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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly beautiful
Through all its beautiful writing, Days of Blood and Starlight broke my heart into a million pieces, put it all together, and then broke it again. And I loved it.

Where is Karou? After learning that Akiva was responsible for the genocide of the chimaera and the deaths of her family, Karou made her way through the tear into Eretz. Her friend Zuzanna send email...
Published on 8 Nov. 2012 by Daphne (Winged Reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars she "jumped the shark"
Like most of the readers of lainis first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone., I looked forward eagerly to this second book. I had actually picked up the first one by mistake. Its not my usual sort of reading, but by the first chapter, it had me hooked. Not the case with Days of Blood and Starlight. This time, I find myself reading endless pages of characters, each more...
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Rebecca L. Lane


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly beautiful, 8 Nov. 2012
Through all its beautiful writing, Days of Blood and Starlight broke my heart into a million pieces, put it all together, and then broke it again. And I loved it.

Where is Karou? After learning that Akiva was responsible for the genocide of the chimaera and the deaths of her family, Karou made her way through the tear into Eretz. Her friend Zuzanna send email after email of worry, and Akiva searches every place he knows to no avail. As the first book, it's best to go into it without knowing too much, but you can look forward to pee balloons, giant sandcastles, museum thievery, an actual blood bath and some grotesque smiles.

The tone is very different to the first book. While Daughter of Smoke and Bone was about magic, wonder and love, this book was about duty, graft, hatred and heartache. Still, everything I loved about the first book was still there, especially the way Taylor balances the epic story with beautiful little character-driven glimpses.

Wonderfully, it features a lot of Karou's feisty friend Zuzanna and her lovable boyfriend Mik (possibly the only functional relationship in the whole book) and Akiva's siblings Hazael and Liraz. Taylor also conjures up a whole host of other cool new characters (as a side note to the publishers, I would love to see Karou's notebook brought to life). A definitely standout for me was the wonderful Ziri, someone I'm sure you will fall in love with, because I certainly have.

There were so many twists to this story I did not see coming, distracted as I was by the beauty of the lyrical prose. I have never read a book which constantly made my heart ache with each tough decision and impossible circumstance the characters faced. Taylor's writing is truly evocative, and I was amazed by where she took the story in the end. It will be a tough year, waiting for Book 3.

This isn't a book you can read as a standalone, so if you haven't yet started Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I urge you to do so. For all those that are already fans of the first book, I can assure you this sequel won't let you down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy For Teens & Upwards, 2 Jan. 2013
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I had been sourcing books for teenagers, to send to the three teen daughters of friends of ours, when I came across 'Daughter Of Smoke & Bone' by Laini Taylor. This is the first in a trilogy, a fantasy novel unlike anything I'd read before. If you like 'The Hobbit', 'Lord Of The Rings' and the Potter novels, you'll love these. I'm still reading 'Days Of Blood & Starlight', which is the second book in the trilogy. It's just as good as the first. It has mystery, angelic warriors, monsters (Chimaera), a haunting love story and unexpected twists and turns. You would really need to read the first book to appreciate this one though. Taylor's books are beautifully written. The first is mainly set in Prague and she describes the place in such wonderful prose that my partner and I (he also read it & loved it, and he doesn't read novels normally), want to visit the city this year if we can. She smoothly creates believable other-worlds, characters, heroes and anti-heroes. However, her exquisite turn of phrase and descriptions of everything is so poetic and magical, you'll be hard-pressed to stop reading and turn the light out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!!!, 26 Dec. 2012
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Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of my all time favourite novels so when this arrived (after I had literally been counting the days)it went straight to the top of my to read list.
It didnt disappoint!! It starts off where the previous novel finishes after Karou and Akiva break the wishbone and she learns the earth shattering news that believing her to be executed he is responsible for the almost complete annihilation of her people. The tone is very different in part two, while part one could have been sub titled 'love' then this would certainly be 'war' or 'destruction'. Theres lots of blood, mutilation and just when you thought Thiago couldnt get any more evil he really proves you wrong.
while developing the original characters I already loved Taylor brings us new ones, the cute Sveva, Rath, and the one I know you are going to adore Ziri whose care and compassion no way prepare you for the role he takes in the end. This will make the big screen, I just hope the do it justice!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly poetic, sad and dark..., 21 Nov. 2012
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Well, the second volume in this trilogy is over.... My head is filled with images and painful emotions of these wonderfully dark, broken ,but still hopeful characters... "Sometimes hope is the real magic",-the Resurrectionist said once upon a time... Hope is the only thing left for them at the moment, even though they do not always recognize it. This hope goes for me as well, making me believe that it will not be too long before the last volume is released.

