— A Non-Spoiler Review by Divya G —
Release Date: November 6, 2012 Published by: Hodder Stoughton (this edition) Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Divya’s rating: ★★★★★ (4.7) Ashali’s rating: n/a Maliha’s rating: n/a
SPOILER WARNING: Daughter Of Smoke And Bone #1 by Laini Taylor
TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world.
After discovering her true nature and her past, Karou’s world is quickly pulled from under her feet so soon after learning about her life as Madrigal when she finds out that Akiva has done the unforgivable – he has ravaged the land of the Chimeara and has nearly eradicated an entire race of people with the belief that Madrigal was gone forever. The book follows on from this discovery and we are no longer in the city of Prague but alternate between the worlds of angels, humans and demons. Firstly, this book is a lot slower in pace than Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, but this is not a negative
thing. Secondly, whilst the first novel was from a singular viewpoint in Days Of Blood And Starlight we have multiple – often alternating by chapter which can be oh-so-frustrating at times. Lastly, if you are here expecting a gushy romantic fantasy novel then you might just be a bit disappointed as this novel is anything but. It’s about the conflicts of war, loss, survival, blood (a lot of blood), heartbreak, secrets, manipulation and it’s just so damn good.
The Good (or should I say fantastic?):
1. THE WRITING! THE WRITING! THE WRITING! There is a reason why Taylor not only has a teenage following but a strong adult following too (hint: it’s because her writing is absolutely stunning). She has this way with words that make her sentences flow in such a poetic manner filled with stunning metaphors and vivid descriptions. It’s simply magical. Her writing leaves me in awe and honestly, a little jealous. 2. THE CHARACTERS
After you learn about Akiva’s back story, it’s hard to hate him. If by the end of reading this book you don’t like him you probably just pity him. He’s so racked with grief that you have to feel sorry for the guy. Taylor is able to make such enthralling characters who are not one-dimensional and are not bland archetypes which can be a problem in Young Adult (although DOSAB series is often classed as adult) I loved the relationship between Zuzana and Mik. I felt as if they brought a much-needed humour and yes, I ship it.
3. THE WORLD AND THE WAR
War is not pretty. War is not fair. War is not one-sided. And this book captures exactly that. Both sides of the transpiring war are ugly and often in Young Adult one side is painted as the heroes whilst the others are the bad-guys but as Sirius Black once said:
Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. – Sirius Black
The Not So Good:
Let me say this straight. The beginning is dull. It’s really dull. Some of the view points start off feeling unnecessary and when their importance is revealed I feel as if their story did add more depth and understanding to the story but not by a huge deal.
Some parts of the story felt as if it was dragging but I feel as if this book is not really about love (there’s barely any of that in it) or action but it’s more about the war brewing, background and the preparation for battle.
This is not the book for you if you are in a book slump. This is a book you need to take your time with, pour over the words, absorb it all and enjoy. It is NOT A FAST-PACED, ACTION-PACKED READ WITH PLOT TWISTS LEFT AND RIGHT – this comes more near the end.
Should you read this book? Yes. It is dark and rich and messed up but it’s expertly crafted and the ending will leave you wanting more.
BUY THE BOOK
Have you read Days of Blood & Starlight? What did you think? Share your opinions below!