Monday, January 21, 2013

YA Book Pick: Days of Blood and Starlight

Once a month, we choose an outstanding YA book to review. We want to spotlight books of interest to aspiring writers, as well as highlight some of our favorite books and authors! 

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)This month's book is my newest obsession DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, the follow-up to DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, by Laini Taylor.  

Obsessed does not even begin to explain how I feel about this series.

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


At first blush this didn't seem like an earth-shattering, rich opening line.  But it's brilliant, for several reasons.  First, it drops readers right back into the previous story, where Karou and Akiva were filmed flying/fighting over the streets of Prague - we remember immediately that the sight of the angel and the blue haired girl captivated people from around the world.  Second, in a short and simple sentence, Taylor manages to set a beautiful scene and drop us right back into the Prague setting.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)2012 was the year of series for me.  I read many second, third and final series installments, and 95% of the time I was disappointed because the follow-up books didn't live up to the standards set by the first book(s) in the series.  This was not the case with Days of Blood and Starlight.  Not only did this story live up to the exceptionally high standards set by Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but in many ways it exceeded them. 

This was easily one of my favorite book in 2012. 

Fans of Taylor's will find the same rich character development and beautiful prose found in Daughter. The story is layered and complex, but Taylor still finds a way to craft the complexities without overt explanations. She is a master at developing vivid character voices that jump off the page - Zuzana, Karou's best friend, is perhaps one of my favorite characters of all time.


Taylor is a master at world building, character development and the ever-elusive voice.  Days (and Daughter) are must-reads for any writer looking for world building or character development inspiration.

For writers contemplating a series, consider Days an exemplary example of a sequel. Taylor shows us that sequels can be just as rich in magic and intrigue as the first book in a series.


Any fan of fantasy, or anyone looking for a truly unique story with beautiful writing.  But make sure to start with Daughter of Smoke and Bone before jumping into Days of Blood and Starlight.

Really, the only bad thing about this book is that we have to wait another year for the next one to come out.  Faster, Laini, faster!

Happy reading!  

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