3.5 stars. Just like faintingviolet, I had to rush out and get the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I just had to find out what was next for Karou, Akiva, and company. Like many middle books of trilogies, there was a lot of set-up and plot mechanics to wade through in Days of Blood and Starlight. It was still very readable however and Taylor did a good job of building tension and suspense while also setting things up for the final book.
***Spoilers ahead for the first book***
Akiva is back in the angel army and no one but his siblings know that he essentially defected for a little while there. Everyone else thinks he’s the fiercest warrior and even call him Beast’s Bane. He thinks Karou is dead and he’s struggling with how to act now that he doesn’t want to kill all chimera and the army is basically on a mission of genocide.
Karou is slowly rebuilding the chimera army, body by body. She’s doing Thiago’s bidding and letting him call the shots since he’s keeping her isolated, lonely, and very tightly under his control. Hiding out in the human world as they rebuild, the chimera army is trying to make the seraphim pay instead of save their fellow chimera. When Karou finds out they’re not even trying to protect their people anymore, she’s not exactly happy.
Both characters are dealing with very scary foes. The tone of this book is much, much darker than the first and it’s a little hard to read at times. I had to put it down for half a day just to catch a breather towards the end. Serious trigger warnings for readers affected by violence or sexual assault.
I was really impressed by all that Taylor accomplished in this book though. The overall story is so large in scope that it could easily have become unwieldy, but she managed to narrow it considerably by the end. A lot of the narrative threads get tied up and one thread was especially satisfying. Can’t wait to get my hands on book 3!