Reviews for Days of Blood & Starlight


Booklist Reviews 2012 November #2
In this sequel to her much-lauded Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011), Taylor continues the saga of Karou and Akiva. Karou's chimaera "family," Brimstone and Issa, are dead; Akiva, her former angel lover, is now her bitter enemy; and Thiago, the evil white wolf, has secreted her away to a desert Kasbah. There she has assumed Brimstone's role of creator of new chimaera from the souls of the dead so that Thiago can continue his war against the seraphim. It's a bitter, violent story full of unrequited love, loneliness, and cruel, pointless war. Readers will be delighted at the reemergence of Zuzana and Mik, as they solve the riddle that enables them to track Karou to the Kasbah. Their presence--their humanness--lightens the plot, allowing a thin ray of hope to permeate this otherwise dark and brutal story. Because of its complexity, the series is best read sequentially to prepare for the promised third book, in which Karou, Akiva, and their tribes face the apocalypse. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Karou and Akiva, torn apart by unforgivable betrayal at the end of [cf2]Daughter of Smoke & Bone[cf1], are now engaged in the renewed war between the chimaera and the seraphim. The first half of the novel is full of rage and anger; the second half is dominated by surprises that ratchet up the suspense. The concluding volume of the trilogy promises to be a doozy.

----------------------
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
Star-crossed lovers Karou and Akiva, torn apart by unforgivable betrayal at the end of Daughter of Smoke & Bone (rev. 11/11), are now engaged in the renewed war between the chimaera and the seraphim. Both are repulsed by the escalating brutality and the callous disregard for the sanctity of life but feel powerless to effect change. Karou has taken over the position of resurrectionist from her fallen mentor Brimstone, almost singlehandedly repopulating the chimaera army under the direction of Thiago, the ruthless White Wolf. Akiva, believing Karou to be lost to him forever, reluctantly takes a lead role in the fight against the chimaera. As one of the Misbegotten, the emperor's bastard children bred solely to fight and die, nothing less is expected of him. The first half of the novel is full of rage and anger, carnage and destruction; the second half is dominated by surprises and revelations that ratchet up the suspense and forge an uneasy alliance between the chimaera and the Misbegotten for the battle against the seraphim that looms on the horizon. If Karou's journey in the first book was characterized by coming of age and falling in love, here it has taken a turn toward personal sacrifice and emerging leadership. The future of Karou, her ill-fated romance with Akiva, and the survival of both of their races await readers in the concluding volume; it promises to be a doozy. jonathan hunt

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #2
In this emotionally intense if loosely woven sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2011), Taylor puts Karou, a chimaera resurrected into the body of a blue-haired human teenager, through severe tests of both heart and soul. Sundered from her seraphic lover Akiva by rage, guilt and a huge blood debt, Karou has led charismatic chimaera leader Thiago, the White Wolf, to a refuge in the Atlas Mountains. With her magical skills, she provides him with a band of reanimated warriors to protect the remaining chimaera back in the world of Eretz. But Thiago is more bent on vengeance--even at the cost of seeing his people exterminated in reprisals. On Eretz, Akiva is driven by abhorrence of the general slaughter to plot an attempt on his cruel emperor's life. And meanwhile on Earth, to no evident purpose beyond comic relief ("What?…I was starving and our hostess was passed out on the bed with a hot monster boy"), Karou's street-performer friends Zuzana and Mik show up suddenly, having tracked her to North Africa. Ultimately violent events, revelations and no few contrivances drive both the war and the central romance ("As ever when their eyes meet, it is like a lit fuse searing a path through the air between them") into new phases. Mostly about licking wounds in the wake of the opener's savage inner and outer conflicts, but well-endowed with memorable characters and turns of phrase. (Fantasy. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #3

Taylor continues to build an irresistible fantasy world in this grim sequel to her masterful Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The war between chimaera and seraphim is in full force, with Karou reluctantly playing an essential--and painful--role. Having realized her destiny, she is now living it; feeling alone, abandoned, and betrayed, she is harder of body and of heart. Alternately focusing on Karou and her estranged love interest, the seraphim Akiva, Taylor traces their parallel discouragement at the perpetuation of bloodshed between their peoples. Since the first book is, at heart, a love story and a journey of self-discovery, its fans may be surprised to find this one is primarily a war story, filled with battle scenes, killings, anger, and hatred. The occasional scenes with Karou's Czech friends Zuzana and Mik bring welcome moments of lightheartedness and humor. Taylor's dazzling writing and skill at creating suspense are strong as ever; fantasy lovers will gobble up this book with satisfaction, even if it offers less of the cross-genre appeal that made its predecessor so extraordinary. Ages 15-up. Agent: Jane Putch, Eyebait Licensing & Literary Management. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

Gr 9 Up--Rebellion foments in secret places in this complex sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Little, Brown, 2011). The battle between chimaera and seraphim moves from one world to another as estranged, star-crossed lovers Karou and Akiva struggle to stem the rising tide of annihilation embraced by their respective leaders. While Karou attempts to resurrect the chimaera army in a remote Moroccan kasbah, in a parallel world Akiva desperately seeks to atone for his past by warning civilians fleeing the advancing seraphs. Occasionally overwrought language is leavened by humor supplied by Karou's human friends, Zusana and Mik, who arrive at the kasbah and make unlikely places for themselves among the resurrected chimaera. The dream of peace cherished lives ago by Karou and Akiva achieves a shaky foothold when chimaera soldiers and seraph rebels reluctantly unite to battle the greater evil: Jael, the psychopathic new emperor of the angels, who is poised to invade the human world in his search for powerful weapons. Assassinations, betrayals, and revelations drive the plot through decoratively ornate prose that sometimes slows the pace, but deepening characterizations anchor the action, and the emotional and political stakes are higher. Multiple worlds teeter on the edge of apocalypse, unaware that a curious magic is reaching out from past exile to affect the present. The rising tension of the coming battle overtakes the unexceptional unrequited love story to make this a suspenseful, satisfying sequel.--Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL

[Page 133]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

----------------------
VOYA Reviews 2012 December
Having remembered the events of her former life as a chimera, Karou returns to Eretz only to discover that the chimeran city of Loramendi has been reduced to ashes, its citizens dead. Grieving and heart-sick, Karou joins forces with the White Wolf and his surviving band of rebels. In the war between angel and chimera, shades of grey abound and Karou must discover the truth if there is to be any chance of peace, or redemption Taylor casts a spell with her writing, drawing readers into a world of angels and chimera, heroes and monsters, where nothing is as simple as black and white, and the fates of two universes are in peril. Taylor's world is lush, sensual, and wonderfully original, featuring flawed characters and emotionally fraught decisions sure to resonate with readers. Karou is a strong, passionate main character driven by her own convictions even in the face of great loss and hardship, while Akiva is a warrior with a bloody past seeking redemption. Secondary characters are given personalities just as complex and serve as interesting alternative perspectives for readers. Issues of redemption, salvation, love, war, and morality make this novel perfect for classroom or book club discussion. Taylor manages to make a five-hundred-page epic read at a breakneck speed that will have readers struggling to finish in one sitting. This sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Little, Brown, 2011/VOYA October 2011) will paradoxically satisfy readers' desire for more of Karou's story while leaving them begging for the third installment.--Rebecca Denham 5Q 4P S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

----------------------