Stella Matutina
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Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor 
14th-Feb-2013 07:00 am
Cover art for Days of Blood & Starlight, featuring an amorphous, golden-orange mass roughly shaped like a cornucopia. It's unclear whether it's flame, a nebula of some sort, or even a piece of silk that's been tossed in the air and left to fall. The background is a rich, deep blue studded with stars.Title: DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: this is the sequel to DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE
Publisher: Hodder UK
Publication Date: November 2011
Pages: 517
Status: keeper

LibraryThing Info

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I have a soft policy of reading at least two volumes from any series that strikes my interest, even if I wasn’t painfully in love with the first book1.

I put this system in place because of books like DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT.

I mean, I liked DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. I didn’t love it, but that does not mean I didn’t like it. (Sorry. Pet peeve there.) I expected to feel much the same about DOB&S. I figured I’d admire the worldbuilding, the prose, and the sheer amount of creativity involved, but I’d never become as attached to the story as I might like.

Guess what happened, y’all! Guess!

Yep. I loved this one. Loved it, loved it, loved it. From the beginning, when we hang around with Zuzana (who is charming and wonderful and can she come be my best friend, please?) and worry about Karou, to the final page, I was utterly enchanted.

Understand, by "enchanted," I mean "upset and scared and terribly, horribly worried for everyone involved, which enchants me because I really, really like feeling this much for fictional characters;" though, there's a certain amount of traditional enchantedness in play, too.

DOB&S takes everything its predecessor did and improves upon it. The settings are even more vivid, unusual (in YA fiction published in English), and well-realized. The art soars to new levels. The worldbuilding deepens in complexity.

And this time around, I truly connected with the characters. They became real to me in a way they didn’t quite manage throughout DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. By the end, I would’ve fought an army had any of them asked it of me.

(Or at least, found them some teeth so they could make an army. My fighting skills leave something to be desired.)

Their relationships struck a much stronger chord with me in this second book, making it easier for me to connect with them all. I gloried in everything Zuzana went through because of her love for Mik and for Karou. Akiva’s strong bond with his siblings sent me straight over the moon. And Karou’s grief, her desperate attempt to keep her people alive and fighting and resilient even they despised her, moved me so deeply that I all but became her while I read her chapters.

Having found the love for the characters, I couldn’t help but revel in their gorgeous (if flawed and heartbreaking) world. The story gained a new depth and richness. It won me over complete.

It almost annoyed me, this sudden and unprecedented love. I had DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE in my to-go pile, ready to pass along to my young cousins. Now I’ve gotta keep both books around so’s I can reread them as soon as the final volume comes out.

Which will be soonish, I hope? Please, Ms Taylor? Please?

4 stars – loved it

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  1. I throw this policy out the window when I hated the first book in a series. It often happens that I rather liked the first book in a series but loved the second, but I can't think of an instance where hate transformed to love. Not where books are concerned, at least; characters are another matter entirely.
Almost Angel
Comments 
14th-Feb-2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed the first book of this series, but I really LOVED this book too. I thought, for me, it was because I listend to the first one on audio, and i thought the narrator was excruciatingly annoying, but maybe it's just the book after all. After reading the second one, I asked for these two books for Christmas. Of course, I received a copy of the first, but not the second...well, maybe for my birthday in two weeks!
19th-Feb-2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
(Deleted comment)
19th-Feb-2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
I think this would be an interesting series to listen to on audio.
17th-Feb-2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
Awesome review! Now I really have to read the series.....you loved this second book soooo much, and not often do you and I disagree about fantasy. I will be putting this on my birthday list for May! :-)

Susan - You Can Never Have Too Many Books
19th-Feb-2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
Yay! I hope someone gives it to you.
17th-Feb-2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
Memory! Memory! You are killing me with this. The library will not get in my hold on the first of these books, and they do not have ebook copy, and it is TOTALLY KILLING ME. Why must you keep making the series sound so wonderful?
19th-Feb-2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
I sort of want to apologize, but I loved this so much that I CAN'T, I just CAN'T.
19th-Feb-2013 12:27 am (UTC)
I really must read this series... I really enjoyed her other books and have been slacking!
19th-Feb-2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
I'll have to hassle you about it at regular intervals. :)
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