When I read The Hunger Games, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Catching Fire as soon as I was done with the first book. As soon as I found out that Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the first book in a trilogy, I immediately downloaded Days of Blood and Starlight onto my Kindle.
All I can say is holy cow. I don’t want to spoil too much of this really excellent series for you, because really, you should read it yourself. Daughter of Smoke and Bone ended on an incredible cliffhanger, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how Laini Taylor was going to follow it up.
Without giving too much away, while the first book took place primarily on Earth in semi-familiar settings (mostly Europe – Prague – and the Middle East), a major portion of Days of Blood and Starlight takes place in Eretz, which is the world of the chimaera and the seraphim. As we learned in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, there is a lot more to Karou and Akiva’s relationship history than first meets the eye – and the introduction of humans into Eretz (in the form of Karou’s art school friends Zuzanna and Mik) creates a whole new element of surprise.
There are battle scenes and complex characters – evil angels and terrifying devils. There is deep sadness and sorrowful loss, as well as strength, hope and love. There is also plenty of danger – from assassinations to assault. In the wrong hands, the ambitious content of this book would be a complete mess. But Laini Taylor proves herself to be a master storyteller. This is the most richly-imagined world and the most dynamic cast of characters I’ve encountered in literature for awhile.
And the cliffhanger at the end! I don’t know how I’m going to manage to wait until early 2014 for the final book! And how on earth is she going to tie up all the loose ends in one novel?
If you haven’t read these yet, please do. A lot of people (including me, sometimes) are put off by fantasy when it is done wrong. This is fantasy done very, very right.