Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor is the sequel to last Fall’s stunning fantasy spin on Romeo & Juliet, Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Karou has no family left, and has reluctantly succumbed to the chimaera leader, the White Wolf, and his small but mighty army. She has taken Brimstone’s task of resurrecting the dead chimaera, in an effort to keep the chimaera race alive and fighting. Meanwhile her former lover, the angel Akiva, has re-joined forces with the seraphs in destroying everything and everyone getting in between them and their enemy, even if the “everyone” includes very innocent bystanders.
This sequel picks up where the first left off, with broken hearts and mis-understandings. The two protagonists do what they must in order to survive and help their own people thrive, but keep thinking about the pact they made to each other, to work together to unite the feuding races.
Laini Taylor proves once more than she is a master crafter of other worlds. What she did for Prague and Elsewhere in Daughters she did for Morocco’s kasbah and the mythical palaces and countryside controlled by the seraph emperor Joram. Readers can feel the desert heat on their backs as Zuzana and Mik follow clues that lead to Karou, and can taste the spices Karou smells on her walk through the Moroccan market.
This book is a stunning follow-up to the first, and set itself up nicely to be continued for a third and final installment next fall. I find myself thinking about Karou and Akiva and the palpable rage that is separated only by a thin wall in the underground where the orphaned-seraph and chimaera are reluctantly joining forces in an attempt to end this war once and for all, and before it passes through the barrier into Earth.
You have only to begin, Lir. Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.
I reviewed the first book in the trilogy last September when I received an ARC (advanced reader copy, for all you non-librarians/book fanatics) from a library patron and friend who runs her own book review blog with her best friend and their kick-butt kids (no seriously, they will all grow up to be rock stars). If you are ever in need of a recommendation for your teen reader, head to their site. They will tell you what you need to know, from the parent’s standpoint. I really respect their objectivity.