Days of Blood & Starlight
by Laini Taylor
High School Little, Brown 517 pp.
11/12 978-0-316-13397-5 $18.99
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.
From the January/February 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.