Tuesday 25 December 2012

360. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book 2: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Book 2: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Published November 2012 H & S Fiction

From the publisher:
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living - one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers' arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon's secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel - a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.
This was not that world.

Not exactly a Christmas book, but for me it was little bit like Christmas, to say I was excited about this book would be an understatement.  I discovered Daughter of Smoke and Bone quite a while after it’s original US release, the paperback came out earlier this year, so it’s a very pleasant surprise that I get to read Book 2 in the same year!

There's a a paragraph in the book that explains what has happened better than I ever could, here is her explanation to Zuzana and Mik.

"Let's see.  You know how, at the end of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet wakes up in the crypt and Romeo's already dead?  He thought she was dead so he killed himself right next to her?" "Yeah.  That was awesome"  A pause, followed by "Ow", suggested elbow punctuation on the part of Mik. Karou ignored it.  "Well imagine if she woke up and he was still alive, but..."  She swallowed, waiting out a tremor in her voice. "but he had killed her whole family.  And burned her city.  And killed and enslaved her people."
(from chapter 47. Assassins and Secret Lovers)

So, everyone Karou loves is dead, the seraphim have started a war, and their aim is to destroy the chimaera.  With Brimstone dead, Karou has a new role, she becomes the resurrectionist. She again travels the world for teeth, but this time for her own use.  Thiago, the White wolf is the leader of the chimaera, and his aim is to create an army that has the attributes needed, to fight angels.  Everybody that Karou resurrects now has wings, the perfect secret weapon.

The story is told in alternate chapters, by Karou and Akiva.  Karou is creating an army to destroy the seraphim, and she doesn't know if Akiva is alive.  Akiva is part of an army fighting the chimaera, and he doesn't know if Karou is alive.  Both Karou and Akiva on their own separate sides, start to believe that there may be a better way,  a way that doesn't involve destroying an entire race.

Karou is working in the human world, in a Kasbah in southern Morocco.  Like the true friend that she is Zuzana and her boyfriend Mik, manage to decode a cryptic email, and find Karou in the middle of the desert, and while Karou is thrilled to have people she loves and cares about around her again, a sandcastle in the middle of the desert filled with monsters, probably isn't the best place for humans.

This story is one of good and evil, and then realising that maybe there is nothing so black and white.  Our two heroes have to make decisions that put their own lives at risk, but decisions that the hope will begin to bring an end to the bloodshed.

Who will like this book: Girls age 14+
Read it if you like: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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