The best love,pain,longing and resurrection story that i have read so far.

Would more than recommend it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars she "jumped the shark", 16 Sept. 2014
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Mrs. Rebecca L. Lane (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) (Paperback)
Like most of the readers of lainis first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone., I looked forward eagerly to this second book. I had actually picked up the first one by mistake. Its not my usual sort of reading, but by the first chapter, it had me hooked. Not the case with Days of Blood and Starlight. This time, I find myself reading endless pages of characters, each more sketchily drawn and less beleivable than the last, and to be honest, I couldn't care less about any of them. This story has gone the way of other promising sequels. Short on story, plot, and good characters, I think the same thing happened with Game of Thrones, and even Harry Potter, and sadly, im giving it up, and won't be buying a third. If this were a tv series, I beleive the expression is "jumping the shark"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Daughter of Smoke and Bone book 2, 24 Jun. 2014
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Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) (Paperback)
I absolutely adored Daughter of Smoke and Bone, in fact it's still one of my favourite YA novels, but I kept putting off reading the sequel. I think I was worried that it wouldn't live up to my incredibly high expectations and I couldn't stand the thought of being disappointed. Since the trilogy is now complete I decided it was about time I put my fear to one side so after re-reading DoSaB I FINALLY picked up Days of Blood and Starlight and now I can't understand what I was worried about. Laini Taylor has managed to follow up with another fantastic instalment to the series and I'm just so relieved that I already have the next book to hand so I don't have to wait to find out how everything ends.

What can I say about this book that would ever do it justice? I just don't think I have the words to describe how wonderful this series is. Laini Taylor's writing is beautiful, it's so incredibly descriptive and she immediately pulls you into this amazing world she has created that is full of wondrous creatures and characters you're bound to fall head over heels for. She manages to put me through the wringer emotionally with every single story she writes and I love her for it.

I adore both Karou and Akiva, they've both made mistakes and neither of them is perfect but that just makes them all the more real to me. I feel their pain, I feel their triumphs and most of all I feel the love they have for each other and how completely and utterly hopeless it seems when they know they can never be together. They were born enemies and the paths they have chosen are tearing them in opposite directions but no matter what they've done to achieve their goals they have the same ultimate objective. They both dream of peace between the angels and the chimera but with so many evil atrocities committed by both sides they can't see a way to make their dream reality.

This story is much darker than the first, Karou and Akiva both have difficult decisions to make and they have to live with the consequences of their actions. They are put under an incredible amount of pressure to do the right thing by their people and that causes resentment and anger to build between them. I have to admit I missed seeing Karou and Akiva together in this story, I so desperately wanted them to be able to forgive each other for the mistakes they've made but I can understand why they had to be apart for much of the story. I have high hopes that we might see them come together to take a stand in the final book but I guess I'll just have to read it to find out for sure. One thing I did really enjoy was seeing how hard Zuzana and Mik fought to help Karou, I loved them in the first book but I think they were even more important in this one and it was nice to see that Karou has such supportive human friends alongside her chimera ones. I also loved Akiva's siblings Liraz and Hazael and enjoyed learning more about the angel's hierarchy and goals.

I don't want to talk about the plot of Days of Blood and Starlight so I've kept this review deliberately vague. I'd much rather people were able to discover the story for themselves by reading the series. These books are right up there with the best, they're beautifully written modern classics and I want to put copies of the books into everyone's hands and force them to read them!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, achingly sad, and better than the first book., 15 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) (Paperback)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a good book. It opened with an intriguing plot (a seemingly ordinary girl with blue hair who collects teeth for demonic looking creatures? Brilliant.), but despite Taylor's sassy characters (especially Zuzana), beautifully evocative writing and her vivid descriptions of Prague and Marrakesh, the romance side of the plot was formulaic and disappointing, with both the main characters falling far too fast for each other, and the novel only picked up again towards the end. However, for the sake of it's potential, I decided to continue with the series.

