Title: Daughter of smoke and bone.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Published: September 27th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that colour. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Title: Days of blood and starlight.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Published: November 8th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton
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 bastard armies 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.
Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Published: April 17th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky?
This is the second time I'm reviewing a series in one post. I'm still not sure what is the best way to review sequels in a series, so could you let me know if you like this format? The review is spoiler-free for all the books.
The first time I read Daughter of smoke and bone I gave it 3.5 flowers. I had trouble with the beginning of the book and I wasn’t blown away. When I bought the sequels I decided to re-read the book and I was surprised; I liked it so much more! I was sucked into the story right away. For some reason, the story worked better the second time, so I ended up giving it 4 flowers now.
The sequels continued to stun me. Laini has a way with words and it’s easy to get lost inside her tale. She spins a story in front of you and before you know it, you are hooked inside it. The story grows dark in Days of blood and starlight and continues to be more gruesome in Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I absolutely loved it and I like how she managed to make the books enjoyable instead of being too dark or depressing. Her world-building is excellent. Laini found the perfect balance; there is enough details to make it vivid, but not so much that there are info-dumps.
Daughter of smoke and bone could be seen as a very good set-up, because that’s when we learn about Karou’s background. It was interesting to find out what was going on and who she really is. Her friendship with Zuzana was adorable and it’s good to see that the girl plays a constant important role in her life. She isn’t swept away when the plot kicks in. Laini managed to write her into the story in a subtle way, making sure she is there when Karou needs her the most.
The romance between Akiva and Karou had a touch of insta-love, but it’s quite understandable when you know the whole story. However, it wasn’t my favorite aspect of the story. I loved Karou and her feisty, intelligent personality. I wasn’t a huge fan of Akiva for some reason. He always felt a little flat to me and I didn’t feel connected to him. I did warm up to him in the sequel - my favorite part of the series. Days of blood and starlight was amazing and I had to give it 5 flowers. Karou takes an important role in the upcoming war between the two different camps. We get to see glimpses of Karou’s past and are introduced to new characters like the White Wolf, Ziri and the nasty Jael. Ziri was adorable and stole my heart right away. Jael was creepy and provides an interesting bad guy.
The war breaks loose in Dreams of Gods and monsters. It’s a battle with many consequences and it’s fascinating to see how old enemies unite against a common enemy. All these threats make the story intense and fast-paced. I was constantly turning pages, wanting more. The other two books ended with crazy cliff-hangers, but this book has a spectacular, perfect ending. I couldn’t have wished for more.
Laini has found her way to my list of favorite authors and I look forward to her new books.