View from the window seat:
Karou finally knows who she is, but with this knowledge comes a terrible truth: she fell in love with an enemy and her entire world suffered for it. Karou now plots vengeance for her people by rebuilding a chimera army. Meanwhile, Akiva struggles to redeem himself amidst a devastating war campaign against the chimera. Their dream of a world undivided, a world in peace, seems broken forever.
This was a difficult book to get through. Gone are the days of blissful romance between Karou and Akiva. This is a book of war, harrowing and graphic in its violence. At times, I had to put it down and take a step back, so horrifying are some of the things that happens in this war between angels and demons. Taylor doesn’t shy away from describing in detail the terrible acts of war.
In many ways, I felt that the relationship between Karou and Akiva was much more realistic in this book. There is the not-little-at-all issue of Akiva inciting the genocide of Karou’s people and ensuring the deaths of her entire family. This obviously tears them apart and quite frankly, I can’t see how their relationship will ever recover.
Then there is the disturbing attempted rape scene. I felt this scene was unnecessary, as the character involved had other motives for a confrontation with the assaulter.
Stylistically, I wasn’t a fan of how the narration randomly switched between characters. Points of view were picked up and then dropped for the rest of the novel. That said, Taylor is a master storyteller, and her writing is just as strong in this book as in the first.
While I didn’t enjoy Days of Blood and Starlight as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it is still an excellent (though harrowing) story, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.