And I am so, so glad that I did. Now, Days of Blood and Starlight is a very different book to its prequel... and it is easily the more superior of the two. It deals with the after effects of the ending of the last book - Karou is now in Eretz, struggling to deal with the death of her family and people at Akiva's hands, forced to make difficult choices while tormented with grief and guilt. Gone is the colour and magic of the first novel, with it's fluffy romance and easy humour. This is set in war-torn lands and is a dark, heartbreaking and, at times, brutal story. This is definitely one of those books where the reader is constantly left asking 'what else could possibly go wrong', only to find out, exactly what can. Taylor deals with the realities and horrors of war, unflinchingly, but it never feels like she is resorting to needless slaughter for dramatic effect. However, despite all the bleakness and terror that war brings, hope and love, friendship and humanity (yes, I know chimaera and angels aren't exactly human) still continue to act as powerful forces.

Whether you liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone, or did not, please give this book a chance, and read it with an open mind. It may surprise you.

P.S. You'll want to read it just for Ziri.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite lived up to book 1, 1 Jun. 2013
3.5 out 5 Stars

***This is book is the second in the trilogy, there will be spoilers for book one!***

So I wrote probably one of my most glowing reviews ever for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it really was one of the best books I've read in a long time, and goes into my top 50 ever. So I did a silly thing, I did made the biggest rookie mistake possible (where reading is concerned anyway), I went straight onto the sequel, no break, not time to digest what had happened in the first book.....silly silly me. I've tried to wait a while (I finished a week ago) before writing the review to ensure its a true representation of my feelings towards this book, not comparing it to the first.

Whats it about? Well...it picks up a little while after Karou discovers that she's Madrigal, that Akiva is her true love and he's found her again, BUT (and heres the killer blow that Taylor left us with in the last book) he's also responsible for the destruction of her chimera family, he told the Angels about their resurrection powers, and they took out Brimstone, meaning the secret behind the resurrection magic is gone forever. We follow Akiva as he tries to find Karou in Eretz, she went through and is lost to him, he believes her dead and rejoins the Angels, his brother and sister, in their campaign against the chimaera, but somethings not right, this is not longer a war but a massacre, and his siblings are starting to see that too.....mean while a group of super-sized chimera are appearing and slaughtering Angels, who are they, where did they come from and what does it all mean?

On this side of the portal we follow Zuzana and Mik, left to digest everything thats going on, the press attention outside Karou's old flat, the Angel worshippers and trying to work out which (if any) of the sightings of girls with blue hair are actually Karou. Zuzana is determined to find Karou and make sure she's ok...

As for Karou....well thats one you'll have to find out for yourself.

Make no mistake, this is nothing like Daughter of Smoke and Bone, that was about hope and love, this is about war, death and more war. It explores that awful things people/angels/chimera do to each other, in the name of war. No one knows why the war started, and now its just a battle that they have no option but to fight. Years ago two lovers had the idea that it could end, that the world could change, but today they are no more, their hope, love and belief in each other is gone and in its place is hurt, betrayal and loss.

Days of Blood and Starlight was to me the `two towers' of the series, it needed to happen, it needed to be epic and gruesome and a hard read, to ensure the progression of the story for a conclusion that I'm sure will leave us all gobsmacked. This Two Towers-ness meant that there was an awful lot of scene setting, horrific battles and encounters, and less character development (of the leads). The latter half of the book was more character focussed, and was definitely the better half.

There is a formula for YA trilogies - boy meets girl, they fall in love and are torn apart at the end of book 1, book two sees them struggling to find each other, doubting their feelings and introduces a third to the relationship, book 3 sees the lovers back together fighting the big bad in an epic conclusion. Book 3 in this series isn't out yet, but books 1 and 2 follow the formula to a tee, which is expected but still a little disappointing from such an imaginative writer.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great book, stand alone it'd be 4 stars easy, but its not a stand alone, its part of a series and I felt it was just too far away from book 1. The major issue I had with it divergence was the multiple character POV, not just characters we've met in book 1, but some new ones too, and there was just too much to follow. I love Zuzana and presume her parts were put in for humor to lift an otherwise heavy book, but I felt she was being made a clown for the sake of it, we didn't need to know what she was going through in our world, we could have found that out later on.

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and should have left a gap between the two, I still enjoyed Days of Blood and Starlight, but it wasn't as magical as the first. Taylor's writing is still able to transport the reader to another world (literally) and her distinctive style is still present here, but as said, I suspect its suffering from middle book syndrome, and that fills me with hope for the third book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book that combines the best aspects of Fantasy and Paranormal, 6 May 2013
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I read the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, a few months ago. Between its unique premise and its fantastic (in both senses of the word) heroine, for the first hundred pages I thought it was going to be an all-time favourite. Sadly, as the book went on, I increasingly felt that it didn't quite deliver on its promise, and gave it a respectable but disappointed 4 star rating.

