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Days of Blood and Starlight

9781444722680By: Laini Taylor

Sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Karou is alone in so many ways. She is apart from her friends, she can never be with the man she believed she loved and she is trapped by those who seem to hate her but need her. She has taken over Brimstone’s mantle, she is the Resurrectionist. The Chimera need her for their new type of war. Karou shoulder so much guilt and feels so terribly alone. Then she receives a gift, a friend she thought gone forever is returned to her from the most unexpected source. Zuzanna and Mik also turn up unannounced and totally unexpected bringing some joy and focus into Karou’s existence. Then she discovers just what kind of war she is part of and she knows something needs to change.

Akiva is a broken angel. Convinced he has lost Karou forever he rejoins his brother and sister in their side of the war. He too finds the war is something he does not want to be part of and that things need to change. Akiva finds hope when he thought there was none, when he finds Karou alive, but things between them can never be the same too much has happened. He is determined though, this time to make that first step towards the change to a life the two of them had dreamt about together.

Then he discovers the war isn’t the only problem.

I waited so long to return to this world and Taylor didn’t disappoint. I truly don’t care if it takes as long for the next book to come out. Good things shouldn’t be rushed and this is a good thing. Karou is an awesome character; strong, fragile, determined, flawed. Together these traits paint for us a very real character, she is someone you barack for, someone you are prepared to follow on their journey, someone who’s pain reaches into you. Akiva is just as broken, his vision was pure but has become tainted by his actions. His choices have affected his possibilities. You feel Akiva’s anguish. Yet in no way does he appear weak. Their love story is full of pain, tragedy and you hope there is a future for them but more, you hope there is a future for the characters that surround them. The way Taylor has crafted her characters to fill a very vivid and real world, is amazing. Issa, Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Hazael and Liraz give our central characters places to feel safe and to bounce off. Zuzana and Mik bring, at times, some light relief that adds welcome texture to the situation. Both the really real and the created worlds are so well detailed, picturing them is no problem, you can feel the heat, taste the desolation. Taylor has crafted a great read. I can’t wait to see where she takes it but I’m okay to wait for that.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Published: 08 November 2012

Format: Paperback 528 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Angels, Chimera Romance

ISBN 13: 9871444722680 

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I received an ARC of this from the publisherBy: Laini Taylor

Karou is a young artist studying at a private high school. She is exceptionally talented and her sketchbooks are the talk of the class, her pictures of monsters and demons captivate those around her. The thing with Karou is though, she never draws anything she hasn’t actually seen. Karou has a secret life. Her best friend knows she often disappears to run errands but she doesn’t know any more than that.

Karou works for her guardian Brimstone, a chimera magician, she knows he sells wishes and that there is a door in his subterranean chamber that she is not allowed to go through. Much about him and the chimera she associates with is unknown to her, she knows about the hidden Elsewhere but not what is going on there.

Living a life in two worlds is taking it’s toll and Karou feels torn, as if she doesn’t know quite where she belongs, as if there is some vital part ofher life that is missing. Then one day she battles an angel and things will never be the same for her again, especially as the doors to Elsewhere are closing. Cut off from the only family she has ever known Karou is determined to find out what is really going on, the truth though is far more complicated than she ever could have guessed.

This is an incredibly captivating story. The detail and description is exquisite. You can not only see but feel the worlds Karou inhabits. Taylor has done a masterful job seemlessly blending the real with the fantastical. Karou is a layered and torn character not always right, or noble (see her use of ‘scuppies’). She doesn’t stand on any high ground she just lives, inhabiting the worlds she is pulled between. She never plays for sympathy but is so wonderfully drawn that you are with her every step of the way.

Throughout her journey Karou is accompanied by an array of equally fascinating characters who are portrayed in such a three dimensional way that they all live on the page. Sometimes characters feel as though they are there to fulfill one task or fill in space, that outside of that one thing there is nothing, this is not true of these characters they breathe with lives of their own when Karou is not around.

It’s tempting to go on but I don’t want to spoil it. If you love a bit of fantasy, I’m sure you’ll love this. It’s also refreshing to find romance that is sweeping in it’s scope and not at all angst focussed or involving being torn between two partners.

This is one of those books that straddles markets. Some will say this is straight fantasy, others more young adult. For me it fits the criteria of a young adult fantasy, which makes me happy as I loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the next one.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Published: 29 September 2011

Format: Paperback 432 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance

ISBN 13: 9781444722635

Purchase: here or use link on side of page to Booktopia

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