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.
“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.”