ashes, she finds Thiago – the man who once executed her – and accepts her fate as the new resurrectionist of the chimaera army.

Akiva returns to his people broken and world-weary. When his search for Karou uncovers a thurible bearing her name, he convinces himself that she must have perished. As the seraphim, under the lead of their ruthless general, Jael, begin to turn their wrath on unarmed chimaera farmers, Akiva begins to do all that he can to keep Karou’s memory alive by sabotaging their attempts by night.

However, Akiva and Madrigal’s dream of peace seems further away than ever. As the seraphim target the weak and unarmed, Thiago retaliates by tasking Karou with building more powerful bodies for his men – over-muscled and able to match the seraphim in flight. It seems as though both sides will fight until they wipe each other out, until an old friend delivers a message to Karou, offering a different way to end the conflict…  More


Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer was written by Laini Taylor and is due for release later this month. It’s a fantasy epic which tells the story of a young librarian’s quest to discover a legendary city. The novel forms the first part of a duology, though a release date for its concluding part has not yet been announced.

Lazlo Strange has long lived up to his unusual name. Raised by monks, and later finding his calling as librarian in the Great Library of Zosma, he has spent his life ardently researching the myths and folklore that the other scholars sneer at. His goal is to learn all he can about the Unseen City – a place lost to the world years before when its name was stolen from the minds of all who knew of it and replaced with a single word: Weep.

Yet everything changes when the Tizerkane – the legendary army of Weep – come to Zosma. Their leader Eril-Fane – a man known as the Godslayer – is in search of the wisest men in the world. He needs them to solve a problem that has been plaguing Weep, but he will not speak of exactly what that problem entails. Although Lazlo has no skills to offer, he still manages to impress Eril-Fane with his stories and thus secures a job as the Godslayer’s secretary.

Lazlo dreams of discovering all of the mysteries that Weep has to offer, yet everything he finds just raises more questions. Fifteen years previously, something terrible happened in the City – something that gave the Godslayer his title but also left him filled with shame. As a blue-skinned woman begins to appear in Lazlo’s dreams, he slowly starts to put the pieces together. Yet who is this mysterious stranger, and could she possibly be somewhere in Weep?


Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was written by Laini Taylor and first published in 2011. It forms the first part of a fantasy epic which follows Karou, a teenage girl in search of the meaning of her life. The novel is followed by its two sequels, Days of Blood and Starlight (2012) and Dreams of Gods and Monsters (2014).

Karou has always lived as part of two worlds. By day she lives as an art student in Prague but whenever Brimstone calls on her she must drop everything to rush to his assistance. To most, Brimstone and his friends would be called monsters – half human, half animal chimaera who reside in a place called Elsewhere and trade teeth for wishes – but for Karou they are the only family that she has ever known.

Yet Karou still feels alone. Although she has Brimstone and her art, a piece of her has always felt as though it is missing and she does not know what she can do to find it. Her life becomes more complicated as black handprints appear across the world, each marking a door to Elsewhere. Although Karou at first does not realise the significance of these marks, while on an errand in Marrakesh she comes into contact with the being who has left them.

Akiva is a seraphim and his race have been at war with the chimaera for centuries. When he first sees Karou, he views her as being his enemy and knows that it is his duty to destroy her. However, as he studies her, his resolve falters. There is something about her, something that sparks memories of a happier time in his life, and even if it makes him a traitor to his people he knows he needs to learn more about her. He may well hold the answers that Karou has always desired but, in the world of the chimaera, wishes always come at a terrible price…


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