Thursday, November 15, 2012
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
If you like: war * destiny * resurrection
Days of Blood and Starlight is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (see my review here). Karou continues to be devastated by the loss of her loved ones. She must face siding with Thiago and supporting the chimaera or run away from her destiny. Her position is tenuous and she never instills confidence in those who feel betrayed by her transgression with Akiva. On the other hand, Akiva must appear to be fighting the chimaera compellingly enough to blend in with the other angels while still hoping to find a way to achieve peace.
Destiny and duty are strong themes in Days of Blood and Starlight. Karou feels a duty to live up to the expectations of Brimstone. Though it pains her, she cannot help but become the new resurrectionist. As the war continues, she begins to wonder if creating new monstrous bodies for her people is doing more harm than good, and if they would be better served in their original forms. The glimpses she has of each individual soul rarely match the beasts she will revive them in. As she realizes how much of her art training aligns with the skills of a resurrectionist, it is increasingly difficult to build monsters. Akiva and his siblings face similar dilemmas. Their entire existence has been that of a focused warrior, with no destiny but death. As the plans of their leader becoming increasingly violent and erratic, they realize that this is not the way of the future, and must fight all that they have been bred to do in order to achieve justice.
Each soul in Days of Blood and Starlight is an intricate piece of a complicated puzzle. Karou’s human friends seemed like they would be out of place in her chimaera world, but instead they blend perfectly and prove a valued resource to her duties. The same is true of Ziri and Issa. The well of their friendship with Karou runs deep and allows her to draw strength that she could never have achieved on her own. The bounds of love are tested again and again, but in the end each character takes inspiration from kindred spirits and exercises a synergistic power that would not have been achieved by a solo act. The stage is set for this combination of strength and hope to be integral to the trilogy’s conclusion.
If you would suffer any pain to help your people survive, read Days of Blood and Starlight.
Taylor, Laini. Days of Blood & Starlight. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2012. Kindle Edition.