Days of Blood & Starlight is Laini Taylor's fantastic sequel to Daughter of Smoke & Bone.
Akiva believes Karou is dead. He found a thurible in their meeting place with her name on a label. But this time he won't go on a murderous rampage. This time he will remember her by saving those Chimaera he can from his empire's killing spree. Meanwhile, Karou refuses to acknowledge Akiva's existence. He betrayed her. So she has taken over Brimstone's role and works for the White Wolf in bringing the dead to life. But she has added her own ideas to the project which will lead to an even ground on the killing field.
I loved this book. Taylor does a fantastic job of picking up the narrative thread. She leaves just enough time in between the books that we need to know what happened. Where did Karou and Akiva end up? How did they get there so quickly? Both Karou and Akiva have returned to their homelands, but for different purposes and with different outcomes.
This book does a fantastic job of exploring the outcome of choices. How does their previous affair affect their new situation in life? How do they deal with being in love with each other when they cannot be together? And more importantly, how do they stop their people from killing each other constantly?
Taylor introduces several new characters in this book (Ziri was by far my favorite). She also manages to weave new problems into the old ones, making everything seem as exciting and problematic as the first book. Her prose is fantastic--lyrical and lovely, although I found this book sounded a little more realistic and less dreamy than the first. I also think that works well with the story line. Karou knows what is real now, and she has to deal with the dark side of reality now.
I cannot wait to read the next in this series. I would recommend this book for fans of fantasy and slow-build romance.
Favorite Quotes: The goddess of assassins has tasted my blood, he thought, and he wondered if she liked it, and wanted more. Help me to see Karou safe, and you can have every drop.
Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is. You are a lord of ashes, a lord of char. You are filthy with your victory. Enjoy it, Joram, for you will never know another. You are lord of a country of ghosts, and that is all you will ever be.
Take up a weapon and you become and instrument with as pure a purpose as the weather itself: to find arteries and open them, limbs and sever them; to take what is alive and deliver it unto death. There was no other reason to hold a weapon, no other reason to be one.
These weren't her folk, but...they were, and maybe that meant that anyone could be anyone's, which was a sort of nice thing to think, with the world falling apart.
What can a soldier do when mercy is treason, and he is alone in it?
Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breed slaughter.
I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.