Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Taylor, L. (2012). Days of Blood and Starlight. Great Brittan: Hodder & Stoughton. 

ISBN-13: 978-0316133982

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Chimera, Angels, War, Genocide

Reading level/ interest age: 16+

Plot summary:

Sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the story starts off with Karou finding her way back to Eretz. Karou’s joy at being home quickly vanishes. The town she lived in has been destroyed by angels lead by Akiva, her former lover, along with everyone who lived there. Full of the memories from her previous life, she takes up the mantle of resurrectionist in a mad attempt to bring back the lost town’s inhabitants.  

Another chimera, Thiago, warlord of the chimera empire, finds Karou and brings her to a safe haven back on Earth so that she can work safely there. Karou is at first shamed because her love for Akiva caused their current situation but she slowly grows resentful at Thiago’s demands for more work. Already at her wits end, Karou cannot take much more abuse from him. Just when Karou begins to wonder if she should escape, her two friends from art school show up at their camp. Shocked, Karou is delighted to see them and immediately fearful for their survival. Akiva ends up finding the camp as well and seeks Karou’s forgiveness along with her aid. In order to defeat the angels, Thiago and Karou might have to work alongside a select few if chimera wish to have any chance of a future.

Reader’s annotation:

Karou is devastated when her memories come back to her and she remembers that Akiva is responsible for the destruction of almost the entirety of her chimera race. However, if she wants a chance at revenge, she might have to put aside her feelings and work with Akiva to achieve it. 

Information about the author:

“Laini Taylor was born 1971 in Chico, California. She moved around a lot growing up (Hawaii, Italy, Belgium, Virginia, California) and can speak some French and Italian. She graduated from Fountain Valley High School in Orange County CA in 1989 and then from UC Berkeley with a degree in English in 1994.

“She has always wanted to be a writer and past jobs include working as a travel book editor (Lonely Planet), a bookseller, a waitress, and an illustrator/designer. She is married with a daughter” (, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       Would you team up with the person who killed you if it meant saving your entire race?
2.       Do you think Karou was right to let her friends stay with her?

Critical evaluation:

Days of Blood and Starlight is no less amazing than the first book in the series. Readers are transported to different worlds, exposed to different creatures, deal with interspecies love, confront genocide, and wonder about the capacity for forgiveness. Karou is a very strong female character who is not tied down by her love for Akiva or defined by it. She is a great role model for remaining mature and calm under pressure. 

This book is only disappointing in that it is so borderline between adult fiction and young adult. The writing is just below the adult standard as the descriptions lack depth and most of the characters besides Karou are too juvenile to make the harder decisions faced in life. Slightly more effort on the author’s part really could have made all the difference and turned this series from a good read into a great one. Still, the author did a great job for her first works and Days of Blood and Starlight is a fantastic continuation of the story.

Challenge issues: N/A

Why included:

Days of Blood and Starlight is an amazing sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone that continues the extraordinary story of Karou. I believe the book teaches us to hold onto hope even when things are at their darkest.

Reference: (2014). Laini Taylor biography. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

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