My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Description: 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.
Ar 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?
My thoughts: You must read the first book before embarking on the second. The first book is easy to read even with the foreign words and names. It sets the backdrop beginning in Prague. The author writes comprehensive scenes that are stunningly, beautiful, and horrible. The first book gives the reader a background of the protagonist and her love story with the angel, Akiva. It is also a story of her previous life, told on flashes. Oddly, she is from a different world and raised by Chimera yet this is not her first life. I won't rehash the story. Mostly because I would need to read it again to remember what Akiva did. Suffice it to say, at the root of it all, it is a love story that is against all odds.
This book has the undertone of the previous love story but is primarily a brutal war story. Be forewarned that the violence is beyond brutal. It is disturbingly so. The angels and beasts step up their efforts to terrorize and annihilate. Meanwhile, both halves of the couple who are no longer a couple evolve based on their dream of the previous book.
Although the book is huge and I felt disappointed in the lack of connection between the star crossed former lovers, once I got past the brutality, I recognized the growth that needed to take place apart from one another. It is incremental which makes it much more realistic. A strange trait for a book of this genre, given the Chimeras, angels, and resurrectionists. I can hardly wait for the third book.