Then I read this sequel. And this actually does deliver in the way I'd hoped book one would. It maintains many of the good points from the first book - the engaging heroine, the three-dimensional supporting characters, the interesting world building - but is in many ways quite a different story. Where Daughter was basically an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance affair, this is pretty much full-blown high fantasy. Large proportions of it are set in a lovingly described other world, where an epic but brutal war between angels and demons is in full swing.

The rather fantastical plot is made oddly believable, helped both by the author's internal consistency and grasp of detail, and by the realistic reactions of the characters from our world. I got the impression that the author had a fully crafted world in her head and could probably describe any species of chiamera or part of the land in detail or tell lots of stories from Eretz history. Impressively, however, although she does some neat world-building, she doesn't overwhelm the story with unnecessary detail or backstory, in a way that some fantasy authors have a tendency to do.

Apart from a few enjoyable villainous creations (the White Wolf anyone?), most characters (or at least their actions) were nicely morally ambiguous, the previously slightly too good to be true heroine very much included. A particular pleasure was just how much Akiva, the angel love interest, had improved since book one. I previously found him to be one of the dullest romantic leads I'd ever encountered, which was my main problem with the first book. This time around though, he has much greater depths and plays a more interesting role.

The actual romance takes a back seat to an extent that surprised me - Akiva and Karou do a lot of thinking about each other, but have very little contact. For me, this was a good development. I felt their romance was much more powerful and interesting now it's cut with distance, longing and betrayal - but if you're looking for lots of classic romantic scenes, you may be a little disappointed. The central focus of the book is the extent to which retaliation is every justified and where to draw the line between terrorism and freedom fighting. Be warned - there were some surprisingly grim scenes of torture, of attempted rape and of self-inflicted pain.

Despite loving the new fantasy-style setting, I must say that at times, I rather missed the homely Prague scenes of the first book and the contrast between the two parts of Karou's life - sitting eating and gossiping with her friends in a trendy cafe one day, visiting demons and going on mysterious errands the next. This time around, despite a few touching scenes with her friends, it's basically all demons all the time. On the whole, I think this was a change for the better, but a brief art school or Poison Kitchen scene might have been nice. I'd also liked to have seen more of Karou's fantastically irritating ex-boyfriend - if only to see him get attacked by a demon or something. Finally, although there were a few new questions, there wasn't quite the wonderfully intriguing "what on earth is going on here?" feel of the first book.

This is a unique and compelling book. It's been a long time since I found a book quite as unputdownable or that I wanted to tell everyone around me about. It seems to combine the best of high and urban fantasy in one neat package. I think this will probably appeal most to women in their mid to late teens and early twenties, but it's still worth a look by other groups.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - And not just for 'young adults'!, 25 Feb. 2013
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What a wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking, surprising book this was!

This follow-up to the 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' is a different beast altogether from it's magnificent predecessor, but please do not let that put you off. To those few who don't like this book because it's 'different' from the first I say this... just keep reading the first over and over then!

This book continues the stories of Karou and Akiva (and Zuzana and Mik to a lesser, but just as poignant extent), but it doesn't just hold the status quo, it really pushes the story forward into more dramatic, and yes, darker realms. None of it is forced, it all seems quite natural, and much of the darkness that some readers don't like is borne out of issues that began in the first book. To not expect something like this is foolish, in this reviewer's humble opinion, and does Laini Taylor a disservice in expecting her to tread water and regurgitate the first book a second time.

I don't want to give anything away, but have to say I loved it. I loved meeting the peripheral characters from the first book, I loved Taylor's beautiful writing, I loved the way that I was constantly surprised by events (this doesn't happen often for me in books or movies) and I loved the way every character played their part.

In fact the only thing I didn't like was finishing it, knowing I had a long time to wait until the third volume.

If you like Pullman's 'Dark Materials' trilogy, if you like Martin's 'Game of Thrones' books, if you like Harry Potter, if you like Pan's Labyrinth, if you like LITERATURE or ART or FANTASY or just damn good storytelling.... please please PLEASE do yourself a favour, young or old and read these books. :-)
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Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy)
Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) by Laini Taylor (Paperback - 15 Aug. 2013)
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