REVIEW: Days of Blood and Starlight

Why don't I just go out and say it? This is my favourite ever YA series, there is absolutely no question about it. From the vivid imagery to each individual character, from the light-hearted "Zuzana moments" to the brutality of the war, this series is one you simply can't miss out on. I love everything about Days of Blood and Starlight.

Author: Laini Taylor | Publisher: Hodder | Release date: November 6th 2012 | Pages: 513 | Source: Bought
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two.
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 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.

MY THOUGHTS: I remember describing the first book in this series as "one that has the ability the ability to crawl inside your mind and never leave." I think I can now just apply that to any book by Laini Taylor; or better yet, why don't I just crawl inside Laini Taylor's mind? That sounds perfect. I could live amongst my favourite book characters, read my favourite style of writing and, most importantly, devour all the gorgeously-developed world-building! Woah, what a brilliant plan.

But jokes aside, gone is all the fluffiness from the first book – the lightness, the humour, the casualness. Almost as if this has all been burnt away, what remains is deadly: the novel is coated in darkness, the humour is morbid and dry, there is no time for normality. If book 1 was the stuff of dreams, miracles and mirages, what does that make book 2? A slap around the face? The stuff of nightmares? I have no clue. But the cruelness, the grimness and the heaviness of this novel make it so devourable; the dark beauty of Taylor's writing will linger in your mind well after you've finished.

“A dream dirty and bruised is better than no dream at all.”

The author has taken no effort to conceal the brutality of the world she has created. She writes with a lyrical prose, her words are rich and true-spoken; no matter how much you want to devour this novel, it's one you have to savour. Instead of reading by sentences, I read this book word by word, appreciating every mark and every subtle hint. It is impossible for me to encapsulate the beauty of Taylor's words into one paragraph, but let me just stress how easily she can create beauty out of the darkest of words.

What else can I say? In all honesty, I shouldn't have even attempted this review. Days of Blood and Starlight wasn't the book I expected, but it was perfect. Yes, perfect. It's very different to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, only similar through the plot, characters and Taylor's lyrical prose; yes, I've given both books 5 stars, but if I could, I'd give this one 5000.

Favourite Quotations:    
“I am one of billions. I am stardust gathered fleetingly into form. I will be ungathered. The stardust will go on to be other things someday and I will be free.”
“Dead souls dream only of death. Small dreams for small men. It is life that expands to fill worlds. Life is your master, or death is”
“You have only to begin, Lir. Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.”
“Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.”
“Once upon a time, the sky knew the weight of angel armies on the move, and the wind blew infernal with the fire of their wings.”
“Light coursed through Karou and darkness chased it-burning through her, chilling her, shimmer and shadow, ice and fire, blood and starlight, rushing, roaring, filling her.”
“It was one of those dreams that invade the space between seconds, proving sleep has its own physics- where time shrinks and swells, lifetimes unspool in a blink, and cities burn to ash in a mere flutter of lashes.”

In One Word?
Why? 
I can't even begin to explain why I've chosen this word. Read both books, discover the world, and then try and argue against me. You can't possibly say this book isn't of the magical sort.


16 comments:

  1. I must read this series now - your review has just made me so excited for my next visit to Waterstones! :D x

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    1. You should be! This series is just perfect for all ages. :)

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  2. Breathtaking is the perfect word to describe this book. I read it about a year or so ago, and my love for it hasn't wavered one bit. I feel like every sentence should be quoted; that's how good Laini's writing is. But we have to wait 'till 2014 to read it! D: wonderful review Ruby!

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    1. Thank you Summer! I'm glad you're a huge fan of the series too. :D

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  3. SO glad you loved it, Ruby, because I know how excited you were to read it! I must add this to my wishlist now because I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    Amazing review!! <3

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    1. Aw thanks Lucy! And yes, I think I must have told everybody who would listen that it's my favourite series hehe!

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  4. Sadly I had to skim this review because I haven't read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But as you saw on my STS, I will be reading it soon. You've now got me excited because it must be pretty amazing to be your favourite YA series ever. I'll be sure to let you know what I think and I can't wait to fangirl with you.

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    1. Woohoo! Just ask Hawwa how brilliant it is. :)

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  5. Sounds so fabulous! I must read BOTH books now ahhh I am so behind. <3

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  6. I got the first book in Tesco for such a cheap price and now I can't to read it. The cover are soooo preeettty! I've such brilliant things about this series. I have only glimpsed at this review because I have still yet to read it! :)

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    1. Oooh I hope you like them! I am pretty much in LOVE with book of the books so far. :D

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  7. Hmmm. Sounds like a really good read! Unfortunately, I haven't even ATTEMPTED to start this series! I like, really, really want to...but. Alas, there are so many other books in the shelf! LOL. Awesome review, Ruby! I wish that I could understand the feels behind it. Need to read the book!

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    1. You definitely do! I reckon you'd love this series Megan... the writing is beautiful, the characters are both hilarious and extremely well-developed... I mean, what's not to love?! :D

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  8. Hi Ruby, I just want to say that I read your review of Graceling and I read it because of your review. The book was simply electric! So, thank you. You've given me a good book to read. I might not have read it if not for your review. So thank you.

    www.erhudiary.blogspot.com

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  9. Excellent review. Love the format of it too, impressive.

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