Format: Audio-book – Library (Also own a paper copy)
**This review has spoilers for the previous book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.**
Team, you know how much I loves me some Laini Taylor. Her writing is lyrical, her characters are nuanced, and nothing is black-and-white. Days of Blood and Starlight brings our journey with Karou and Akiva into a whole new universe of gray-area. It’s ridiculously beautiful. And sandy. There’s a lot of sand.
Pain is a recurring theme throughout this series, but it’s especially prescient here, where Karou works magic day in and day out. Magic has a cost, and that cost is pain. As horrifying as keeping your upper arms in brass vices sounds, Karou’s inner suffering dwarfs any physical pain. Completely alone, orphaned, betrayed, and at the mercy of Thiago The White Wolf (terrifying. Truly.) Karou works tirelessly to resurrect the chimera forces to reap revenge on the angels. It’s the only thing left to her. Her dream of peace seems dead, and she’s most of the way there herself.
Akiva, himself just a few steps up from dead, rallies his siblings in an attempt to curtail the slaughter of civilian chimera. Believing Karou to be dead, he does the best he can to make his betrayal up to her, after the fact. He and Hazael ignore chimera children and elders hiding during a raid rather than gut them outright. This small mercy blossoms into the hope that keeps this book from sucking you into a pit of despair.
I enjoyed the brief interludes into a little deer-centaur’s experience. Which says something because I usually do not care for interludes. Experiencing the prejudice chimera have toward other chimera was fascinating, and added a whole next layer of nuance to this already thick story.
This book is potentially the best of the three, as far as writing, plot, pacing, and artistry goes. It’s not the most fun to read in my opinion. But then, The Empire Strikes back is clearly the best Star Wars movie from a cinematic standpoint, but my favorite (so far) is Return of the Jedi (or maybe Rogue One if we’re allowing it). This is just like that.
There’s no way you’ll want to abandon this series after the suspenseful, dark, emotional, hopeful volume.
Objective Hearts : 5/5
Subjective Hearts: 4/5
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