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REVIEW: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and starlight starts off with a heartbroken Akiva searching for his one true love Karou who is Madrigal reincarnated. Because he believed she was dead, he sought out vengeance on the ones that she cared for believing them to be the cause of her death, this in turn turned out not to be true and when Karou realised who she truly was, she was heartbroken at the fact that Akiva could do such a thing. So Karou flew to Eretz in the hopes of finding Brimstone alive but that is not the case, now Akiva looking for her cannot find a trace of her, all he can find is a soul thurible with her name on it, believing her to be dead once again.

The truth though, is that Thiago has the newly reincarnated Madrigal as Karou perform different resurrections. Karou has found the Chimeras in need of a place to call refuge and she finds that for them in the human world. Zuzannah is out of her mind sick of worry because Karou just up and left but finds some solace in the news that a mysterious person is stealing teeth from museums around the world. Zuzannah finally hears from Karou and tells her that she is not dead but instead a princess of a sandcastle, believing this to be a clue to her whereabouts, Zuzannah and Mik decide to go and find her.

Thiago is trying to cosy up to our girl Karou but Karou knows something is a miss but plays a long nonetheless. Thiago gives Karou an assistant to help out with the tithing of pain and helping resurrect the souls of the chimera but really the wolf Ten, is just to keep Karou in her place and keep her from questioning Thiago about her. Ziri, the only living Kirin alive is of the same species of chimera as Madrigal. Ziri used to have a crush on Madrigal since he was young and when he found out about Karou, he was pleased to have another Kirin among him. Ziri is also one of the few chimeras to have their original bodies as a lot of them where killed by the seraphim or killed by Thiago to have their souls bought back in a body that has wings by Karou.

Ziri is almost captured by the seraphim but Akiva saves him by calling upon birds which distract the other seraphim, allowing the young kirin to escape. Ziri leads Akiva though unknowingly back to their camp and Akiva is shocked to find that Karou is still alive and helping Thiago, the monster that killed her as Madrigal.

Zuzannah and Mik reach Southern Morrocco and risk their lives by doing so. They use a travel blog to find a place where Karou may be, and they are correct, she is there but they almost die from the heat and luckily Karou spots them in time and takes them back to the compound as her guest where she explains everything that has happened. Though she is shocked that they came after her, as that message was not a clue for them but is glad that they are here nonetheless. Zuzannah and Mik seem to get a long with the group of Chimeras and even start to learn some of their language.

Jael, captain of the dominion and Uncle to all of the bastards that the king produced for his army including Akiva, finds razgut and uses the monster for information about Karou. Karou is confronted by Akiva when she is finally alone and some things that aren’t particularly nice between the two are said but he gives her the soul thurible with her name on it. She decides to open it, hoping that it would be brimstone, but alas, it is Issa and she can feel her soul. She puts it back into the thurible and starts on creating a body for her friend. Thiago upon realising that Issa is alive, starts questioning where her thurible came from, as he didn’t collect her soul, so no one else could have, but nobody tells him the truth. Karou tells Thiago that she no longer needs Ten as she now has Issa who is more experienced, Thiago is pissed as what Karou had suspected all along is true, that Thiago was going to kill her when Ten knew how to resurrect souls properly. Thiago then goes to threaten Zuz and Mik to get Karou to do what he wants. So to thwart his plan, Karou and Issa help both of them escape so that they are no longer in danger by Thiago’s hand.

Akiva is called to a meeting with Joram, his father, but decides that Akiva will use this meeting to assassinate the king. Akiva kills his father but realises it is done with ease, this is when Jael reveals that Akiva did exactly what he wanted him to and that he will take control of the seraphim and he does so. Hazael is killed during this battle a loss that is taken hard. They escape with Hazael’s body in the hopes that they can get to Karou so she can help him. But once they get there, Karou tells them it is too late for her to do anything. Akiva though distraught understands but Liraz has a hard time understanding this. Akiva tells Karou what happened and that they must help each other otherwise Jael is going to invade the human world for weapons and that is a bad thing for everybody involved.

But before Akiva and Liraz brought Hazael to Karou, something was stirring in the compound. Issa has a message for everybody and that was why she was saved. There are thousands of chimera beneath the cathedral waiting to be retrieved from their thuribles and all is not lost. Karou stands up to Thiago and everyone that agrees with Karou is later killed by the pit. She tries to stop Thiago from doing so but he ends up forcing himself upon her. She screams but nobody hears her. She manages to get a small knife and kill him and she freaks out because she will have to resurrect him if the news got out. Luckily, Ziri arrives and agrees to kill himself so that he can take over Thiago’s body for the greater good of all.

This is when Akiva turns up and tells Karou about Jael’s plans. Akiva goes to close all of the portals but finds that Jael has already broken through them. Zuzannah calls Karou about the Angels on earth and now the chimera and the seraphim have to join up and stop Jael much to the displeasure of everybody or everything will be lost.

This book is full of adventures and twists and turns that will have you gripped to its pages and not wanting to put it down but excited to finish it at the same time. It’s a dark and heartbreaking tale and is as brilliant as the first book in the series. This book does attack some darker themes such as rape and we will see the repercussions of that in the next book but when we knew Thiago was going to be involved, something had to have been up with it. Thiago was just playing nice so that he could get what he wanted from Karou but secretly he was resentful for what she did to him, and all that was, was falling for another man and not him. That really wounded his pride when Akiva turned out to be Seraphim. So he wanted revenge and this was one of the ways that he did it, I’m glad that he died and felt very sorry for Karou to go through such a thing.

As always, Laini Taylor’s writing is phenomenal and like I have previously said, it is one that I enjoy, even if I find it hard sometimes.

4 out of 5 stars.


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